Morocco, secrets of the far west

Morocco: what you need to know before your trip

It is one of the most colorful and photogenic Arab countries. It is good to walk through the narrow blue streets, trade in the noisy bazaars, see the ancient mosques and fortresses, swim in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.

We’ve compiled the essentials of traveling to Morocco in one article. If you’re going on a trip, take it with you. Details and nuances are in the full article.

What you’ll learn

Introductions.

Where is the location : in the northwest of Africa. How long is the flight : 7 hours on average. When is the season : May to October. Where to swim : in the west in the Atlantic Ocean, in the north in the Strait of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea. Average summer temperatures: +28 ° C in the north, +40 ° C in the south. Currency : Moroccan Dirham (MAD, Dh, د.م), equal to 6.87 P . Time difference with Moscow : -2 hours.

✈️ Visa and travel

Russians in Morocco do not need a visa: on arrival at the border they put a stamp in your passport.

Flight tickets with a connection cost from 12 000 R . Connections in Lisbon, Paris, Amsterdam.

Sightseeing in Morocco

People go to Marrakech for the atmosphere of the oriental bazaar and the old city. A popular attraction in the city are the Majorelle Gardens, which were once restored by Yves Saint Laurent.

Chefchaouen is famous for the old part of town: all the houses there are painted blue. Tourists wander through the narrow streets and admire the view of the city by the Spanish Mosque.

Fez is known for its tanneries. There they dress, process and dye leather by hand to make handbags, slippers, wallets and bracelets. The visit is free.

In Tangier you can wander through the old town, check out the big bazaar and go to the Kasbah. It is an ancient fortress in the center of the city with a beautiful view of the Strait of Gibraltar. A visit is free.

The fortress contains the royal palace of Dar Al Mahze which works as a museum. Admission costs 10 dirhams (69 R ). The museum displays a variety of ancient archeological finds from the Neolithic Age.

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Rabat. The main attraction of Rabat is Kasbah Uday. This is an ancient fortress on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Inside it is a museum and Andalusian gardens. Admission to the fortress and garden is free, the museum is 10 dirhams (69 P ).

Money.

Most places only accept payment in cash. You’ll need it to buy train and bus tickets, pay for cabs, buy fruit and eat at cafes. Cash can be withdrawn from ATMs. There are many in every city. There are exchange offices at the airport and bank branches in town.

Cards are only accepted in a few hotels and restaurants, such as Clock Cafe in Fez and Rick’s Cafe in Casablanca.

Languages

In addition to Arabic, French and Spanish are spoken in Morocco. Casablanca, Rabat and Fez have more French. In Tetouan and Tangier, Spanish is mostly spoken and French is hardly understood. In Chefchaouen, both languages are spoken.

English is poorly understood in Morocco. Language problems do not arise only in restaurants and hotels.

Restaurants An average dinner for two costs 200 dirhams (1374 P ). Fish and seafood are delicious in seaside towns. One meal will cost 150 dirhams (1,030 P ). Tajin is a traditional steamed meat and vegetable dish. Costs range from 120 to 160 dirhams (824 to 1099 P ). Couscous is served only on Fridays: this is the custom. Along with it, they bring a huge plate with meat or chicken, stewed vegetables, nuts and spices.

Outdoor cafe It’s cheaper and tastier there, but the dishes come with dirty forks, wasps and cats that get on the table. Payment is cash only.

Markets Fruits and vegetables are sold in the markets in the old town. Everything there is fresh and delicious. There are no price tags anywhere, you have to haggle. A kilo of peaches costs 10-25 dirhams (68-171 R ). Two kilos of figs and half a kilo of cactus fruits will cost 20 dirhams (137 P ).

Accommodation

The hotels are clean and the staff speaks English. It is similar to Europe.

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A room for two costs 35-45 € (2625-3375 P ). You can book on Bookings.

Dar is a traditional Moroccan house. It usually has three floors, several bedrooms, a kitchen and a roof terrace. Tourists book a room with a shared bathroom and breakfast. In fact, it is a hostel. It costs about 25 € (1875 P ) per night to stay in the dar.

The Riad is the same dar, but much larger in size. It can be booked through the A&B. A room with private bathroom and breakfast will cost 40 € (3000 P ) for two people per night.

Transportation.

“Grand Taxi” Drives between cities and to the airports. The cab departs as soon as a full car is built up. It usually takes 15 minutes. Prices for “Grand Taxi” are fixed. A cab from Casablanca airport to the center costs 250-300 dirhams (1717-2610 P ). The price does not change depending on the number of passengers in the car. Negotiate the fare before you get in the car. Drivers often start to inflate the price at the sight of tourists.

The “Petit-taxi” It only goes through the cities. It is caught anywhere on the street. Every car has a meter. If the driver refuses to turn it on, negotiate the price of the trip in advance. The cost should not be more than 20-30 dirhams (138-206 R ) for a 5-10 km trip around the city.

Bus There are two bus companies in Morocco: CTM and Supratours. All buses are modern and comfortable, with air conditioning inside. CTM has more departure stations and more flights. A bus ride from Fez to Shefshawen costs 80 dirhams (549 P ) per person.

Trains Every car has air conditioning and prices are close to Russian. Tickets can be bought in advance on the Moroccan railroads ONCF website or directly at the station. They only accept cash. Every train has first and second class. Second class tickets are sold to everyone – there is a chance you may have to ride standing up. A first class ticket from Casablanca to Fez costs AED 174 (1195 P ) , and a second class ticket costs AED 116 (796 P ). Trains are often delayed by 1-3 hours.

