I’m a Russian Tourist in Morocco, This is my Experience:
You don’t often meet our tourists in Morocco. Most of the places in hotels are occupied by Europeans – Germans and French. The British are following them.
The Name of the Country
Morocco – comes from the name of its ancient capital, Marrakech. And the Arabs themselves called this land Maghrib al-Aqsa (Far West). Here the sun sets in the Atlantic Ocean. In these parts, ancient myths placed the Islands of the Dead (Islands of the Hesperides). By the way, in fact, the Canary Islands are located almost opposite Morocco in the ocean.
On the Land of Morocco
Hercules performed one of his exploits, tearing off the giant Antheus from the land. They say it happened on the site of the present city of Tangier.
In less mythological times, this land, which belonged to the warlike African tribes of the Berbers, was under the rule of Carthage, then for several centuries it was owned by the Romans, then the Byzantines. It was from them that the Arabs recaptured the Land of the Far West. Some cities in Morocco, such as Casablanca and Rabat, were nests of pirates in the Middle Ages.
The history of Morocco is closely connected with neighboring Spain – it was from here that the waves of Arab conquest went to the Iberian Peninsula, and later it was here that the Moors expelled from Spain were expelled, who brought with them to Morocco the “Andalusian style” of gardens and interiors.
In some cities of Morocco, monuments from the times of the Roman Empire have been perfectly preserved (for example, the triumphal arch in the town of Volubilis near modern Meknes).
Tourists in Morocco are attracted by the combination of Arab and European cultures, the Mediterranean climate, the variety and beauty of the landscape, and the sandy ocean beaches that stretch along the west coast.
The cities of the Maghreb
The cities of present-day Morocco are not alike. Tourists in Morocco are attracted primarily by those located on the ocean coast. The exception is, perhaps, the “red city” – Marrakesh, the ancient capital of Morocco, the city of oriental luxury and bliss, where everyone who comes to the country aspires to visit.
Once upon a time, in the early Middle Ages, Marrakech was the capital of the Arab rulers of the Almoravids. The characteristic color of the city’s buildings is ocher, all of its shades, from red to pink and orange-yellow. Until now, the center of gravity in the city square Jemaa El Fna. In the evenings, street performances take place here, tables appear at night and the square turns into an open-air cafe. If you are interested in eastern magicians and astrologers, fire eaters, and snake charmers – you are here.
The Most Famous Mosque in the City
the 800-year-old Koutoubia Mosque – is remembered for the minaret crowned with four sparkling balls instead of the traditional crescent. It has only recently been found that these balls are not cast in pure gold but in gilded copper. Over the centuries, the city has been subject to numerous attacks by robbers, who were attracted by these prominent “golden” balls.
It is also interesting to visit the palaces of Marrakesh, where the breath of Arab antiquity is clearly felt. Bahia Palace is surrounded by a “Moorish” garden with jasmine bushes and orange trees. The Dar Si Said Palace now houses the Museum of Moroccan Art. And the palace of the ruler of Marrakesh Moulay-el-Mamun at the beginning of the XX century was converted by the French into an expensive hotel, where many celebrities lived at different times (it is called “La Mamounia”).
The Northern City of Morocco
Tangier – an amphitheater on the coast of the bay. Tangier is a large port and at the same time a popular resort that attracts tourists with ancient monuments, beaches, and a mild climate (in winter the average temperature is + 13 ° C, in summer + 23 ° C).
Museums of Tangier
Museum of Moroccan Art (17th-century palace, mosaics, carvings, weapons, carpets, etc. “oriental luxury”), Museum of Ancient History (among the exhibits – Carthaginian tomb, sarcophagi, Roman mosaic “Travel of Venus”), Forbes Museum (a unique museum – 115,000 soldiers depicting famous historical battles, with sound and light effects).
The Capital of Morocco
Rabat is the capital of Morocco on the ocean coast, the ancient city of the Arab conquerors who built impregnable fortresses and high minarets here. Rabat is an expensive city and therefore there are especially few tourists from Russia, but it is certainly worth stopping here and visiting several museums. First of all, it is a museum of art by local craftsmen (Oidaias Museum), located in a palace with a magnificent Andalusian garden. Among the exhibits are Arab and Berber carpets, a collection of various editions of the Koran, jewelry and copper products, as well as rare musical instruments.
The Archaeological Museum also has a rich collection, where you can find exhibits dating back to the ancient, Roman, and “Moorish” periods. At the Natural History Museum, it is worth seeing a real dinosaur skeleton that lived 150 million years ago, found in the High Atlas Mountains. Finally, the philatelist will not pass by the Postal Museum, where Moroccan stamps and envelopes, old telephone, and telegraph sets are collected. Among the jewels of the museum is the first Moroccan stamp, issued on May 12, 1912.
Agadir is a Major Port and “Tourist” City
Located in a bay on the Atlantic coast, approximately equidistant from the northern and southern borders of the country. Almost the entire coast of Agadir is occupied by hotels, restaurants, and cafes. The swimming conditions in Agadir are considered the best in the country. Although this is an ancient Portuguese colony, there are no old buildings here – the city was rebuilt after the strongest earthquake in 1960. Travel agencies offering holidays in Morocco, as a rule, deliver tourists to Agadir airport by charter flights.
