Morocco as a Holiday Destination - Moroccan Holidays
The ancient kingdom of Morocco is probably the most exotic country within easy reach of the United Kingdom, offering a real taste of magic.
The monarchy is ruled by King Mohammed VI
Morocco is situated in the north west corner of the African continent at one point just a few Miles from Mainland Europe across the strait of Gibraltar.
A fascinating country where Arab, European and African cultures meld, creating sights, sounds and smell!
Having a coast, the longest section with the Atlantic Ocean and the other with the Mediterranean Sea.
Morocco has modern cities and lush oases, cosmopolitan resorts and spicy souks, long fine sand beaches and remarkable ruins too.
Morocco has land borders with Algeria to the east and Mauritania to the south, in the Sahara Desert.
The capital is Rabat on the north west coast but Morocco's largest city is Casablanca just to the south of Rabat.
The official language is Arabic but Many others are commonly used unofficially.
The population of Morocco is Made up of around 99% Arab-Berber, the remaining 1% are classed as around 7% other and surprisingly 0.2% Jewish.
Climate and Weather
The Moroccan climate is classed as Mediterranean, which becomes more extreme towards the interior regions where it is mountainous. The terrain is such that the coastal plains are rich in nutrients and accordingly, they comprise the backbone for the Moroccan agriculture. Suprisingly forests cover over 10% of the land while arable land accounts for less than 20% of which 5% is under irrigation schemes.
The average maximum temperature in Marakesh is a high of 38 degrees Celsius during July and August with a low there of 18 degrees C in January.
Facts about Morocco - Morocco for Visitors
Moroccan Cities, Resorts and Places to Visit
A modern holiday resort, mostly rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in February 1960, with fine golden sand beaches as far as the eye can see. Its beaches are :dix-sept, Taghazout, Aghroud and Imiouadar, stretching out for around 25km.
Agadir is served by Al Massira Airport, IATA: AGA, ICAO: GMAD, located 22 kilometres from the city.
Casablanca is Morocco's largest city as well as its chief port.
The French period town of Casablanca is possibly the most impressive in Morocco. Former administrative buildings and modern hotels populate the area. Their style is a combination of Spanish, Moorish and Art Deco.
Casablanca is home to the Hassan II Mosque, situated on a promontory looking out to the Atlantic Ocean. The Mosque's minaret is the world's tallest at 210m.
The Parc de la Ligue Arabe is the city's largest public park. On its edge is situated the Cathedrale du Sacré Coeur, which is disused, but is a splendid example of Moorish architecture.
Essouira or Essaouira
Formerly known as Mogador, Essouira or Essaouira is a city and tourist resort in western Morocco, on the Atlantic coast about half way between Agadir and Casablanca.
The Medina of Essaouira is a UNESCO World Heritage Listed city, as an example of a late 18th century fortified town, as transferred to North Africa. The Medina is pretty in parts with traditional whitewashed houses with blue doors.
The old fishing harbour remains rather small, suffering from the competition of Agadir and Safi, although the seasonal catches of sardines and conger eels are surprisingly abundant. This is due to the coastal sea upwelling generated by the powerful trade winds and the Canaries Current.
Tourism is of importance to Essaouira, supporting boutique hotels established in traditional Moroccan house or palace style with an interior garden, known as riads, within the old town's defensive ramparts. There are a number of modern purpose-built hotel complexes, stringing out along the beach.
The medina is home to many small arts and crafts businesses, making local specialties like the 'thuya' wood-carving, using roots of the Tetraclinis tree and cabinet making, both of which have been mainstays of the local economy for hundreds of years.
Essaouira is now renowned for its wind and kite-surfing, powered by the, almost constant, trade wind blowing into the protected, almost waveless, bay. There is good water sport equipment rental available on a daily or weekly basis.
Parasols tend to be used on the beach as a protection against the wind and the blowing sand.
Camel excursions are available on the beach and into the local desert interior.
Fez or Fes
Fes or Fez is the fourth largest city in Morocco, after Casablanca, Rabat and Marrakech. The Imperial City of Fes is the most complete medieval Arab city in the world and the Medina of Fes el Bali, the largest of the two medinas of Fes, is believed to be the largest contiguous car-free urban area in the world. Fes el Bali is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Fez is the capital of the Fès-Boulemane Region and is separated into three parts, Fes el Bali; the old, walled city or medina, Fes-Jdid; new Fes, home of the Mellah the historic walled Jewish quarter of the city, and the Ville Nouvelle or French Quarter, the newest section of Fes.
The University of Al-Karaouine was founded in 859 A.D. and is without doubt the oldest continuous operating university in the world.
The most interesting public area is probably the souk with its narrow cobbled streets and alleys where dodge the donkey is a local 'sport'!
Marrakech or Marrakesh
The city is spelled "Marrakech" in French, "Marrakesh" in English, and "Marrakesch" in German.
Marrakesh or Marrakech is known as the "Red City" and is a city in mid-southwestern Morocco, close to the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. The red of the city reflects the sunrise, turning the city pink!
Untill a few decades ago, Morocco was known as Kingdom of Marrakesh by Arabs, Persians and Europeans. European names of Morocco, Marruecos, Maroc, Marokko..etc directly derive from the Berber Arab word Murakush.
Marrakesh city has the largest traditional souk or Arab market in Morocco and also has one of the busiest city squares in Africa, if not the world, Djemaa el Fna. This square bustles with acrobats and dancers, story-tellers and water sellers, musicians and food stalls, as well as drug barrons by day; By night, the square turns into more food stalls, becoming a huge open-air restaurant with busy life that include obvious prostitutes plying their trade.
Like many North African and Middle Eastern cities, Marrakech comprises both an old fortified medina with an adjacent modern city.
Marrakesh is served by Menara International Airport (RAK) and a regular rail link to Casablanca and the north of the country.
Meknes is a city in northern Morocco, located 130km from Rabat and 60km from Fez. It is served by the A2 expressway between those two cities and by the railway.
The historic City of Meknes is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it was once the capital of Morocco, under the reign of Moulay Ismail (1672 – 1727), before Rabat.
Among the most impressive elements of the imperial city was the grand gate named after the architect, El-Mansour, a Christian renegade who converted to Islam. It was completed 5 years after Moulay Ismail's death, in 1732. The design of the gate plays with Almohad patterns. It has zellij mosaics of excellent quality. The marble columns were taken from the Roman ruins of Volubilis. The story tells that when completed, Moulay Ismail inspected the gate, asking El-Mansur if he could do better. El-Mansur felt complied to answer yes, making the sultan so furious he had him executed. Still, according to historical records, the gate was finished after Moulay Ismail's death. The gate itself is now used as an arts and crafts gallery; entry is by a side gate.
The land upon which the city is founded and much of its surrounding territory came under the domination of the Roman Empire in 117 AD. A ruined Roman town Volubilis or Oualili is about half an hour by road to the north. The original community from which Meknes can be traced was an 8th century Kasbah, or fortress. A Berber tribe called the Miknasa settled there in the 10th century, and a town consequently grew around the fortress. Meknes saw its golden age as the imperial capital of Moulay Ismail following his accession to the Sultanate of Morocco.
Moroccan Cuisine - Morocco food
Moroccan food is well known around the world now as people have visited and taken their favourite recipes home.
Sample a simple tajine - a spiced meat and vegetable stew cooked in a traditional earthenwear pot. Finnish off with sweet local patries and hot, sweet, minted tea and roasted peanuts.
TMUK apologise for the repetition of some place or proper names with different
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