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Morocco Guide

History and geography of Morocco

Its location at the intersection of Europe and Africa make Morocco a real crossroads bordered by the waters of the Mediterranean and open to the vast stretches of the Atlantic Ocean. This "farthest land of the setting sun" is rich in contrasts, a destination that beckons you to discover two millennia of history.

Here where influences converge, you will find vestiges of the great Mediterranean civilizations, such as the Roman ruins at Volubilis in the north and architectural works attesting to the old French presence in Rabat. Your curiosity will be piqued by the treasures of Muslim civilizations scattered throughout the rest of the country, including the Kasbah of the Udayas, the green expanses of the Menara gardens and many other examples of the myriad dynasties that succeeded one another.

The landscapes themselves are magnificent. Morocco features both sea and mountain and is home to the full range of Mediterranean climates, which surrender to the sands of the Sahara. The country serves up marvelous vistas that you will enjoy soaking in and discovering for yourself. With its mix of diverse, captivating panoramas and a rich kaleidoscope of culture, Morocco is an unbeatable destination.

Modern Society

A modern society focused on the future

Through rooted in its traditions, Morocco offers all the conveniences of modern times

Morocco is a firmly future-focused country that has succeeded in preserving its traditions and promoting its cultural heritage by harnessing them to drive development. The city of Marrakesh is a perfect example: the Medina district and its souks have an unmatched old-fashioned charm, while Guéliz and Hivernage are decked out with the most modern infrastructure and facilities. Far from being in conflict, modernity and tradition together are what makes Morocco strong.

As a visitor, you will enjoy every modern convenience and pleasure. For your accommodations, Morocco is full of hotels in every price range from the major international chains. Plus it also has the biggest international ready-to-wear shops, which are taking advantage of the ideal opportunity for positioning in a fast developing country.

Morocco is striving to avoid the pitfalls of modern life, especially when it comes to the environment, by favoring tourism practices that are respectful of the Earth and local communities. As the author of a sustainable tourism charter and host of COP22, Morocco is on the front lines to preserve our planet.

Art of living and cultural traditions in Morocco

Tradition is alive and well

Morocco has been around for thousands of years and has inherited centuries of tradition. And yet this kingdom is not the least bit frozen in time. It has a vibrant culture that is expressed each day in the little details that make up daily routines and habits, as well as in celebrations and rituals. Spend some time here and soak up Morocco's irresistible lifestyle.

The best approach is to walk through her cities and villages and experience the narrow alleys of ancient neighborhoods. This brings you close to the people: talk to them! They are certain to invite you to have a cup of Moroccan tea, a time-honored ritual of hospitality and ceremony.

You should also experience day-to-day life. Morocco and its inhabitants espouse an enviable Mediterranean lifestyle that has been recognized by UNESCO. This lifestyle comprises practices, foods and symbols that bring pleasure to every day and are sure to captivate you as well.

The kingdom loves its celebrations, which punctuate the calendar. One of the types of events that bring Moroccans together are its famous moussems, festive religious events. Do not miss the Tan-Tan moussem, which is especially well known and has been listed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage register since 2008. The Essaouira Gnaouas festival is also highly recommended. These gatherings are opportunities for you to interact with and immerse yourself in the different cultures that make Morocco such a rich, diverse country.

This is but a glimpse of the myriad cultures that still thrive in Morocco. Work your way across the country and get to know these treasures of Morocco's intangible cultural heritage. 

Eco-friendly,

fair and sustainable tourism in Morocco

Morocco offers up a vast variety of landscapes, ranging from beaches to mountains to desert to urban jungle. It is also a country where this diversity is matched by a real commitment to environmental principles.

Since the creation of the Moroccan Responsible Tourism Charter and the Moroccan Sustainable Tourism Awards, the country has been committed to ensuring its tourism industry is eco-friendly and sustainable with a series of standards. Each year, a growing number of businesses and tourist destinations in the country are recognized for their environmental responsibility.