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What to bring from Morocco

Argan oil comes in culinary and cosmetic forms. Good oil costs on average 500-600 dirhams (3435-4122 P ).

Tagine is a pot for stewing meat. It is not always easy to take it home: some tagines weigh up to 5 kilos. But the meat in them turns out very tender. Such dishes usually cost 45 dirhams (R 300 ).

Amlu is a sweet on the basis of argan oil with nuts. A pack will cost 25-300 dirhams (171-2055 R ) depending on the volume and composition. It is cheaper in the markets.

Saffron. Spices in Morocco are cheaper than in Europe and Russia, and the quality is better. One gram of saffron costs 50-70 dirhams (343-480 R ).

Internet.

There is wifi in hotels, private homes, cafes and restaurants. Often you have to ask the waiter for the password.

⚠️ Mentality

Morocco is a poor country. Locals often try to make money on tourists. Cab drivers and vendors slap prices, and passersby offer to show you the city or take you to a landmark. It looks like a desire to help, but at the end of the way the “guide” is sure to ask for money. That’s why it’s better to ask the peddlers for directions: they usually don’t ask for a fee.

Safety rules

Here’s something to keep in mind while vacationing in Morocco:

  1. Do not buy ready-made food at the market: they do not respect sanitary conditions there.
  2. Do not drink tap water and water fountains: you can be poisoned.
  3. Do not walk around the city at night.
  4. Keep track of your belongings in crowded places.
  5. It is not advisable for girls to wear short skirts and shorts. Dresses, skirts below the knee, pants and tunics with long sleeves are suitable.

If something happens.

Russian Embassy in Morocco: Rabat, Suissi, Avenue Mohammed VI, Kilometer 4.

Phones: +212 537 75-35-09, +212 537 75-36-09.

24-hour emergency phone number: +212 662 07-61-56.

We are looking for people who travel independently. If you have organized a vacation in Russia, near abroad, popular resorts or more exotic places – share your experience with us.

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Morocco, secrets of the far west

Many people know this country by the oranges and tangerines sold in stores since Soviet times. Each fruit necessarily had a black label with the French name on it. Morocco is a country in the north-west of the African continent. In Arabic it is translated as the far west. And indeed, it is the westernmost territory inhabited by the Arab and Berber peoples who live in all of northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

Morocco is one of the oldest states in the world and is at the crossroads of important trade routes from Africa to Europe. The Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean splash to the north and west. For centuries, leading European powers such as Great Britain, Spain, France, Germany and Portugal fought over Morocco. In turn, Morocco has also pursued an expansionist policy against its neighbors. There is still a territorial dispute with the state of Western Sahara, which the Moroccans consider their own. In the Middle Ages Morocco was a stronghold of piracy. Pirate ships sailed the nearby seas and plundered ships traveling from America to Europe. The plundering of American goods has made many noble Moroccans quite rich. At the same time Morocco lost parts of its territory when the British invaded the Strait of Gibraltar and still control the passage of ships in this narrow place. Gibraltar is a legalized territory of England and it greatly annoys the Moroccan authorities.

Morocco, the secrets of the Far West - Photo 2

Morocco, secrets of the far west

The country has been ruled by a king for centuries and Morocco is a monarchy. The royal power ensures stability and order in the country. Today Morocco is one of the most developed countries on the African continent. There are very strong Muslim traditions and customs, almost the entire population professes Islam.

Although the country is quite closed and there are many restrictions, unusual for Europeans, tourism is developing by leaps and bounds. On the sea coast created many resort areas with beautiful beaches, hotels, tourist facilities, which come to hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers from all European countries. There is a warm subtropical climate, nice sea water, the coastal part of the country is well greened with evergreen trees and palm trees. Tourists come here to enjoy the ancient palaces of Arabian sheikhs, mighty fortresses, minarets of mosques, picturesque coastal nature, dunes of Sahara desert, canyons and gorges of the Atlas Mountains.

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Casablanca, an ancient and beautiful city which the Spaniards once conquered, is the capital and the largest center of tourism in Morocco. European and Arabic architecture are well mixed in Casablanca and the city is an open-air museum. At the same time Casablanca is a rapidly developing business and industrial center. Modern buildings and skyscrapers are being built.

Morocco, the secrets of the Far West - Photo 3

Morocco, secrets of the far west

Lovers of true Arabian exoticism mixed with African customs should go to the city of Marrakech, the ancient Moroccan capital. Here tourists can see the real life of the citizens of Morocco, plunged into the unique atmosphere prevailing in the streets. Everywhere is a variety of oriental bazaars, endless holidays in the main squares, where the acts of various actors, circus performers, dancers and performers of dangerous stunts. The ancient center of Marrakech is surrounded by a strong fortress wall with towers, surrounded by many palm trees.

Tangier is the third largest city in Morocco and the most important seaport. The city is known for its fortresses, the bohemian atmosphere of the local waterfront and the ancient narrow streets. The picturesque coastline near the city is represented by many rocky headlands, sandy beaches and labyrinthine caves of Hercules.

Morocco, Secrets of the Far West - Photo 4

Morocco, secrets of the far west

It is certainly worth visiting the city of Rabat, the old center of Arab culture, Roman heritage and ancient monuments. Medina is the historic center of the city, known for the manufacture and sale of carpets. It is always full of people and there is a lively trade of all kinds of goods. Near Rabat are the best beaches in Morocco.

About this wonderful country we can talk for hours, so many interesting things. It is better to see the beauty of Morocco with your own eyes. This place must go without fail.

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