You can get from Spain by ferry to Morocco in just one hour, however, it seems that you are coming to some completely different world. This world is dominated by Islamic culture and traditions, where, despite the cosmopolitan cities of Rabat and Casablanca, everything is reminiscent of the distant past. In turn, Fez is considered the most beautiful Arab city. In addition, there are many seaside resorts in Morocco on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
Geography of Morocco
Morocco is located in North Africa. In the north, Morocco borders with Spain (a water border through the Strait of Gibraltar and a land border with three Spanish exclaves), in the east with Algeria, and in the south with Mauritania (through Western Sahara, which is not a de facto state). In the north, the country is washed by the Mediterranean Sea, and in the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The total area of this state is 446,550 sq. km., and the total length of the state border is 2,017 km.
Most of Morocco is occupied by the Atlas Mountains, located mainly in the center and south of the country. The north is occupied by the Rif mountain range. In the south, the valleys gradually turn into desert. The highest local peak is Mount Jebel Toubkal, whose height reaches 4,165 meters.
According to allpubliclibraries.com, Rabat is the capital of Morocco. More than 1.8 million people now live in this city. Historians claim that there was once a small Punic town on the site of modern Rabat, which then expanded thanks to the ancient Romans.
Official language of Morocco
The two official languages are Arabic and Berber.
Almost the entire population is Muslim.
According to cancermatters.net, Morocco is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. The Moroccan king is a secular political leader and “commander of the faithful” as a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad. The King presides over the Council of Ministers and appoints the Prime Minister from the political party that won the most seats in Parliament in the elections. In addition, the King, on the advice of the Prime Minister, appoints the members of the government.
The bicameral Moroccan Parliament consists of the Assembly of Representatives of Morocco and the Assembly of Councilors.
Administratively, the country is divided into 16 regions, which in turn are divided into 62 provinces and prefectures.
Climate and weather
The climate on the northern coast and on the central plateau is Mediterranean. On the Atlantic coast, it is noticeably cooler in winter. In the Atlas Mountains, the climate depends on the altitude. In the south, where the Sahara is located, the climate is desert.
You can visit Morocco all year round. The peak of the beach season falls on July-August.
Seas and oceans in Morocco
In the north, the country is washed by the Mediterranean Sea, and in the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The length of the coastline is 1,835 km. The average water temperature near the coast in January-March is +17C, and in July-September – +23C.
Rivers and lakes
The Muluya River (520 km) flows through the territory of the eastern part of Morocco, flowing into the Mediterranean Sea, and in the north of the country, the Cebu River (458 km), flowing into the Atlantic Ocean.
History of Morocco
Moroccan history goes back many thousands of years. The first people on the territory of this country, as archaeologists have proven, lived more than 75,000 years ago. In the modern era, people began to settle in Morocco around 5000 BC. The ancestors of the Berbers arrived there around 3000 BC.
Around 800 BC. the Phoenicians arrived there, and this radically changed the history of this country. A few centuries later, Morocco became an integral part of one of the colonies of Ancient Rome.
In the 6th-7th centuries. AD Arabs appear in Morocco, bringing Islam with them. Part of the Berbers was forced to convert to Islam. After the Arabs were ousted from Spain, the Portuguese appeared on Moroccan soil, making this country their colony for a long time. In the 1800s, France and Spain began to show great interest in Morocco.
Now Morocco is an independent state headed by a king. It is a member of the UN and the Arab League.
For Moroccans, honor and dignity are very important concepts. For them, these are not just words. The inhabitants of this country value not only their reputation, but also the reputation of the family. The worst thing that can be for a Moroccan is to dishonor himself and his family.
It is difficult for Moroccans to understand when a foreigner travels alone, without his wife, children, brother or sister, as family is very important to them.
According to Islamic law, any man in Morocco can have up to 4 wives, providing equally for each of them. However, the economic reality in the country is that polygamy is rare.
In Morocco, a large number of holidays are celebrated every year, almost all of them are religious (Islamic) or folklore in nature. The most important of these are Ramadan, Eid al-Sagira, the Marrakech Folk Arts Festival, the Rose Festival in el-Kela M’Guna, the Cherry Festival in Sefrou, the Camel Festival in Gulimine and the Equestrian Festival in Tisza.
Cuisine of Morocco
The formation of Moroccan cuisine was influenced by the culinary traditions of the Mediterranean, Arabs, Jews, Persians, West Africans and Berbers. One can only imagine what the result was a kitchen.
Traditional Moroccan dishes – “Tagines” (a fragrant stew of meat, vegetables or fish), “Harira” (spicy tomato soup), “Pastilla” (meat pie made from puff pastry with cinnamon and sugar), “Couscous” (dishes with semolina and with meat and vegetables), “Tajine” (a fragrant stew with onions, olives, almonds, tomatoes, herbs or dried fruits), “Mechoui” (baked stuffed beef or lamb).
Traditional non-alcoholic drinks are “mint tea” (it is often called “Berber whiskey”), coffee.
It should be remembered that Morocco is a Muslim country, however, for tourists, the laws in this regard are liberal. Local beer and wine are sold at a very affordable price.
