Morocco: Where Old Meets New
Morocco is a regal, magical country in Northeast Africa. It has gorgeous coastline on both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Whether you're interested in history, cultural exploration, or relaxation, you can use the Internet to discover the country and create your ideal vacation.
Morocco has a rich culture steeped in ancient history, and many tourist activities involve simply witnessing daily life, whether in the country, or in town. Moroccan cities are things of beauty unto themselves, and the marketplaces alone are worth the trip. Use these resource to discover the parts of Morocco you'd most like to visit.
- Part of Morocco's allure has always been its ancient, mystical feeling-but that could be changing, to a degree. In Fez, for example, celebrities fly in for parties, while outside the city's centuries-old walls, restaurants and Western tourists are ubiquitous. See this New York Times travel article describing the scene in Morocco just one year ago; you may get a better understanding of what to expect from your trip.
- Visiting a souk—a Moroccan market—is an essential activity to include in your itinerary. These somewhat circus-like daily markets present innumerable items, such as brass goods, meat, rugs, spices, and perfumes. You can haggle your way from one merchant to another, or stroll through, sipping a sweet mint tea. TravelLady Magazine gives an overview of the souk experience, with tips for what to look for, how to pay, and where to find souks in Morocco.
- Web sites of tour companies may be a useful introduction to Morocco's tourism possibilities, even if you don't plan to book a tour. In addition, most tourism sites offer beautiful images that give you a sense of Morocco and its regions.
For an overviewof Morocco ...
is the site of the country's official tourism office, offering a pleasant introduction to places to see and things to do. Go to the dropdown menu for "Destinations" for brief descriptions of Moroccan cities; "Experiences" for activities and specific interests like hiking and gastronomy; "Attractions" for geographical features and sites to visit, such as beaches and art galleries; and "Organizing Your Trip" for practical advice and tools to help you book a trip. The beautiful images on this site will undoubtedly pique your excitement and curiosity about the beautiful country.
The U.S. Department of State
includes "Background Notes" for every country. You'll find facts, statistics, and a good general introduction to Morocco on this link. Peruse the site further for statistical information, such as population breakdowns, as well as detailed information about Morocco's government, educational policies, economy, and history.
's Morocco page contains links to broad categories, such as transportation, business, geography, history, and culture. Within the broad categories are subtopics that lead to short, focused information. This site makes finding specific information fast and easy, although the descriptions are not extensive.
provides a wealth of information most anyone headed for Morocco would find useful. Check out the "fast facts" tab on the top of the page for everything from the country's capital to the type of electrical outlets found there. The image gallery is beautiful, and the "Events" link can help you plan your experience around traditional cultural events.
provides detailed information about Moroccan history, geography, climate and culture. It also details some basic sites to see in Morocco. Tourist destinations described include major cities and their attractions, the Atlas Mountains and spectacular summits, and the Sahara.
The New York Times Travel
section includes a guide to Morocco, complete with archived articles touting various destinations and attractions in the country, as well as multimedia features, such as photo slideshows and a breathtaking interactive journey into the Atlas Mountains.
provides extensive information to help you learn more about Morocco and available options for booking your trip. There is a thorough mix of accommodation options, cultural information, and details of attractions, destinations, festivals and events, and even wildlife. Asia Rooms is part of TUI Travel PLC, a U.K.-based international leisure travel group, and invites feedback from users regarding hotels.
For package tours ...
is a general booking site, offering tours and a wide range of options for Moroccan tours at various price points. It's a great site for comparing prices and itineraries of many tour companies in one, easy-to-navigate place.
organizes tours according to special interests. Examples of types of tours offered at this site include arts and culture, outdoor adventures, and Jewish heritage.
Ya'lla Tours USA
offers tours throughout Morocco. This link from the company's Web site gives a great overview of the country's present and past, including descriptions of Morocco's ever-changing geographical and political landscapes. While here, you might consider some tour options. You can sign up for a tour, or use the site to explore Morocco's attractions.
Morocco is an African country but, because of its proximity to Europe and occupations by various European countries, Morocco also has a European air. Moroccan culture today is very much reflective of its complex, fascinating past. Before you go, get familiar with the history and local customs. Combine cultural knowledge with advice and information from government sites, so that you'll be prepared for your trip in every possible way.
- If you receive an invitation to someone's home while in Morocco, keep in mind that it is customary to bring a small gift. It is also customary to take your shoes off when entering a home. The Web sites highlighted in the sections below offer more cultural insights for you to keep in mind during your travels.
- In some places in Morocco, particularly in smaller villages, there are considerations for women regarding dress. You can find more information in the customs- and culture-related sites below.
- Because Morocco is an Islamic country, traveling there during Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim calendar) can be a unique experience. Most restaurants and stores close during the day, with some reopening after sundown and staying open until later in the evening. If you plan to travel during Ramadan, be sure to do some thorough research on what to expect.
- The U.S. Department of State urges travelers to consult with their medical insurance provider before leaving for Morocco to confirm whether their policy is applicable overseas.
