Sunday, 14 April 2019

Imperial Cities of Morocco


I've had an amazing time in Morocco, but it's worth mentioning that it's not the safest country in the world and one needs to be more vigilant than you might be used to in Europe. A couple of recommendations I'd make in that connection:
  • Tell people you are travelling with (or your hotel reception if you decided to travel alone) where you are going if you're breaking away from the group, make sure your itinerary is known to family & friends back at home
  • Reconcile yourself with the fact that taking pictures might not always be possible. Moroccans don't like their pictures taken (see below) and if they let you, be prepared to pay (esp. if it's in a touristy place like Jemaa el-Fnaa). People might get outright aggressive if you try to skip paying. Have a couple of coins of a small denomination in your pocket to 'buy them off' without flashing all your cash in frong of strangers. 

Day 1-2 : Casablanca to Rabat


Casablanca - an old pirate lair and Morocco's economic capital today.

Mohamed V Square

Enjoy the wonderful art-deco architecture of the city centre and around Mohamed V Square (aka “pigeon square” 🐦)

Central Market 

The grand Hassan II Mosque 🕌


Rabat - Morocco's administrative capital, is definitely more than just that. 

Hassan Tower & Mohamed V Mausoleum

Visit Rabat’s most famous landmark, 44m Le Tour Hassan (Hassan Tower) and the nearby Mohamed V Mausoleum

Oudaya Kasbah

Don't miss one of the biggest highlights of the trip to Casablanca - a walk through the picturesque narrow alleys between whitewashed houses of the Oudaya Kasbah!

Day 3 : Meknès & Volubilis


Started the day in the ancient Roman city & UNESCO world heritage site, Volubilis (AD40) - home to some of the most impressive (& best preserved) Roman ruins in North Africa. 


Continue the journey to Meknès - a Berber town, formerly the capital of Morocco during the reign of Moulay Ismail. Today the town is known for its Place el-Hedim, the heart of the Meknès medina, and home to the huge gate of Bab el-Mansour, the grandest of all imperial Moroccan gateways.

Day 4-5: Fez 

University of Karueein

Delve into the fascinating history of mediaeval Fèz, which is home to the world’s first university (University of Karueein, 859 AD).

Fès el-Bali (Old Fez) 

Fès el-Bali (Old Fez) is the world’s largest living Islamic medieval city and the biggest car-free urban environment on the planet. Confuse your senses in the cacophony of noise surrounding the heady alleyways of Medieval Medina, home to tanneries, carpet shops and local restaurants.

Blue Ceramics


Wander of a labyrinth of souks, mosques and spice filled streets.


😲DID YOU KNOW? 😲 how leather is coloured in Moroccan tanneries?
The rawhides are first put into pits filled with cow urine (!) water & salt. This helps remove flesh & fur and breaks down the tougher leather. After 3 days of soaking, excess fat and fur are scraped away. The hides are then moved into other vats filled with pigeon poo 🐦💩 (!) and water. Blew my mind! 🤯😳

Day 6: Marrakech

Koutoubia Mosque

  • Admire Koutoubia Mosque’s iconic minaret

Bahia Palace

  • Wondered at the intricate Arabic craftsmanship at the Bahia Palace

Jardin Majorelle
  • Explore the ‘haute couture’ garden of Jardin Majorelle and the stylish Musée Yves Saint Laurent 

Musée Yves Saint Laurent


Jemaa El-Fna
  • Taste the 'real Morocco' at the lively souks around the Jemaa El-Fna square and bargain over a Berber rug that you have no intention of buying.

Comptoir Darna

Day 7: Marrakech

Dromedary ride

  • Started the day with a dromedary 🐪 ride (they'll be offended if you call them 'camels') 

“Le Jardin Secret”

  • Feel like you've been ‘let in on a secret’ @ “Le Jardin Secret”


  • Be ‘reborn’ after a Hammam & scrub with black olive soap at the “Fatnatchi Spa

Le Maison Fotografie

  • Listen to “adhan” (‘call to worship’) & watch the sunset from the rooftop of “Le Maison Fotografie

Le Trou Au Mur

  • Have dinner at a hole-in-the-wall” restaurant (well, I took it a tad too literally this time around and went to a place called “Le Trou Au Mur”)

Djemaa el-Fna

  • Spend the rest of the night amid the storytellers at Djemaa el-Fna