Another Tourist City of Morocco
Essaouira As in Agadir, where the climate is pleasant for holidaymakers all year round, only the ocean wave is noticeably higher, which is why this city has become a place of pilgrimage for surfers. Moreover, Essaouira was not destroyed by an earthquake – picturesque Arab narrow streets, ancient buildings, and minarets and lively market squares have been preserved here.
If you are traveling on your own, come here – in Essaouira you can stay in a riad hotel (they are located in old houses right in the city) or in a villa hotel. Small hotels are usually owned by Moroccan families who strive to maintain a cozy, homely atmosphere.
In the 60s and 70s of the 20th century, Essaouira was a place of pilgrimage for musicians and artists. Jimmy Hendrix, who has lived here for several years, was going to buy a piece of land for an international hippie community. Orson Welles shot his famous film, Othello, here. Essaouira is now experiencing the beginning of a tourism boom. Europeans and Americans come here, restore old houses, open hotels, and restaurants.
Nature The Kingdom of Morocco
located at the junction of the African Mid-Sea, Atlantic, and Sahara. The highest ranges of the Atlas Mountains with snow-white peaks stretch between the coast and the desert regions. Therefore, Morocco is one of the few countries where you can swim in the ocean, go skiing, and go on a jeep safari to the sand dunes in one season.
Subtropical. A relatively cold Canary Current passes along the coast, which contributes to a decrease in summer air temperatures: on the coast, in summer it is not very hot and foggy. The hottest climate is in Marrakesh (up to 38-40 degrees on summer days).
The landscapes in Morocco are ascetic but varied. Sheer cliffs and waterfalls, gorges, and clean small rivers flowing along the coast. Century-old cedar forests at the foot of the mountains, plains with tangerine and orange groves, oases with date palms, bright exotic flowers and shrubs, cacti in the desert …
In Morocco, of course, you need to brush off annoying flies and be wary of small scorpions, but how beautiful Moroccan birds are (there are a lot of bird sanctuaries). If you are very lucky, you can also admire the pink flamingos.
Tourists arriving in Morocco are usually offered a large number of excursions. And excursion programs for example, if you are staying in Agadir Morocco, then the choice will be something like this:
– A trip to Marrakech (it is relatively close to Agadir – 273 km)
– Essaouira (173 km)
– The town of Taroudant (70 km), small Marrakech. Gardens, oriental bazaars; on the road to Taroudant, you will enter the Sousse Valley, where you can admire the orange groves and the peaks of the High Atlas. On the way, tourists are usually offered to stop by the Tiut oasis.
Agadir hotels also actively offer other Moroccan entertainment, such as “Berber evening” and “ocean fishing”. The program of the first one is difficult to spoil (folklore performance in nature with food and wine), but the second one strongly depends on the case (a shark is not caught every time, and it makes it rocking in the ocean from the habit of every second person).
When leaving, tourists in Morocco usually take with them silver jewelry, embossed leather souvenirs, woven Berber rugs, and carved wooden boxes. These are traditional “Moroccan” souvenirs. And the red city of Marrakech, the granite ridges of the High Atlas, the Hassan II mosque, and the sunset over the Atlantic can only be remembered. However, photo and video technology allow us to materialize our memories.
At the end of the issue
I can’t help but tell you about one interesting note that recently caught my eye:
“…” The Throne of Allah on the Water “is the tallest mosque in the world. One of the Quranic phrases reads: “The Throne of Allah is on the water.” One of the largest and most beautiful mosques in the world, the Hassan II Mosque, is on the oceanfront in Casablanca. It is the westernmost and second-largest mosque in the world after Mecca. Surprisingly, its architect – the Frenchman Michel Pinceau – was not even a Muslim.
The height of the minaret of the mosque is 200 meters. This is the tallest religious building in the world. Its minaret is 30 meters higher than the famous pyramid of Cheops and 40 meters higher than St. Peter’s Cathedral.
The construction of the mosque lasted about 4 years – it was opened on August 30, 1993. And before that day and night, several thousand workers worked tirelessly: marble for the construction was brought from Agadir, granite from Tafraut, glass from Venice.
At the same time, 20 thousand believers can pray in the Hassan II mosque and another 80 thousand – on the square near the mosque.
The total cost of this grandiose structure is about $ 800 million. Moreover, all this money is exclusively donations of believers.
The Hassan II Mosque
one of the few religious buildings in Morocco where non-Muslims are admitted. The prayer hall is decorated with 78 columns of pink granite, floors are covered with slabs of golden marble and green onyx, and the central part of the roof can be moved apart. By paying 100 dirhams (about $ 10), anyone can get inside. ”
Telephone connection with Morocco:
8-10-212. Further area code and subscriber number. Major city codes: Agadir – 8, Marrakech – 4, Rabat – 7.