For the history of Morocco ...
provides an outline of key events in the history of Morocco, beginning with Arab invasions in the seventh century, and continuing through today. Entries in the timeline are brief but informative, giving a basic understanding of how Morocco has changed over the years.
provides a more detailed look into Moroccan history, from early tribes, to religious influences, through inclusion in the United Nations in the 1950s. Although text-only, this site organizes information clearly and efficiently (see "Major Events," halfway down the page), despite Google ad cluttering the top of the page.
To learn about local customs and culture ...
provides a comprehensive yet focused overview on the most important things to know about Moroccan culture for travelers. This page offers insights on a wide range of topics. Visit the "Culture
" section for important information on customs and cultural practices. Note that there are many Google ads at the top of most pages, which you must scroll past to get to the information.
provides a good overview of Moroccan customs and culture. This page addresses issues such as traveling considerations for women, and visiting Morocco during Ramadan. Browse through some of the other tabs at the top of the page for information about Moroccan culture and geography.
Encyclopedia Britannica Online
offers good insight into Moroccan culture and what to expect while visiting. The page focuses mostly on daily life and social culture, including local entertainment and popular cuisine. EB offers a free 30-day trial, after which an annual subscription rate of $69.95 kicks in.
Colorado State University
provides information on the Muslim holiday of Ramadan. If you are planning to travel in the fall, it is a good idea to learn more about Ramadan, its significance, and its implications for travelers.
For official documents, safety and security, and government warnings ...
U.S. Department of State
provides consular information sheets for all countries. They provide detailed information about entry and exit requirements, crime statistics, traffic conditions, and general safety and security issues. The menu located in the left sidebar takes you back to the State Department's International Travel page
, where you'll find more advice for obtaining a passport, registering with embassies, and general tips for traveling abroad.
In this section you'll find advice for booking your flight, along with innovative flight search tools. Use the fun, fast features we've found to enhance your travel-planning process. This section of the guide helps you book travel to Morocco by air, land, or sea.
- Flights to Morocco fill up early, so book your flight at least two months in advance to ensure getting a seat, particularly if you are traveling during the December holidays.
- Flying through Europe can be a good way to keep travel costs down. Search for flights through London, Paris, Amsterdam, or Madrid using the Web sites and search engines listed below.
- Booking flights through more than one carrier is another good money-saver, particularly if you are willing to fly through Europe. Use search engines like Orbitz and Travelocity to search multiple carriers simultaneously.
- Find more general travel search engines in the findingDulcinea Travel Guide. Depending on the type of trip you're planning, you might also find some helpful resources in the findingDulcinea Adventure Travel, Budget Travel, or Luxury Travel Guides.
- As the country becomes an increasingly popular destination for tourists from the United States, more and more airlines offer direct flights to Morocco, including flights into Casablanca, Tangier, Agadir, and Marrakesh. Major carriers that offer flights to Morocco include Continental, American, and United. Morocco's airline, Royal Air Maroc, offers nonstop flights to major cities in Morocco from U.S. cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta.
For air travel ...
Royal Air Maroc
, the official airline of Morocco, has nonstop flights to Moroccan cities from a few major U.S. locations. To read the site in English, click on "langue" at the top of the screen. A dropdown bar will let you choose "Francaise" or "Anglaise" (English).
offers many nonstop flights to Casablanca every day from major U.S. cities, including New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Los Angeles.
also offers many direct flights to Casablanca and other major cities in Morocco. Like the Web sites for most major air carriers, this Web site is easy to navigate.
's Web site is straightforward and easy to use, and although the number of flights Delta offers is limited, flexible travelers can often find good deals. Flights are available from the United States to several locations in Morocco, including Rabat, Agadir, and Tangier.
has a comprehensive, user-friendly Web site and offers many flights daily from U.S. cities, such as Atlanta, Boston, and Chicago, to Casablanca and Agadir in Morocco.
For travel from Europe ...
, a Spanish airline, offers several flights daily to Casablanca from Madrid and Barcelona. Because Spain is so close to Morocco, traveling through a Spanish city can be especially convenient and economical.
offers many flights daily from multiple locations in France, including Paris, Nice, and Montpellier, to Morocco. In addition to Casablanca, travelers can fly into Marrakesh, Agadir, or Rabat.
offers flights to Morocco from Berlin, and many other European cities. The airline offers flights to major Moroccan cities from Brussels, Copenhagen, and Budapest, among others.
To travel by land or sea ...
allows you to book ferry transportation to Morocco. Ferries depart multiple times daily from three different ports in Spain: Algeciras, Almería, and Tarifa. You can also browse hotel options provided by the site, which offer competitive rates to hotels throughout the country. Click your destination city to see what accommodations are available.
The Man in Seat Sixty-One
provides useful links on getting to Morocco by land or by sea. Links include ferry and train companies that operate out of various countries in Europe.
is a booking site that offers ferries from the Moroccan cities of Tangier and Assilah to Tarifa and Algeciras in Spain, as well as to Gibraltar.
allows travelers to search for and book train tickets from London to Morocco.
