Morocco is a country that’s always been on my list since I started travelling. The friendly locals, beautiful scenery, long history of culture, and delicious food are just some of the things that make up the beauty of Morocco. I travelled through Morocco for about two weeks and I still wish I had enough time to see more. Luckily, these two weeks gave me the chance to see and experience some of the best things this beautiful country has to offer.
Note: I was not paid to promote any of these hotels or places and these are just personal recommendations of mine based on my experience.
Day 1: Casablanca
Casablanca (Arabic: الدار البيضاء), universally known as ‘Casa’, is the cosmopolitan, financial and industrial heart of Morocco. With a small, medina and a ville nouvelle that is really traffic congested, many travellers arriving via Casablanca airport may be tempted to take the first train out from the city to nearby Rabat. I’ve heard many stories about how Casablanca isn’t worth visiting at all before I arrived but I found this to be completely untrue when I got here. The awe-inspiring sights like the Hassan II Mosque and Old Medina are enough for you to spend a day there. I would personally not recommend spending more than a day there. Even though Casablanca is a beautiful city, one day is more than enough for you to explore all the different sights there and get moving to all the other amazing things and places Morocco has to offer.
I stayed at the Moroccan House Hotel, and I would recommend it. It is about ten mins walking from the Hassan II Mosque and the people working there will go out of their way to help you. You will also find a hilarious and friendly doorman who will give you tips and help you find your way around.
Day 2-3: Rabat
I travelled to Rabat (Arabic: الرِّبَاط ) the next day and the journey was about an hour and a half. Rabat is Morocco’s capital and is home to about 1.8 million people. I found Rabat to be the perfect mix between an history and modern life. Just taking a walk through the city’s closed quarters, you’re going to see families playing on the local beach, while a few minutes of walking inland, the beautiful white and blue house of the 12th century Kasbah wind their way from the ocean. Rabat is a place of old and modern: both welcoming and existing. Something I’ve noticed about Rabat is that there weren’t really many tourists there so this was awesome as well.
Day 4-5: Chefchaouen
The next stop was Chefchaouen (Arabic: شفشاون/الشاون). When I went there, I understood why millions of tourists visited this city every city. The city is an otherworldly getaway located in the Rif Mountains. Along with its unique palette of white and blue houses and buildings, the tourist town has a lot to offer as well. Trust me, just walking around the city and visiting the market there will be an experience you’ve never been through before, even if you’ve travelled to many places all over the world. You’ll also be amazed by the amounts of cats living in the city. I’d have to say they’re considered to be locals of the city as well!
I stayed at Hotel Madrid. Awesome place and really close to the city centre and market! The Wi-Fi works great as well and this is something I found to be lacking in the city.
Day 6-7: Fez
Fez (Arabic: فاس )is considered to be one of Morocco’s imperial cities and is famous for its ancient walled city. The city was definitely an experience for my senses. The city is a maze of narrow lanes and bazaars with aromatic drinks and food stands, mosques, carpentry and craft workshops. The old always collides with the new. You’ll find the man driving the donkey cart (Still considered to be a primary transportation form) chatting on his phone.
Many people and travellers warned me not to go to Fez because they had bad experiences there. The truth is that I didn’t have a single bad experience there, with the exception of a street seller running after me trying to forcefully selling me stuff but I find that to be normal and you’ll find it everywhere.
I stayed at Hotel Sofia and would recommend it. It’s clean and everyone there will go out of their way to help you. It is a bit far from all the attractions, but cabs in Morocco are cheap. There are many restaurants and cafes around the hotel as well.
Day 8: Midelt
Midelt (Arabic: ميدلت) is located between the Middle and High Atlas mountains, which makes it the perfect location to rest between Fez and the desert. If you’re travelling from the north, the landscape on the way offers spectacular views, especially of the High Atlas Mountains which suddenly appear out of nowhere.
Even though Midelt was just a one night stop on the way to the desert, I’ll have to say I’ve never met nicer people in my life. Taking a walk in the Berber village is a must and other than the amazing nature and landscapes, everyone there is just so kind and helpful. I was even lucky enough to get invited to one of the Berber’s houses and was offered bread and green tea. This is just one of the examples of Moroccan hospitality and how locals there are very welcoming to tourists.
I would recommend Hotel Kasbah Asmaa.
Day 9: Sahara Desert- Merzouga
Camping in the Sahara desert was one of the main reasons why I wanted to visit Morocco, and I’ll have to say it was worth it. Imagine lying on the desert floor, under a night sky full of thousands of stars, and feeling the night and morning breeze against your face as you tuck yourself into your sleeping bag.
I have been travelling for the past two years, and I must say that this is one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had throughout my travels.
Day 10: Ait Benhaddou
On the way to Ait Benhaddou (Arabic: آيت بن حدّو ) , make sure you stop at Gorge du Dades, a green valley next to the Dades River that flows through the valley, giving life to colourful fruit and extraordinary formations of red rocks. There isn’t much to do in Ait Benhaddou except if you love movies like me and you’re interested to see where they were filmed. This is where movies like Lawrence of Arabia and scenes from the famous show Game of thrones were filmed.
I recommend La Rose du Sable hotel in Ait Benhaddou.
Day 11-12: Essaouira
Essaouira (Arabic: الصويرة) is another popular and touristic city in Morocco. It stands out because of its fortified walls, seagulls soaring over the town, and peaceful fishing harbour. At first it could seem like this is a fishing town in France. I later on found out that the city was designed by a Frenchman who designed Saint-Malo, a popular port town in Brittany.
But once you enter the city’s walls, you’ll start noticing how infinitely Moroccan this town is. Narrow alleyways, spices’ aromas, beautiful women in veils, Essaouira has it all.
Hotel Miramar is an excellent choice. It’s right next to the beach, markets, and many restaurants and cafes.
Day 13-14: Marrakech
Marrakech (Arabic: مراكش) is probably the most visited city in Morocco and yes, the city can be as chaotic as it seems. The best thing to do is to take a deep breath and experience everything this beautiful city has to offer. This includes bargaining hard in souks, sampling different types of food (especially snails), visiting Yves Saint Laurent’s Majorelle Garden, or going to a traditional hammam. There is something for everyone in Marrakech.
Hotel Andalous. This was by the far the best hotel I’ve stayed at during my trip in Morocco. They even prepared complimentary breakfast and sent it to my room early in the morning because I was flying really early.