How to have an authentic experience in Morocco
Placed at the Western tip of North Africa, hugging both the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea with a mountain interior as rugged as its history of independence and the world’s greatest desert, The Kingdom of Morocco is indeed majestic. Add to that the spice of cosmopolitan cities with rich Arab and European cultural influences, and it’s little wonder that people refer to Morocco as one of Africa’s true gems.
However, with such a diverse range of experiences on offer guaranteed to exceed every expectation you may possibly have, with a thriving tourism industry to match, ensuring you have an authentic Moroccan experience can be a little tricky. That’s why we’ve pulled together some tips and tricks to ensure your trip to the amazing destination of Morocco is even more enjoyable.
Visiting Morocco at the right time of year
There are a couple of things to consider when working out what time of year to visit Morocco. As a predominantly Islamic country, the festival of Ramadan can be a fascinating time to look around, but finding a restaurant or café open can be a little tricky.
Of course, it’s important to think about the seasons, particularly as summers and winters in Morocco can be quite extreme. Spring and Autumns in Morocco are a wonderful time to visit, with a pleasant climate and a cooler climate ideal for walking and sightseeing.
It’s all about the shoes
Whether you’re visiting the stunning Hassan II mosque, situated on top of a rocky ocean bay beyond Casablanca’s Medina or old city, or taking a wonder in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco is best explored on foot. Sure, there’s always an opportunity to relax in a traditional hamman (steam bath) at the end of a long but interesting day of exploration, but without the aid of comfortable shoes, but sore feet are sore feet!
A tip about tips
As essential as tea (more about that in a minute!) is tipping. Whether you’re tipping a waiter or even one of the small boys who can help guide you out of the often confusing laneways in the older part of the city, having some small change readily available in your pocket often comes in handy.
Brewing and drinking tea isn’t only a tradition in other countries, in Morocco it’s a sign of hospitality and friendship. Don’t be surprised if the invitation is even offered by a shopkeeper! Together with the opportunity to witness an important part of this ancient culture, it’s preparation (or atai) may change slightly between regions but it is always undertaken with much theatre – oh, and a sitting can take up to half and hour, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the experience!
Of course, there are all kinds of tips only a local or regular visitor will instinctively know and can readily share. Having travelled the world extensively ourselves, at Southern Exposure Tours we love developing authentic experiences to share with others. And our Morocco tour is no different. From hiking in the Atlas Mountains, sleeping under the stars in the Sahara to exploring dynamic cities, we’re keen to share the magic of authentic Morocco with you on your next adventure.