There are a few types of accommodations in Morocco, each with its own benefits. Hotels are the most popular option, ranging from budget spots to five-star resorts. Riads, luxurious homes built around gardens, can be more affordable than you'd expect. Camping is another alternative, and can be a great way to meet fellow travelers and locals while also saving money.
- Bargaining is part of the culture in Morocco. Always ask for a lower price when a room rate is quoted, particularly when booking a room in small, local hotels.
- Hotels can fill up quickly in large cities and popular destinations. It is not uncommon for hotels to try to place multiple groups in a room. It's a good idea to reserve rooms before leaving for Morocco.
- It always helps to check out other traveler's comments to gain insight into great places to stay. See the "What do other travelers think of Morocco?" section of this guide for sites that include user reviews of accommodations.
- Some riads rent single rooms, whereas others may be entirely rented out. Most include breakfast and cost less than $100 per night.
is easy to navigate and offers a wide variety of choices for hotels in Morocco. Hotels are searchable by region, and maps are provided.
provides detailed listings of hotels all over Morocco at various price points. Star rankings and images are also provided.
specializes in resorts and five-star hotels. Beautiful images and star rankings are provided, and travelers can easily search by city or by region.
There are many options for tourists when it comes to traversing Morocco. The country has an efficient rail system, for example. Renting a car can be similarly convenient, as many rental companies allow pick-up in one city and drop-off in another. Within cities buses and taxis are also readily available. Use the sites below to get familiar with transportation options so that your travels will be as hassle-free as possible once you arrive.
- If renting a car or booking a flight online, make sure the sight is secure before entering your payment information. You can do this by checking the URL on the site's payment page to make sure it begins with the letters "https." The "s" means the site is secure. Still, secure or not, if you don't trust a site completely, don't enter your personal information.
- Most of the travel Web sites listed here provide phone contact information. If you have any questions about the services offered, you can always call. Get some insider information by asking for travel tips and favorite spots when you call to ask about arranging travel.
- Bus and train travel in Morocco are safe and efficient, and can be great options for tourists looking to avoid the responsibility of car rental. The bus and train sites we've recommended below have more information.
- Be forewarned that most car-rental agencies require an international driver license. Also, keep in mind that traffic rules are different from those to which you may be accustomed, as most of the time they don't really apply. Morocco.com furnishes some rules for safe driving.
For car rental ...
Morocco Car Rental Guide
aids your car rental search and booking process with fast, easy-to-use tools. Select your city and dates for which you'll need a car, and you'll be presented with quotes from such well-known rental agencies as Avis, Budget, and Thrifty. Rates are kept low because of the company's affiliation with the Internet Travel Group. Pick-up is available from most Moroccan airports.
For domestic air travel ...
Royal Air Maroc
is the national airline of Morocco, offering flights to numerous cities in the country. You'll also find a special offers section with discounted flights, which the airline encourages you to check every day for price updates.
For rail or bus transportation ...
provides detailed information about bus travel in Morocco. The only bus company with an accessible Web site is ctm.com, but Asiarooms.com provides information on how to book travel with smaller bus companies once you arrive in Morocco.
is Morocco's national train company. The Web site is well organized and straightforward, but it is predominantly in French. There is a link at the top of the page for English translation.
Why travel blind? Thanks to the Internet, you can mine a wealth of information from those who know best: people who have traveled to Morocco. In this section, we'll introduce you to forums and blogs offering a wealth of information on Moroccan travel.
- Reading blog and forum posts might give you some useful tips that aren't covered on other travel sites, which are often sponsored by tour companies trying to sell packages.
- The postings on most travel forums aren't really categorized carefully. Look for forums with a search feature to help you to locate information quickly.
- Joining most forums is quick, easy, and free. Consider joining a forum so you can add to postings as you plan your trip and when you return to provide your good insight to future Moroccan tourists.
- As with any online community, it is important to be careful how much personal information you provide to strangers. Report suspicious behavior immediately. It's recommended that you pick a username that does not contain your last name or other identifying information.
For Morocco travel forums ...
is a site containing message boards from experienced travelers. There is a wide range of useful information on this site. Topics addressed include tipping, common phrases, and visiting during Ramadan. You can also find beautiful photos of accommodations here, and lists of hotels by type and city.
has forums on everything under the Moroccan sun. From the commonplace (favorite cities to explore) to the unusual (trekking the Atlas Mountains), there is a wealth of information here. You'll also find blogs
is well organized and has candid, helpful postings by tourists. These are good forums to frequent for tips on hotels and transportation. The site does have a search feature, so topics of interest can be located quickly.
posts letters submitted by readers offering advice on a variety of subjects, such as arranging travel and the best times of the year to visit Morocco. This site is well organized, and the information is practical.
For Morocco travel blogs ...
provides a wealth of photos and travel stories that should get travelers excited about their trip to Morocco. There are also many gems of travel wisdom tucked into the stories.
provides entertaining, helpful blogs, and photos. The site also has links for hotel reservations, car rental, and trip planners.
Most Recent Guides