Sights of Morocco
In relatively small Morocco, a huge number of various attractions have been preserved. In every Moroccan city, tourists have something to see. So, in Rabat, for example, this is the Hassan Tower, which began to be built back in the 12th century.
In Rabat, we also recommend tourists to see the ancient fortress of Kasbah Udaya, the Grand Mosque, the mosques of Moulay el-Mekka, Al-Fas, the Shellah necropolis, the Royal Palace and much more.
In Casablanca and its environs, the main attractions are the markets, the Great Mosque of Hassan II, the Shleh Mosque, the residence of the Pasha Mahacma du Pasha, the Sacré Coeur Cathedral, the ruins of the city of Anfa.
In Marrakesh, tourists will definitely be interested in local markets, the Koutoubia Mosque, the mausoleum of Yusuf bin Tashfin, the Mosque of the Golden Apples, the ruins of the El Badi Palace, the Muasin Fountain, the Dar El Makhzen Palace, the Muasin Mosque, the mausoleum of Sidi al-Suheili…
In Fes, the religious capital of Morocco, we recommend paying attention to the summer palace of the king, the Bab Dekaken gate, the Moulay Idris mosque, the Bou Inanya madrasah, the Ghazlean mosque, the Attarin madrasah, the Karaouin mosque, the Tsetaunin caravanserai, the Dar Batha palace and on Andalusian mosque.
Cities and resorts
The largest cities are Casablanca, Rabat, Fez, Marrakesh, Tangier, Menes and Agadir.
The country is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Near the cities, the beaches have a well-developed recreation infrastructure. However, there are hundreds of secluded beaches where nature has remained completely untouched. The beaches of the Atlantic coast will, of course, be of interest to lovers of water sports, especially surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.
On the Mediterranean coast, the beaches are more secluded, the water is warm and calm. In recent years, new seaside resorts have begun to appear there, for example, Tamuda Bay.
The most famous Moroccan beach resorts are Agadir, Casablanca and Essaouira. A big plus of these resorts is that there are a lot of ancient sights (mosques, fortresses, palaces, etc.).
Moroccan markets often result in tourists heading home with an extra suitcase filled with souvenirs. We bring to your attention a list of the 10 best souvenirs that you can buy in this country:
- Carpets. In Morocco, there are two types of carpets – made in the city and Berber. Urban carpets are usually made near Rabat, while Berber carpets are made in rural areas by the Berbers. Usually, Berber carpets are thinner than those made in the city. We recommend buying Berber carpets in women’s cooperatives.
- Moroccan tea service. Tea drinking is a national Moroccan treasure. This is a real ceremony and tradition. You can buy silver plated teapots and a few cups in any big city.
- Women’s belly dance costume.
- Wood products (caskets, vases, chess).
- Musical instruments (for example, Moroccan oud and several types of drums).
- Henna paint (we recommend buying in Suka).
- Leather goods – Moroccan slippers, wallets, etc. (we recommend buying in Fez).
- Ceramics (the most famous blue and white ceramics are made in Fes).
- Scarves and shawls.
- Silver jewelry (they are best bought in the south of the country and in the city of Tiznit located there).
Mon-Thu – winter
08:15-12:00 and 14:15-17:15
Fri: 08:15-11:30 and 14:45-17:15
Mon-Thu – summer
Mon-Sat: 09:30-13:00 and 15:00-19:30
Ukrainians need a visa to visit Morocco.
Currency in Morocco
The Moroccan Dirham is the official currency in Morocco. Its international designation is MAD. One Moroccan dirham = 100 centimes. Credit cards are quite widespread.
Local currency (Moroccan dirham – MAD) can be imported for an amount not exceeding 1,000 MAD. Foreign currency can be imported without restrictions, but the amount equivalent to more than 15 thousand MAD must be declared.
You can take out no more than 1,000 MAD, and as much foreign currency as was declared upon arrival in the country.
For the import of dogs and cats, a veterinary certificate and a medical certificate about their state of health are required. The importation of falcons and hawks requires prior permission from the Moroccan authorities.
To export objects of archeology, antiquity and culture, you need to obtain the appropriate permit.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Embassy of Morocco in Ukraine:
Index: 04070, Kiev, st. I. Fedorova 12
T: (8 044) 284-33-26
Embassy of Ukraine in Morocco:
Cité OLM, Villa 212, Souissi–II, Rabat, Maroc
T: (8 10 212)
37-65-78-40 mail: [email protected]
15 – Fire brigade
19 – Police
777 – Ambulance
Time in Morocco
Behind Kyiv for 2 hours. Those. if, for example, in Kyiv 13:00, then in the city of Rabat – 11:00.
The service charge is usually included in the bill. However, additional tips, however small (up to 10%), are always welcome.
There are no mandatory vaccinations required to travel to Morocco. Recommended vaccinations: against diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, polio, tuberculosis, tetanus and typhoid.
In some rural areas, there is a very small risk of getting malaria in May-October.
Morocco cannot be called a safe country for tourists, but if you follow reasonable security measures, then you can relax in this country without any problems. It should be remembered that this is a Muslim country.