Morocco is known for being a beautiful and exotic country. According to Travel & Leisure, Morocco is geographically divided into four parts: “the Sahara desert, full of Berber towns and oases; the Atlas and Rif Mountains, perfect for hikers; the plains which are home to the imperial cities of Marrakesh and Fez; and finally the sandy coastlines of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, graced by small beach towns and the cities of Rabat and Casablanca.” Deciding on which part of the country you will visit is completely up to you. Regardless of where you travel, you’ll find plenty of adventure hidden in Morocco.
Before setting off on your travels, take a look at a few things to keep in mind.
Morocco Travel Tips
Firstly, unlike destinations like Palm Beach or Las Vegas, Morocco has a closed currency. Therefore, it’s illegal to take more than 1000 dirhams in or out of the country—meaning, it’s almost impossible to change currency before boarding your flight to Morocco, however, you can do so in most major airports. Additionally, very few places aside from the larger supermarkets accept credit or debit cards. So you definitely won’t be able to use a card to pay for purchases in a souk or local village shop so consider this when going shopping.
When it comes to travel within the country, the train company, ONCF, operates one of the best train networks in Africa, which makes it the easiest way to travel between cities. It’s worth paying extra for first class, which comes with a reserved seat and A/C. First class carriages have six-seat compartments or open-plan seating. Consider stocking up on snacks, or buying them onboard, as it’s customary to share food. When it comes to traveling to smaller towns and villages, buses and grand taxis, usually old Mercedes sedans that can seat six (at a squash), are best.
Thinking about language and communication, Moroccans can speak one or a combination of Classic Arabic, Darija (Moroccan Arabic), Berber, English, French, and Spanish—sometimes mixing them all in one sentence. Of all the European languages, Moroccans speak and understand French far better than English. But the major language of Morocco is Darija.
Travel & Leisure also made specific suggestions to consider the time of year when planning a trip to Morocco: “Due to the varied geography, the best time to travel Morocco depends greatly on where you are going. In general, spring (April and May) is the best weather across Morocco. In the Saharan region–and to a lesser extent the plains cities–midsummer should be avoided. However, the hottest months are lovely for a visit to the coastal cities, like Essaouira and Rabat. Winter months are very cold in the mountains, which can be hard since many hotels don’t have heating. Desert days are warm and clear during the summer, but temperatures at night can plummet.
It is also important to consider Islamic holidays when you travel to Morocco. The month of Ramadan involves strict fasting during the day, which can be a present an issue for transportation, but the parties at night can make up for the subdued days.”
For more information, check out Visit Morocco.