As a European Trip Leader, when driving around Europe I am constantly using the phrase “This country is so diverse” and granted, so much of Europe is diverse but when it comes to Morocco, never has a truer phrase been used.
During my epic Morocco Explorer trip I was waist deep in snow, riding camels through a desert, swerving through rocky gorges and driving through huge cedar forests, and that was in just 48 hours. There were countless moments I found myself comparing sights and towns to other places I’ve visited in the past. The difference is, Morocco is cheaper, friendlier, more authentic and oozing with a beautiful sassy sense of humour.
So the question is, why travel the world when you can just go to Morocco?
Roman Ruins to give Rome a run for its lira.
Our of all the places to learn about the Roman Empire who would’ve thought Morocco? Head to Volubilis and find beautiful Roman village set amongst a mountainous wilderness. Openly stroll through the ruins of temples, villas, olive presses and through an impeccably preserved triumphal arch (For history nerds, I would be eager to hear of any other arches that you’re actually able to walk through). The largest villa has a clearly marked floor plan, meaning you can actually follow the route of Roman nobles or humble servants admiring immaculate floor mosaic rivalled only by The Vatican City.
Alpine villages that put Austria to shame.
Skiing in Europe can be a costly event but not in Morocco. Yes, you can ski in Morocco and picturesque villages like Ifrane make the perfect base to build snowmen, toboggan or journey to the ski fields or just drink hot chocolate milk.
Santorini wishes it were this cute.
Cruise ships and sunset hunters flood to Santorini in thousands, so much so the city is about ready to put a cap on visitors. Skip the crowds and just come to Rabat and slink through the Kasbah. These tiny blue and white washed little alleyways are lined with colourful plant pots, sleepy cats and orange juice carts. Every now and again you’ll fall across sun drenched view point cafés of the Atlantic serving sticky honeyed pastries and mint tea.
Leather so soft and fresh it’s got Florence blushing.
Florence is often thought of as the home of leather, piiiiish, check out Fez. If you were every unsure about where your leather comes from, a stroll to the largest tannery in Africa will remind you. A fistful of mint leaves mask the horrific smell of the giant bowls of bright leather dye and stripping soup giving you more time to breathe in the super cheap prices. If you want to get amongst the action a smile and a small Dirham tip will convince a local tanner to proudly show you around their workplace.
The cute and polite monkeys Thailand wishes it had.
I love monkeys, who doesn’t? What I don’t like are the Thai temples laden with screeching little grabbers eager to dig into your pockets and chase you for food, or worse (rightly so) get angry when idiot tourist tease them with food leading to monkey bites and trips to the rabies doctor. Stick to the cedar forests of the Atlas Mountains and you’ll see trees of cute, calm little fur buckets. Hold out oranges, peel or nuts and they’ll sniff slowly up to you and happily take your offerings.
If you’ve never ventured to Morocco before, I hope that you’ll add it to your bucket list soon. Moroccan’s call their land the ‘Heaven and Earth country’ because you’ll find everything you need from Earth and everything that you’ll want from Heaven.