Morocco, the gateway of Africa and the country of lovely sights:
Morocco is the gateway to Africa. As soon as you get off the plane, you will find yourself in the middle of the beautiful Orient. Not only fresh mint tea, enchanting royal cities, colorful markets, and snake charmers await you here. Morocco can do so much more! In today’s travel report we will tell you about the most beautiful sights in Morocco and show you which places you should not miss. Have fun browsing!
Sights in Morocco – Overview:
A lot of sights in Morocco are waiting for you, you are spoilt for choice. Whether north, east, south, or west – Morocco is full of highlights and great places. If you plan a 1-week trip, you should focus on a few highlights and not try to stuff everything into one week. Take your time for Morocco and come back again.
The most beautiful cities in Morocco
Morocco has many beautiful cities. The four cities of Fès, Marrakech, Meknès, and Rabat were imperial cities. They were all at one time the capital of one of the country’s great dynasties. The rulers always expanded their cities magnificently, which is why of course it is precisely these places that attract so many tourists. But also the other cities have a lot to offer. In the following section, we will introduce you to the most beautiful and most famous cities in more detail.
Marrakesh is certainly one of Morocco’s great sights and highlights. And one could write a novel about this royal city alone at this point. There is much to see and experience. Everyone likes it very much despite the many visitors. People are totally into the oriental flair. The bright colors, the smells, the sounds… They love it!
The city is world-famous for its many colorful markets, small streets, mosques, and palaces. The pearl of the orient awaits you with a variety of highlights and sights. What is more than beautiful is the Garden Majorelle, the enchanting Bahia Palace, the beautiful Medersa Ben Youssef, and the El Badi Palace. And of course not to forget the souks (markets) of Marrakech and the many beautiful riads (accommodations).
Essaouira the windy city:
Another very beautiful city is located on the Atlantic coast. Essaouira is about 200 kilometers away from Marrakech. Here a beautiful old town awaits you, which is surrounded by fortification walls from the 18th century. Even parts of the series Game of Thrones were shot here. The bustling port and the wide beach are also very beautiful. Essaouira is not as hectic as Marrakech and offers a great mix of beach, sea, culture, and tradition. Visitors really liked it there, especially the nice accommodations.
The blue city Chefchaouen, #1 sights of Morocco:
Have you ever heard of the “Blue City”? Chefchaouen is located directly in the Rif mountains and is known for its blue houses and facades. According to the locals, the blue paint is said to protect “from evil eyes”. If you stroll through the old town, you will find many beautiful photo motives. The flair here is said to be very cozy. Many say that has something to do with the surrounding cannabis plantations?
Surfing in Taghazout:
Who goes to Morocco for surfing makes a stop in Taghazout. This small fishing village is now one of the most popular places in the country. Here the sun shines all year round, there are always waves. In Taghazout, you live the successful mix of culture, sun, beach & waves. Today there are also some cool cafés and restaurants in the town. Surf equipment can be rented at almost every corner.
Imperial city of Meknès:
Now we come to another imperial city in Morocco. Meknès is located in the north of the country in the Fès-Meknès region at the foot of the Middle Atlas Mountains. According to Wikipedia, almost 630,000 people live in this city. In Meknès you can enjoy the medieval city flair or experience the chic French quarter Ville Nouvelle. The oriental old town dates back to the 10th century. The almost 40-kilometer long wall still shows the historical border of the core city. Numerous mosques, squares, and ruins of palaces can be admired here.
Imperial city of Fès:
Another beautiful city in Morocco is Fès. Already in 1981, the medina of the city was declared a world heritage site. And why? Because it is the largest old town in the world in terms of area. Crazy, isn’t it? Even today the medina serves as an example of oriental urban planning. In Morocco’s oldest old town you will find numerous highlights and sights, such as the famous tanneries, numerous stores and markets, the former Koran school Medersa Attarine, the Kairaouine Mosque, the souks, and much more.