To date, 13 Moroccan beaches have been awarded the Pavillon Bleu distinction. There are also many hotel and lodging facilities throughout the country that have earned the Green Key. All these eco-labels aim to highlight the environmental efforts of their owners.

When it comes to Energy, Morocco is also a stand-out with its high-profile Noor Power Station, the world's seventh thermodynamic solar power plant. This is a major public works project—though it is first and foremost Moroccan, it is also a world effort in terms of expanding the use of renewable energy.

All these environmentally conscious efforts earned the city of Marrakesh the privilege of being chosen to host COP 22 in November 2016, another major challenge for the planet's environment.

Casablanca, the energy of modernity

The sparkle of Casablanca

From the major thoroughfares lined with palm trees and tall office buildings to the Atlantic Ocean and its view on the world, Casablanca is Morocco's economic powerhouse. This vibrant city is always on the qui vive.

Modern constructions blend with charming neighborhoods that reflect Arabic-Islamic heritage and the traces of the city’s colonial period. Take the time to explore its subtleties. Walk through the medina – oneof the most recent in Morocco. Stroll through downtown to admire the Art Deco buildings and visit the Hassan II Mosque

 

Head and legs

By sea or by land, wear yourself out in Casablanca

As one would expect from a dynamic, bustling urban area, Casablanca is alto a sports-minded city. Whether you pick the ocean or terra firma, there are plenty of places and ways to indulge your passion or explore a new activity.

Golf is as popular in the White City as it is elsewhere in the country. There are several golf courses around town where you can work on your swing. With courses designed by well-renowned architects like David Cohen and Olivier Dongradi, they serve up difficult obstacles and challenges against enchanting backdrops.

Casablanca has an abundance of water sports as well. The Atlantic Ocean is especially well suited to surfing, windsurfing and jet skiing; if you like any of these sports, you will be in seventh heaven.

Are you more of an explorer? Then turn your attention to marine life. There are many diving schools along the coast where you can learn to navigate the underwater world.

Sport fishing is yet another possibility. The waters around Casablanca are abundant in fish and promise a good haul for both novice and experienced fishermen.

In the White City, your sporting activities are only limited by your imagination. So get out and enjoy them during your trip. 

From the souk to the luxury boutique

Handiwork that embodies authenticity and modernity

Casablanca, the country's economic engine, is equipped with ultra-modern infrastructure and is home to fast-growing corporations. However, the city has not turned its back on tradition; in fact, it holds Morocco's ancient know-how in very high esteem.

Just step into the medina, where you will meet authentic artisans concentrating on their work. Walk into the Habous district, the most animated part of the old city. Here you will find an entire souk devoted to copper: from the workshops of the coppersmiths to the stalls that sell their wares, the lights, trays and teapots are all festooned with arabesques.

The stands abound in Moroccan pastries. Ornamental leather work is also a mainstay: babouche slippers, handbags and poufs are all made to satisfy your souvenir needs.

Casablanca is also known for haute couture. The city is famous for the elegant caftans turned out by young designers, whose capacity for inspiration and reinvention never flags. These creations are featured at the Casa Fashion Show and, more prominently still, in Marrakesh at the annual Caftans of Morocco event, which has been held more than a few times in fashion capitals like Milan and Los Angeles. The renown of these fashion staples extends beyond Morocco's borders: fans like Angelina Jolie, Rihanna and Alicia Keys have shown public love for our caftans.

"Made in Casa" still makes an impression! Authentic handiwork happily coexists with modern reinterpretations.

 

Your luxury shopping break

Casablanca is a shopping capital!

The most active city in Morocco is a slice of heaven for anyone who loves shopping: its cutting-edge infrastructure, boutiques and shopping centers make it the retail capital of the kingdom.

Enjoy downtown Casablanca. Its easily accessible, decongested shopping districts have the most famous retail chains and the biggest brands in ready-to-wear, jewelry and cosmetics. There is no shortage of shops!

