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Morocco travel guide

Ksar of Aït Benhaddou

Regions & Cities

Overview

Morocco is just a step away from Europe, across the narrow straits of Gibraltar, but it is a world away in terms of culture and experience, brimming over with contrasts, colour and mystery. This is partly due to its geographical position, situated at the crossroads where East meets West, Africa shakes hands with Europe, and the Mediterranean merges with the Atlantic.

Sitting at the top northwest corner of Africa and sharing two oceans, the country's main appeal for visitors has always been its Mediterranean charm, the quality of its crafts, and its exotic nature. However, in more recent years travellers are discovering other hidden delights and adventures, particularly in the northern and central parts of Morocco, in the Rif and High Atlas Mountains, where it is even possible to enjoy a skiing holiday. Then, down south, some are drawn to explore the sands of the Western Sahara, on camelback, horseback or by 4X4.

Whether you visit Morocco for the sunshine or to trek through the mountains or the hot desert sands, it is a sure bet that you will also be enchanted by the timeless Medieval medinas of the cities, particularly in Fez and Marrakech, where the souks and squares plunge visitors into a fascinating foreign world. Snake charmers weave their magic; the stench of the tanners' yards pervades the air; and the call of the muezzins wafts from the ancient minarets. The abiding memory will be one of sweetened mint tea, brightly-coloured slippered feet and big smiles.

Although most of its suburban enclaves are modern, Morocco has more than its fair share of ancient monuments and magnificent buildings, reflecting a turbulent history shaped by its strategic location. Since the days of the Phoenicians, Morocco has attracted foreign interest from the Romans, Vandals, Visigoths and ancient Greeks until the coming of the Arabs in the 7th century, who brought Islam and the Alaouite Dynasty. European powers have had their day, too, trying to control this northernmost tip of Africa: France and Spain battled for control until nationalism triumphed and the Kingdom of Morocco gained independence in 1956 (except for the two small enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in the north, which are still controlled by Spain). This rich past, coupled with a timeless present, makes Morocco a magical mystery tour of surprises and enchantments for millions of visitors every year.

World wide weather

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Country:
City: °F °C
Day Weather High Low
Saturday (White) Medium-level cloud 24°C 13°C
Sunday Sunny (Day) 24°C 13°C
Monday Sunny (Day) 23°C 13°C
Tuesday Sunny (Day) 22°C 12°C
Wednesday Sunny (Day) 20°C 12°C

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