Tangier, Morocco’s north sights:
Tangier is the most important destination that is full of sights in northern Morocco. Not only because the city at the narrowest point of the Strait of Gibraltar is the “Gateway to Africa”. Daily speedboats connect Africa with the European mainland in only half an hour’s drive.
The city has also developed splendidly over the past few years. The medina has a Mediterranean feel to it with its stylish white riads. The sandy beach with a palm promenade. Beach clubs and bars provide nightly parties, from which you can relax during the day on the wide sandy beach.
In the new town, Spanish, French, and Italian elements of the multicolonial past of the 19th-century mix together. But the heart of the city, as in the four royal cities, is the medina with its colorful bazaars of the souks.
The pivotal point between the new and old town is the Grand Socco square. Especially in the evening, it is a meeting place for locals, snake charmers, and storytellers. The smaller Petit Socco is the center of the medina with numerous traditional cafés.
In Tangier, you can visit historical sights such as the El Makhzen Palace as well as great museums.
An important historical symbol is the Kasbah, built by the Portuguese. During a stroll through the fortress quarter, you will have a fantastic view of the sea and the coast from numerous observation platforms.
The Roman ruins of Volubilis are located about 30 kilometers north of Meknès. A visit can be perfectly in a day or half-day trip from the royal city.
The archaeological site is one of the most important excavations in all of Africa and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. Especially the fascinating mosaic floors, some of which date back to the time before Christ, are well known.
About 10,000 people lived on the entire site shortly after Christ. In the open-air museum, you can discover many ruins of the thermal baths, temples but also the water channels, mills, and storages. The visit to the ruined city costs 70 Dh (approx. 6,50 Euro) and is possible every day.
The modern metropolis of Casablanca combines many superlatives: with 3 million inhabitants, it is the largest city in Morocco, the country’s most important commercial and industrial center, and has the largest port in North Africa. Even more, it has several best sights in Morocco you should not miss.
In the metropolis, the rich life between villas, skyscrapers, boutiques and restaurants, and the poor suburbs as well as huts in the Bidonvilles clash unchecked.
For travelers, the city is worth a stop, especially because of its main attraction: the magnificent mosque Hassan II is one of the largest and most impressive mosques in the world.
It is built on the cliffs and it almost seems as if it is swimming in the sea. The complex covers an area of 9 hectares and has room for an incredible 100,000 people, 20,000 of whom live inside the mosque. The minaret is a gigantic 200 meters high.
And the great thing is, the mosque is also accessible for non-Muslims. You can even go up to the minaret in an elevator and enjoy the beautiful view of the city and the sea.
There are daily guided tours of the grounds in the morning, including a visit to the prayer room. They cost 130 Dh (about 12 Euro).
El Jadida, Morocco sights near Casablanca:
About 100 kilometers south of Casablanca lies the well-kept coastal town of El Jadida on the Atlantic Ocean. The city is quiet and is not yet so heavily frequented by tourists.
Besides luxury resorts with spa, golf course, and all imaginable amenities on the sandy beach just outside the center, you will live more authentically in the small guest houses in the old Portuguese fortress town.
The Cité Portugaise is surrounded by mighty fortress walls and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most important sight in the Portuguese city is the cistern from 1541 with its large vault.
Worthwhile excursion: From El Jadida, it is worthwhile to make a trip to the medieval fortress town of Azemmour. It is enthroned on a rock that drops steeply towards the sea. From here you have great views of the Atlantic Ocean.
Worth seeing is the cozy medina with its white houses within the city wall. Every Tuesday a big weekly market takes place in the souks. Apart from that, there is a lot to see every day, from miracle cures to medicinal herbs, skins, and traditional henna paintings.
Ouarzazate, the Wallywood:
The most important starting point for exploring southwestern Morocco between the Sahara and the High Atlas is the oasis city of Ouarzazate.
The city, which has about 100,000 inhabitants, is a hub for travelers. But not only for tourists, but also for film stars – Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio and other world stars have been guests here for filming.
