Amita's Guide to Morocco
Morocco is a North African country bordering the vast Atlantic Ocean and calming Mediterranean Sea. It is distinguished by its Berber, Arabian and European cultural influences that you’ll find in the architecture, art and cuisine of Morocco. The art culture has been the core reason for visitors to leave the comfort of their home and venture off to the the city painted in hues of the rainbow. Morocco is a place where you leave with a sense of completion. The experience of taking in the natural atmosphere is Ineffable. Being in the middle of the desert with nothing but fresh air and miles of sand dunes brings a sense of calmness that overcomes you.
The Sahara region is home to the indigenous people also known as ‘Berbers’. Some live in tribes still while others live in the outer cities of the desert. Those who live in the Sahara are able to navigate through the desert without any guidance. They speak a traditional Berber language which is where the Moroccan dialect of Arabic originates from. Being engulfed by the beauty and rich history of Morocco you’ll find yourself inspired to not only live life with purpose but to truly feel the connection between you and your environment.
The magic city with abundant noise and natural beauty has culture spread all throughout that can carry you away with its atmospheric souks of the Medina. Marrakech is one of the most recognizable cities in the world because of the beautiful hues of red that helps bring this city to life. D jemma el Fna is known as the epicenter of Morocco, you’ll find that the architecture that permeates from it's ruins provides an insight to the city's rich history. M arrakech is well known for its boutique style hotels, also known as riads. Riads are traditional Moroccan homes built around a garden or courtyard. Since most of the riads only have six to ten bedrooms it provides a very intimate atmosphere.
Another must see while in the city is the enchanting Jardin Majorelle. Jardin Majorelle is a dreamy garden that was designed by Jacques Majorelle. It took French painter Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962) forty years of passion and dedication to create this enchanting garden in the heart of the “Ochre City”. It was later bought by the renowned French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. The garden also keeps a memorial in memory of the french designer up for visitors all over the world to see.
About 9 hours East of Marrakech is the Moroccan territory of the Sahara called Merzouga. M erzouga is an intimate Moroccan town in the Sahara Desert that sits near the Algerian border. It’s been known as a gateway to Erg Chebbi where you can find a world wind of sand dunes. With winds as high as 150 meters (500 Ft.), travelers are captivated by the wavy, deep and rustic orange sand dunes as they look for a new unique experience.
Where to Stay:
There are many campsites in the desert where you can stay overnight if you’re in the mood to be at one with nature. However, if you are not up for the challenge that nature presents but still want to be surrounded by the beauty of Morocco then you can enjoy your stay at Hotel Mohayut, located near Merzouga. The beautiful vibrant architecture in The Mohayut was intricately designed to maintain the authenticity of Morocco.
Fez is one of the oldest imperial cities of Morocco. It’s best to be explored by foot since it is the world's largest urban pedestrian zone. You’ll truly begin to feel the sense of community Morocco provides from the bustling movement of the shoppers in the market. The city was built on a mountainous terrain which is why the streets go uphill and downhill and are very narrow. A map is highly recommended to ensure you won’t get lost in thought and awe while traveling through it’s maze-like passageways.
Del Saffarine is a 600 year old house that has been restored to resemble a more contemporary boutique hotel style that is very popular in Morocco. Despite the restoration and renovation the antiquity of the rich architectural designs and character have been preserved.
Chefchaouen is about an hour away from the northern coast of Morocco and is known as the famous city washed in vibrant yet calming hues of blue. The different shades of blue perfectly compliment one another and transports it’s visitors to a place of fantasy. Moroccans believed that the color blue was symbolic for heaven, a sentiment in order to feel closer to God. Aside from the exterior beauty Chefchaouen is also popular for shopping. You can find Moroccan handicrafts, such as woven blankets, not found anywhere else in the country.
Whether you want a heart-pounding adventure, a luxurious retreat, a trip full of culture, or the most amazing shopping holiday ever, Morocco will exceed your expectations.