Morocco (the full Arabic name is Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah which translates into “The Western Kingdom” ) is located on the North West coast of Africa and has ports in the North Atlantic Ocean as well as the Mediterranean Sea. It is the third most populous Arab country. Morocco shares the largest part of its border with Algeria to the East and Western Saharah to the South. Morocco is divided into sixteen regions. Each region is further divided into provinces and prefectures. The capital of Morocco is Rabat and its largest city is Casablanca. The national currency is the Moroccan Dirham.
For U.S. citizens and British citizens, passports are required for entry into Morocco, but a visa is not required for stays up to three months. Mohammed V International Airport (CMD) is the main international airport and is located in Nouasseur, which is approximately 25 km (15 miles) from Casablanca. There are also some 60 regional airports throughout the country. Royal Air Maroc is the national air carrier. For U.S. travelers, Delta and Continental offer regularly scheduled flights. From the United Kingdom and Europe, flights are offered by Air France, Easy Jet, and Ryanair into many Moroccan destinations. For domestic flights within Morocco, travelers rely upon the company called Regional Air Lines. Traveling to Morocco is also accomplished by ship with cruise lines, such as Norwegian and Royal Caribbean, offering itineraries with regular stops at Morocco’s main port in Casablanca. For more information about travel, see our flights and hotels sections.
Morocco has a variety of accommodations from which to choose. In the larger cities, such as Casablanca and Tangier, there are a number of international hotels including the Ramada, Sheraton and Hyatt Regency. However, throughout all of the major cities and in the metropolitan centers of Morocco, excellent five-star hotels that offer the luxury of their international counterparts but with local charm and hospitality are available. Many travelers find that the best accommodations in Morocco are Riads, which are traditional Morocco homes that have been converted into small hotels and private guest houses. Riads are usually located inside the older districts throughout Morocco which are steeped in culture.
DESTINATIONS AND ATTRACTIONS:
Morocco is a land rich in natural beauty and unforgettable places that are both fascinating to visit and intriguing to explore. For those who want to immerse themselves in Moroccan culture and history, there are hundreds of mosques, palaces, and historical sites to visit. Some of the favorites on our list include the ancient city of Asilah, the Grottoes of Hercules, and the El Bahia Palace. Equally memorable is the Moroccan landscape, which is framed by several impressive destinations such as the Sahara Desert and stunning mountain ranges such as the High Atlas, the Chefchaouen Mountains and the Oregano Mountains, which offer outdoor activities such as snow skiing, hiking, climbing, and adventure travel. For travelers wanting the relaxation of seaside towns and beaches, the Moroccan coast is home to spectacular fishing villages such Dakhla and swimming beaches such as Plage Quemada and Lalla Fatma.
CULTURE AND HERITAGE:
Moroccan culture is rich in history, the arts, and the sciences. Throughout Morocco, there is a wide choice of museums such as The Museum of Antiquities and The Ethnographic Museum in Tetouan. Another favorite stop is the Museum of Moroccan Art, which houses on display unique collections of glass objects, manuscripts, exquisite carpets, jewelry, pottery, and ancient manuscripts. For those enjoying live performances, Morocco has may wonderful theatres that present classic, translated and reworked productions of western classics such as Shakespeare to modern productions of Moroccan plays that are filled with the country’s tradition and folklore. Unique theatrical venues include Alliance Franco-Marocaine Theater and the Teatro de Cervantes. Popular outdoor festivals also abound with performances held at the Marrakech Popular Arts Festival and the Amazigh Theater Festival in Casablanca. Seekers of outdoor adventure may wish to explore the wonderful national parks and reserves of Morocco, such as Souss Massa National Park and the Mediterranean Intercontinental Biosphere Reserve established through UNESCO. A more detailed review f these and other parks can be found by reading our section on National Parks.
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