Ouarzazate is the film city in Morocco for excellence. There are three modern film studios and you can even visit some of the sets of world-famous films in the Atlas Film Studios near the city. Here classics like “The Mummy”, the James Bond adventure “The Breeze of Death”, but also productions like “The Baader Meinhof Complex” were made.
In the city of Ouarzazate itself, the clay fortress Kasbah Taourirt and the Kasbah quarter behind it, which is still inhabited today, are worth seeing. Hidden behind high walls is a huge nested construction with a castle and towers as well as numerous clay buildings that cover the entire old town.
With modern hotels and restaurants, Ouarzazate has everything that a comfortable stay requires. Above all, the city is the starting point for excursions to the diverse south.
From here you can reach the vastness of the Sahara Er Chegaga and Erg Chebbi. Trekking tours through the Atlas Mountains and excursions to the Kasbahs, oasis valleys, and gorges also start here.
The palm tree covered Draa Valley is definitely worth a detour. The river meanders through a dreamlike landscape. There are still many preserved kasbahs and ksars on the banks.
Kasbahs are historical fortresses made of clay, they often served in the Atlas Mountains to control the hinterland. Ksars, like the fortresses, are built of clay but comprise entire villages and settlements.
The town of Ouzoud is located in the northern High Atlas and is known for its impressive waterfalls. From 110 meters the water flows and jumps down the red rock over several terraces. This makes the Ouzoud waterfalls not only the most beautiful, but also the highest in Morocco.
During the summer months from June to August, tourists meet many locals who visit the waterfall and picnic at its feet or eat in the restaurants. The place then loses something of its usual charm.
Ait Ben Haddou:
A unique example of traditional clay buildings is the Ksar Ait Benhaddou in the High Atlas Mountains. It has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1987.
The Ksar is a huge labyrinth of houses, clay fortresses, towers, narrow streets, and warehouses. Ait Benhaddou lies impressively on the slope and is a great sight both in its entirety and in the details with fine ornaments on the houses.
No wonder that the Ksar has been the film location for numerous films. From the hill, you have a great view of the impressive landscape over the valley and the mountains.
Ait Benhaddou can be reached from Ouarzazate in about half an hour. You can also use the visit as a stopover on your trip to the south.
From Marrakech, tours to Ait Benhaddou and the Atlas Mountains are also organized.
Between the highest peaks of the High Atlas and the stone, desert runs the road of the Kasbahs. It is a wonderful region with great landscapes along deep gorges, palm valleys, small villages in green oases, and mighty Kasbahs.
From Ouarzazate, before reaching Tinerhir, a tarred road follows the Dades upstream. The green river winds through the barren brown rocky landscape, feeding oases with fruit, fig, and walnut trees.
Along the road there are several restaurants and hotels, some in the traditional Kasbah style, from which you have great views of the valley. Also along the road, there are always wonderful views.
Worthwhile is a walk along the river in the valley or a longer hike in the gorge as well as a visit to one of the Kasbahs. A popular photo motif is the bizarre rock formation of the “monkey paws” near Tamlalt.
From the gorge, the rock walls rise steeply on both sides. Here the road is often flooded and the asphalt is damaged accordingly. The highlight, however, lies further down in the gorge: up to 2,100 meters, the path winds its way closely up the rock and at the end shines with a spectacular panoramic view of the Dade Valley.
Other cities- sights in Morocco:
In Morocco, there are still some other cities worth seeing. Casablanca is the largest city in Morocco. Very worth seeing is here the Hassan II. Mosque with its 210 meters high minaret. It is the highest building of God in the world, almost 25.000 believers find it their place to pray. If you are heading towards the desert, you should visit the city of Ait Benhaddou behind the High Atlas. Nowadays it appears in many movies as a backdrop (even Game of Thrones).
In Agadir, you will find mainly long beaches for a relaxing beach vacation on the Atlantic Ocean. Taghazout and Tamraght are also not far away. Rabat is the capital of Morocco and is located on the banks of the Bou-Regreg river and the Atlantic Ocean. This city is especially known for its beautiful landmarks, such as the Kasbah of the Oudaïas. This royal fortress with the famous Hassan Tower offers a beautiful view of the ocean.
