The culture of Morocco reflects the Berber and Arab influences represented by its population. The majority of Morocco’s population identifies as Berber and Arab. At least a third of the population speaks an Amazigh language. Following the Islamic conquests, Arab tribes came to Morocco and settled in the low regions, such as Tadla and Doukkala. For example, there are groups called Charkawa and Arbawa who settled in Morocco from Arabia. The Charkawa claimed to be descended from Umar ibn Al-Khattab, the second caliph of Islam.
When you think of Morocco, mountains, beach and culture come to mind. But remember that the kingdom is covered with forests that won’t fail to delight the most adventurous travelers!
The country’s national parks are prime places to experience these enchanting forests. Take a deep dive into these green forests. Discover the Gouraud Cedar Forest and the Azrou Cedar Forest near Ifrane, where majestic trees crown the tops of the Middle Atlas mountains. Just a bit further to the east lies the Tazekka Nature Reserve. Try not to miss Talassemtane National Park and its numerous rivers, lakes and waterfalls. This is also home to some of the most luxurious, diverse plant life in Morocco. Come lose yourself amidst these sumptuous landscapes decorated with trees of all shapes and sizes.
When you visit these forests, you support sustainable tourism as you commune with nature. There are many well-maintained, well-marked hiking trails to choose from. Spend one or several days walking through the woods and get close to Morocco’s flora and fauna, which are inexhaustible sources of wonder!
The distinct areas of Morocco make for differing climates across the country, so that it is a good destination all year round. The climate of the northern Moroccan coast and central areas is Mediterranean, with hot dry summers and mild wet winters. Further inland temperatures are more extreme, and the weather is cold in winter and very hot in summer. Daily sunshine ranges from 13 hours in the desert to nine & 10 on the Atlantic. In the winter, you’ll see upto 6 hours in the North, increasing to 7 or 8 as you move south.
Rain falls between April and May, and during October and November. The Atlantic coast (Casablanca) sees most rain, with the heaviest falls in winter. Moving further south the climate is drier. The coast is very mild in winter, and avoids the snow that can be seen throughout the year on the peaks of the Atlas mountains.
Time & Date: GMT+1
The Dirham is the national currency. Cash and travellers cheques can be changed in each of the many banks in Morocco . You will also find ATM’s in all major towns. Credit cards can be used in some larger shops and hotels, however most places prefer payment in local currency.
You can only obtain Dirhams in Morocco and they should not be taken out of the country. There are cash dispensers and exchange counters in the arrival hall at airports, however please note that the exchange counters here do not normally accept traveller’s cheques. You will need to change remaining Dirhams back to original currency at an exchange counter in the check-in area of the airport, before passing through passport control.
Food & Drinks Moroccan food is a mix from the French, African and Arab kitchens. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables are used in Moroccan cooking. An important dish is the tagine, named after the clay pot in which a stew of potatoes, vegetables and meat or fish, seasoned with a mix of particular herbs and spices is cooked over a fire. Couscous is a world-famous Moroccan dish: a granola of wheat and barley served with a tasty sauce and topped with sliced vegetables. The meat is hidden under the granola as the best part to be kept for the end. Meat is often the main base of all cooking, therefore vegetarians or people with special dietary requirements may find their food choices limited.
When buying your travel insurance, always check the small print – some policies specifically exclude ‘dangerous activities’, which could be anything from scuba diving to horse riding. You should check whether the medical coverage is on a pay first, claim later basis and, more importantly, ensure that your medical coverage includes the cost of medical evacuation.
For all visitors a passport is required which should be valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in Morocco . Citizens of the UK , EU , US , Canada , Australia and New Zealand obtain a 3-month visa for free upon arrival. These three-month visitor’s stamps can be extended by the Immigration Office or at the Bureau des Étrangers in most large towns. Furthermore, other nationalities should check with their local Moroccan Embassy or Consulate for visa requirements, as you may need to obtain a visa in advance.
Al Massira Airport in Agadir
Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca
Menara International Airport in Marrakech
Nador International Airport in Nador
Ibn Batouta International Airport in Tangier
Population: 33.8 million
Official languages:Arabic, Berber