Travel to Morocco and the Desert: Tips for Backpackers

My travel to Morocco 3 years ago was for me one of the most beautiful trips of my life among the North African countries. In a week we explored the coast of the Surfers Tamraght and Taghazout. We then got lost in the alleys of Marrakech. We crossed the Atlas Mountains. We followed the road of the Kasbahs with a stop in Ait Benhaddou, the filming location of many historical and adventure films. We stopped by an imposing Kasbah complex, to Zagora, from where we came to the desert on the back of a camel. On the way back we visited the fishing village Sidi R'bat once again in the Safranstadt Taliouine.

Morocco is like a land from 1001 night, predestined to travel and discover royal cities, Kasbahs, magnificent valleys and the sandy sea of the Sahara to the south! Unforgettable is the market of Jemaa el Fna in Marrakech with its jugglers and narrow streets. Then fascinating is the magnificent buildings with their oriental gardens which are lovingly maintained. What a contrast when we arrive at Saredrar gateway to the desert.

Here we start our trekking tour which leads us to the fantastic dunes of Foum Tiza, where we spend the New Year Eve. What a memorable end of the year! With our camels and our escort team, we walk through the fantastic panorama of the sand dunes back into civilization.

Afterward, the picturesque Ait Benhaddou and the Kasbahs await us on our journey through the famous valley of Dades. Embedded in the impressive landscapes we reach Marrakech and after the trekking and hiking days we enjoy our city hotel and let us show the treasures of Marrakech.

Travel with Oriental lavishness and leisure, and enjoy Maghreb culture, the unique cuisine, charming palaces, lush gardens and mysterious souks that make Morocco a wonderland for culture and pleasure travelers. The Maghrebinian culture lives from the combination of plants, the splendor of rich decorations and the lavish abundance of splendid gardens.

Meknès, the Unesco world heritage site, Fès, Rabat, and Marrakech are just a few splendid stations on a journey through Morocco. Marrakech is well worth a visit. The old royal town is renowned for the filigree architecture of its monuments and the richness of its art collections for its vibrant vibrancy, its colorful activity and traditional craftsmanship in the Soukhs.

What are the Morocco activities for tourists?

The camel ride through a small sand storm in the Sahara. Actually, everyone feasts on the sunset, but the color play in the Erg Chebbi is much more impressive in the two hours before sunset. There are so many different shades of brown and red that conjured up the slanting sun on the sand that I almost could not see anything else.

For me, the Oudaya-Kasbah in Rabat is still a symbol of the great diversity of this country. In the Oudaya-Kasbah all the houses are painted white and blue. Together with the noise of the sea and the salty smell of the wind, one can feel like standing on a Greek island.

Drive through the Draa Valley along the street of the Kasbah with a stopover in the Kasbah Othmane for a tea on the roof terrace and buy fresh figs on the road from street vendors.

The surf spots around the former fishing village in Taghazout about 20 km north of Agadir are among the best winter destinations for European surfers. There is something for every skill level. The time and hustle and bustle do not seem to matter in the place.

To observe the crowds of storks in Marrakech when they return to their nests in the evening.

In North Marocco, there is the labyrinthine old town of Fez to the blue village of Chefchaouen, to the relaxed Tetouan and to the end is the wilder Tangier.

Seven days by bike from South Morocco from the High Atlas via Telouet, Ait Benhaddou, Ouarzazate and the Dadès Gorge. Walk in the Dadès Gorge and then get invited by a local family to a glass of Berber whiskey. You should not miss an invitation to a Moroccan whiskey. We had dinner and stayed overnight with a Moroccan peasant family at Telouet.

Marrakech alone is worth a trip. There are the smells, the sounds, and the many impressions in the city. Everywhere there is life and noise. In the midst of this thoroughly red city, the Jardin Majorelle surprises with a symphony in white, blue and yellow buildings surrounded by cacti gardens. The Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech once belonged to Yves Saint Laurent. It is a small paradise. If you go very early, you can also enjoy it almost alone.

If you want to enjoy a bazaar, a Champions League evening in Marrakech is recommended.

On the trip from Casablanca to Marrakech, a lady was sitting in our compartment, who works as a tourist guide. So we got a lot of tips for our trip through Morocco and also a few insights into the life of the Moroccans.

