Travel to Morocco
Only 15 kilometers of water separate Morocco from Europe. Yet it is a completely different world that opens up – in Morocco, the bazaars are more colorful, the Spanish-Moorish architecture more magnificent and the mountain landscape more dramatic than can be imagined. Come with me to Morocco – an experience for all the senses!
See travel to Morocco
Population: 33 million
Language: Arabic and Berber languages
that the film classic Casablanca was filmed in a studio in Hollywood? Not a single scene was recorded in Morocco. However, Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much” was recorded in Marrakech.
that the felt hat fez got its name from the lively Moroccan city? It was here that the characteristic red color was first made and used to dye the hats.
Geography and climate in Morocco
The Kingdom of Morocco is located in the far northwestern corner of the African continent. Since 1976, the country has also claimed the area of Western Sahara, which is south of Morocco. In return, Spain has the two enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla on the Moroccan Mediterranean coast as a reminder of the Spanish colonization of the country.
Morocco is a mountainous country; The Atlas Mountains run along almost its entire length and are divided into the three mountain ranges Anti Atlas, High Atlas and Middle Atlas. Here, small mountain villages cling to the mountain sides between pastures for sheep and goats. With its many plateaus, Morocco’s average altitude is 800 meters. It is really flat only on the Mediterranean coast and in the south where the Sahara desert begins. Here the heat and drought prevail while the mountainous areas of Morocco get plenty of both rain and snow. The most pleasant climate from a holiday point of view is found along the coast with long, hot summers and short winters that never get really cold. 10-15 degrees is the average temperature for the month of January.
History of Morocco
Parts of today’s Morocco have been subject to Phenicia as well as Carthage and Rome. The Arabs are the conquerors who have gained the most influence over the country as we know it today. The Arab conquerors came here in the late 600s. They brought with them Islam, which created a breeding ground for an extensive period of cultural flourishing.
During the 19th century, France and Spain began to show interest in the North African countries, which led to the 1912 division of Morocco into a French and a Spanish part. It was not until 1956 that Morocco regained its independence and the former Sultan Muhammad V became the country’s first king. Morocco’s first period as an independent state was marked by political unrest and clashes between the political parties and the king. In 1976, Morocco tried its hand at the role of conqueror when entering Western Sahara. Since then, the area’s liberation movement has tried to keep the Moroccans barred, but even today, Western Sahara’s affiliation is unresolved. Morocco has long wanted to become a member of the EU but has today only achieved status as an associate member.
During the 1990s, political liberalisations were carried out which, among other things, shifted some influence from the king to the political parties and gave women a slightly better legal position. However, the political changes did not take off in earnest until after the Arab Spring, which from December 2010 spread over several Arab countries. The mood of rebellion reached Morocco in February 2011 with demonstrations in several cities and demands for less power for the king. Morocco was the first country where the people’s protests led to a democratic referendum. This happened on July 1, 2011 and led to a new constitution which, at least on paper, transferred some of the power from King Muhammad VI to the newly elected Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane.
The population of Morocco
Most Moroccans are Berber – a term dating back to the Roman presence in the country which actually means “barbarians” – but which is used today for the descendants of the many different groups who lived in the Atlas Mountains before the Arabs came to the country. Although Arabic is the official language of Morocco, many Berbers still speak the traditional Berber languages. In addition to the language, the Arab conquerors in their time took with them Islam and today almost all Moroccans are Sunni Muslims. The country’s royal house is said to be descended from the Prophet Muhammad in a straight descending line. Religion and Islamic traditions are of great importance to the population and received extra nourishment during the struggle for independence from France.
Traveling in Morocco
In Morocco, there are several cities that at some point have been the country’s capital. Fez is the oldest of these and was founded in the 8th century, shortly after the arrival of the Arabs in the country. Fez’s old town is today the largest medieval city in the Islamic world and offers a fascinating experience with the myriads of small shops, mosques, pottery workshops and donkeys loaded with all kinds of goods. Visit smartercomputing for Morocco Tour Plan.
Attracting more classic sights, you can take the road past the tranquil Islamic school Sahrij Medersa with the large courtyard pool, visit the city’s founder – Molay Idriss – mausoleum or the huge palace Dar Glaoui with private Koranic school, hammam, cemetery and stables. In addition, Fez houses the world’s oldest university still in use today – al-Qarawiyyin from 859.
The 12th century Almoravid Empire located its capital in Marrakech – a city full of adventure and mystery. Start e.g. your journey of discovery on the city’s main square, Djemaa el-Fna and continue through the labyrinth of souks (markets) that surround the square. Also visit the Bahia Palace with its sumptuous mosaics and the Koutoubia Minaret towering over Marrakech’s highest mosque.
The country’s third royal city, Meknes, is also called Morocco’s Versailles. This is due to the many magnificent palaces and mosques that Sultan Moulay Ismail had built during his reign in the 17th century. Do not miss the beautifully decorated Bab el-Mansour gate and the huge stable buildings with the ingenious underground cooling system. Sultan Ismail’s tomb is also a prime example of Moroccan craftsmanship.
The three cities mentioned above are all represented on the UNESCO World Heritage List, as is the ruined city of Volubilis with its Roman pillars and arches, beautifully situated on the rolling slopes of the area. By all means, do not forget Casablanca – the city that a certain Mr. Bogart and Miss Bergman immortalized through the film of the same name. The city is a modern metropolis, well developed both culturally and economically, and with a cosmopolitan character that dates back to the time as a French protectorate. If you prefer beach life, you can head to Agadir in southern Morocco. The city is the country’s number one bathing resort and has as many as 300 days of sunshine a year!
On this page you can read about the climate and weather in Morocco.
Source: World Weather Information Service & DMI
Morocco has impressive coastlines towards both the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The northwestern parts have a temperate Mediterranean climate with long summers and short winters. The Atlas Mountains form a natural boundary between the southern parts of the country and the Mediterranean areas. The southern part of the country has a warm desert climate and temperatures of up to 45 degrees are not uncommon during the summer months.