Elsewhere in the city, malls provide even more opportunities to shop ‘til you drop. One such example is the Morocco Mall, whose 750,000 ft² make it the biggest shopping center in Europe. It harbors 600 brands in a friendly setting that rivals any international shopping destination. In addition to retail outlets, it features a musical fountain, aquarium and 3D movie theater.

The Anfa Place shopping mall is equally appealing. Perched on Casablanca's coast road, it has 90 outlets that represent national and international fashion, recreation, restaurant and service brands.

Think you will need a break after all this shopping? Then make your way to Arab League Park. Stroll along the shaded paths of the city's most beautiful park or sip a mint tea in a gorgeous, captivating setting before you hit the street again in search of good deals.

At the Crossroads of Cultures

Cosmopolitan Casablanca

Casablanca is an enigma for historians. Whiles its origins are shrouded in the mysteries of time, the neighborhoods that shape it and the monuments that define it have much to say about vast swaths of its history.

When you explore the port, check out the Sqala Bastion, a fortified complex from the 18th century that is now a chic restaurant-cafe where diners flock to enjoy delicious local dishes. Venture a stone's throw from the port into the narrow streets of the medina. It was rebuilt after the 1755 earthquake, which makes it the newest medina in the country, as well as one of its most original: within its walls, Arabic-Islamic architecture mixes with European inspiration. In the midst of this eclectic esthetic, artisans still bring life to the district with their daily labors.

An entirely different setting awaits you downtown. Here, the unique urban design, the wide boulevards and the expansive plazas bordered by Art Deco buildings evoke the former colonial occupation.

Of course, no visitor should miss the solemn Hassan II Mosque on the ocean shore; it is one of the biggest and most beautiful mosques in the Muslim world. Walk over the threshold and marvel at the interior decor featuring precious woods, marble and onyx. Look at the pillars and ceilings and admire the symmetry of their arabesques and zelliges. Everywhere you look there are scrolls and embellished doors. It is a wonder.

Meandering through Casablanca, the White City, takes you on a journey through time and space that introduces you to a place shaped by myriad influences.

 

The Moroccan dolce vita

Activities abound in Casablanca

Casablanca is a well-designed modern city with all the conveniences you can think of: comfortable hotels, a multi-mode transportation system with great coverage and comprehensive infrastructure. But, above all, this is a great place to experience life. The city buzzes with curiosity and offers year-round entertainment.

Come enjoy its slate of cultural events, which is one of the most jam-packed in the country! National and international stars perform at the various festivals, concerts, shows and other cultural happenings. The best-known events are the Jazzablanca Festival, Boulevard Tremplin and the Casablanca Festival.

The city's energy radiates throughout the whole region. Casablanca is a can't-miss destination for party people in search of a good time! Clubs and restaurants pulse with trendy music to keep you dancing all night long!

Casablanca embodies a lifestyle, where tangible and intangible culture are equally important. Get carried away by its inviting, energetic atmosphere and taste for exploration!

A large seaside resort

Casablanca, a city on the ocean

Casablanca, the effervescent economic capital of the Kingdom of Morocco, makes the most of the beautiful coastline, which is a great place to relax after a long day of work or cultural explorations.

The city is rich in heritage and modern infrastructure, whose variety ensures a full range of delightful moments on impeccably well-developed beaches. In the heart of the city, the Ain Diab coast road is home to recreational complexes that combine private beaches with water parks and fitness centers for a full complement of activities. The Ain Diab beach is well equipped with jet skiing and windsurfing options, but you can also come just for the pleasure of soaking up the sun in a lounge chair. The long, beautiful coast road is punctuated with cafés, restaurants and clubs where you can grab a meal during the day and thrill to the Casablanca scene by night.

A few miles from the city, you will find other seaside resort towns where you can head for recreation. Check out Dar Bouazza, where private, fine sandy beaches and lounge chairs compel you to relax. Or get a taste of Bouznika, whose fantastic hotel complex, Bouznika Bay, offers all the modern conveniences, plus a golf course where you can work on your swing.

The Casablanca coast was made for fun and relaxation: it has all the facilities you need to entertain yourself or just recharge your batteries.