The taxis from Marrakech to Taghazout and back were definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

Traditional Moroccan Food

I have eaten the best dates in Morocco that are juicy and sweet. Also, the Morocco food is very good. It often tastes salty-sweet. I am a big fan of the Tajine stew with lamb, plums, and almonds. The most delicious dishes are prepared in the clay oven. Tajine was originally made on a charcoal fire. The ingredients are braised in their own juice and are incredibly delicious. Do not miss it!

Morocco travel tips clothing

Dress warmly! I was in Morocco in November and had set myself for a very warm weather. While we had 30 ° C and sunshine in Marrakech, the Atlas Mountains was already cold. One day we had 12 ° C and rain but I was not prepared at all. I only had a light sweater and a jeans jacket for the cooler evenings. Take a warmer garment with you when you are on the road at this time of the year.

Morocco travel wallpaper images

What are the things you need to know about Morocco?

My most important tip is to be open for a very new culture and mentality. And you should always accept invitations from local people for a glass of peppermint tea. This is your chance to experience this beautiful country not only from a visitor's perspective but also get a bit deeper into the lives of the people there.

My second tip is to visit the desert! The orangery dunes of the Erg Chebbi Desert near Merzouga are absolutely magical. If possible, try to get a private tour with your personal guide and camel. The feeling for the expanse of the desert will be strengthened. Stay there in the desert in a Berber tent. One night is fine, but two nights is much better. Do not miss this extraordinary experience to sleep beneath the unique starry sky!

I was particularly impressed by the crossing of the Atlas Mountains from the road of the 1000 Kasbahs, where the Draa River winds its way through the palm-lined valley. Here you can always go past typical kasbahs and Ksars or the settlements of clay houses and should definitely stop. On the way, men always threw themselves almost before our car. This is the usual way to stop tourists and bring them 1,000 other things, said one of our hosts.

Enjoy the local food culture to the fullest! I have seldom eaten on trips. There is enough choice for vegetarians too. In Marrakesh, you should pay attention to the tourist trap. We were shown on the street a menu with interesting dishes and good prices. When we were in the restaurant, we were given however another card with much more expensive prices.

Do not plan too much time in Casablanca. There is not much to see and the city is not so exciting. You can visit Rick's Café from the Casablanca film. For the information, Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman were never there. The café was only opened in 2004. The film theater served as a template.

Do not let the salesmen persuade you in Marrakech. The sales attempts are quite annoying. At first, we were still trying to reject nicely. Somehow we went over to simply ignore the people. But do not worry. Outside the tourist centers, it is much more relaxed, and the people are really very nice.

The best travel time is between October and March. It is pleasantly warm. Get in touch with the country and the people and try the typical dishes of the country. Since the stay in Morocco, I have a tajine at my home and I am addicted to Moroccan mint tea.

The trade in the markets and souks is among the Moroccan people's popular sport. However, the traders in the souks can become obtrusive if you are traveling without a guide. There you will find shops with spices, clothing, shoes, lamps, ceramics, silverware or chameleons. I was overwhelmed by the colors and wanted to buy instantly Schnabel shoes, colorful ceramics, and a silver tea service.

For an excursion, you should also go to Paradise Valley near Agadir. In the natural pools at the end of the valley, you can escape from the heat of the day. Otherwise, you should adapt to the customs of Arab countries. The Moroccans are very open-minded and talkative.

From the Cafe Glacier on the roof terrace at night drink a freshly squeezed orange juice. And look down on the central market square Djemaa el Fna with its snake charmers, Moroccan henna artists, and jugglers.

If you want to escape the winter and want to immerse yourself in a whole new culture, here is the perfect destination. But it is also worthwhile to get out of the city and discover other sides of Morocco.

Couchsurfing in Morocco

I was so impressed with the Oriental hospitality that I was on my arm as a guest of my host family in Marrakech. A few phrases on Darija (Moroccan Arabic) will bring you a lot of sympathy points and many invitations.

Morocco is a fairytale land with enchanting palaces, lush gardens, and mysterious souks. The archaic looking clay architecture, snow-capped high mountains next to river oases as well as extremely hospitable people awaits you. Splendid mirrors of Moorish architecture are present in the royal cities, whose filigree architectural beauty is an unforgettable experience. It decisively sparked my fascination for the Orient.

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