High mountains and endless deserts:
During your trip through Morocco, you should also make a detour to the Atlas Mountains, the Sahara Desert, and the Paradise Valley. Because the country has not only fascinating cities to offer but also a versatile nature. On the way, you will also discover many great places by chance. Just let yourself drift and be curious about what’s around the next bend. The endless stone deserts behind the Atlas Mountains are also very fascinating.
The Atlas Mountains:
Already during the flight over the country, you will discover the gigantic Atlas Mountains below you. The highest peak, the Jebel Toubkal, rises a proud 4,168 meters. Crazy, isn’t it? A hike through the mountains will make you aware of the full extent of this huge mountain range. In the mountains, there are also 7 skiing areas with 13 kilometers of slopes. So if you feel like it, you can try this extraordinary ski area.
In the south of the country at the foothills of the mountains lies Paradise Valley. One of the highlights and top-rated Morocco sights. Steep cliffs, natural pools, and a valley surrounded by palm trees await you here. Once upon a time, drop-outs and hippies were the main people who cavorted here. Today you will meet an increasing number of tourists and locals. The valley is located about 25 kilometers from Taghazout. From the rocks, you can dive 5 to 10 meters into the refreshing depth. Many families come here to the valley with tents, cooking utensils, and picnic blankets. You can also find “hot springs” in Paradise Valley.
The Todra Gorge:
In Tinghir behind the High Atlas is the beautiful Todra Gorge. The date palm oasis Tinghir offers some highlights. Already the road of the Kasbahs, which winds up the mountain and then leads down again, it is an experience itself. The cliffs get higher and higher and narrower. In front of the gorge, you can park your car and continue your walk. The walls of the only few meters wide rock breakthrough rise several hundred meters into the air. A really great view!
A must if you are in Morocco: a tour into the Sahara desert. The Sahara offers you an endless expanse of sand, silence, high dunes, and a sparkling carpet of stars. You can go into the desert by jeep, on foot, or with the dromedaries. You can spend the night in traditional Berber tents or directly under the stars. It is definitely the absolute highlight of every round trip through Morocco.
Sights in Morocco – Beaches:
Many vacationers come to the country for a relaxing beach vacation. You won’t find any dream beaches with white sand and turquoise blue sea like on Mauritius, but there are some nice spots to relax and unwind. The coastline is almost 300 kilometers long and offers a variety of beaches. Very popular is the long beach of Agadir, the sandy beach of Asilah, the wide beach in Essaouira, Tamuda Bay, and the lagoon of Oualidia.
Best time to travel to Morocco and enjoy the highlights & sights:
You can visit Morocco all year round. Of course, the climate on the coasts is different from that of the desert or the cities in the interior. In fact, the peaks of the Atlas Mountains are usually covered with snow all year round. According to the climate tables on the net, spring and autumn (April, May, October, November) are especially recommended.
In these months the climate is very pleasant. In summer, the thermometer can climb to over 40°C in some areas. But even if you just feel like sunshine in winter, you can fly to Morocco. You can find more about this topic in our article.
Security in Morocco:
Morocco is in principle a quite safe destination. Before a journey into a foreign country, you always need to check the site of the Foreign Office first. They say that Morocco is a politically stable country with a good tourist and security infrastructure. Many Foreign offices recommend not to travel to remote areas of the Sahara. Especially trips to the border regions Algeria and Mauritania are strongly discouraged. In our detailed report, you will learn more about this topic: Security in Morocco.
Car hire for Morocco:
You can drive in Morocco without any problems with your own rental car. The roads are by and large in good condition. Behind the Atlas Mountains, you often find gravel roads and potholes. you will get through even with a small car. You can get a car for one week starting at 155€ with all-important included services. Make sure that you choose “no excess” and the fair fuel regulation “full/full”.