In Morocco, using international roaming, you can use the services of mobile operators MTS and Megafon. Unfortunately, Beeline does not have roaming in Morocco. From cell phones, dial +7, and then the area code (095 – Moscow, 812 – St. Petersburg, etc.).
The cost of a minute of a call on a mobile phone differs from a mobile operator and is on average from 2.5 to 3 US dollars per 1 minute of conversation. Slightly cheaper if you call from Morocco than from Morocco. But SMS is cheaper to send from Morocco than to Morocco. Two operators – IAM (Jawal) and Meditel are practically equal, although they say that the latter has more coverage.
There are many telephone booths in cities that operate on telephone cards and coins. In the evening (after 23:00), as well as on Saturday and Sunday and holidays – a reduced rate. You can use the cards of the national telephone company Maroc Telecom – only for automatic machines with an orange peak, as well as various cards that work only at some specific telephone points (they are scattered in large numbers in every city). The cost of a minute of conversation with Russia on them is $ 1.5 per minute. From Morocco, dial 007-095 for Moscow or 812 for St. Petersburg, etc.
The Currency in Morocco
The Moroccan dirham. It is prohibited for export from the country (however, this is not strictly verified). It is better to use cash Moroccan currency when paying. You can exchange it at exchange offices, some restaurants, and in all hotels at the reception. The course is the same everywhere and is set by the government. It should be remembered that banks work with long breaks, so it is better to change in hotels since the exchange rate is equal.
When paying, you can also use cash in dollars or euros, but this will not always be beneficial, since often the rounding of prices by the merchant in relation to foreign currency is disadvantageous for the client. Credit cards are accepted in many cafes, restaurants, and shops; however, it is better to save cash for markets and small gift shops. Traveler’s checks are accepted for exchange in almost all major branches of Moroccan and international banks.
There are “small” and “big” taxis in cities.
Small ones mean small old cars (orange in Agadir, blue in Es Sueira, etc.) Fiats, Renault are quite inexpensive. You should always ask to turn on the meter (called a taximeter) – and pay only by the meter, otherwise, the amount required upon arrival may surprise you unpleasantly. After nine in the evening, 50% more will be charged on the counter (night surcharge). Non-round figures are rounded in favor of the driver, but we are talking about a few centimes, which is a small amount.
They take a maximum of three people into the car and drive only around the city. There are a lot of them – sometimes it seems that there are even more than ordinary cars. The fare in the city is $ 1-3, depending on the distance. Big taxis mean old Mercedes. They can take up to six people into the cabin (two in the front seat) and work both in the city and between cities.
The fare must be negotiated in advance since they are not equipped with meters. Prices vary a lot and depend very much on the compliant driver. On your ability to bargain and bring down the price. The country has a long tradition of trading, so trading here is virtuoso. So you also need to master this exciting sport at least to some extent. Prices vary a lot and depend very much on the compliant driver and on your ability to bargain and bring down the price. The country has a long tradition of trading, so trading here is virtuoso, so you also need to master this exciting sport at least to some extent.
Prices vary a lot and depend very much on the compliant driver and on your ability to bargain and bring down the price. The country has a long tradition of trading, so trading here is virtuoso, so you also need to master this exciting sport at least to some extent.
Food on the Streets
The food on the streets of the city is very diverse. Prices vary depending on the location you choose, starting from a dollar for a sandwich on the street, the top bar is unlimited and depends on the nature of the ordered dish. On average, dinner costs $ 7-15 per person, including drinks. Good cafes and restaurants: Anir (closest to the hotel area), Jardin Do (on the street on August 20) and cafes next to them, Mimi La Brochette (on the waterfront), Mauresque (unreasonably expensive), La Scala (in my opinion, the best city restaurant).
It is customary to leave a tip often, but not much. The average tip for foreigners is about 10%. However, the Moroccans themselves are limited to two or three dirhams. But they expect from you More as a tourist in Morocco.
The medical industry is doing very well and pharmacies in Morocco can be found everywhere.
The days off, unlike many Muslim countries (especially the Persian Gulf), are Saturday and Sunday. However, private shops and shops are not closed.
Points of sale: Marzhan, Suk, shops on Khasan II street. The day off for the Agadir market is Monday, it is better to arrive there before 6-7 pm. Marzhan works from 9 am to 10 pm.
Driving in Morocco
Morocco is a country with one of the highest rates of road accidents as drivers do not follow the rules. This is especially noticeable in large cities such as Marrakech. Tourists in Morocco should be careful when crossing the road and especially when driving. Gasoline is quite expensive – the price of the “super” brand is about a dollar per liter. However, there are a lot of gas stations throughout the country.
It is better to use bottled water. The best still mineral water is called “Sidi Ali”, carbonated – “Ulmes”. The tap water is clean and can be used to brush your teeth.
Alcohol in Morocco
Moroccans produce the finest wines in the Maghreb. The country produces reds, rosés, and grays (the former French gradation remained only in Morocco . Gray wines are essentially rosé). Of the wines, you can recommend Medallion wine (white, rose and red), Atlas, Volubilis, and others. There are three main wine regions: the Ujda region, the region from Rabat to Casablanca. But most of the vineyards for winemaking are concentrated in the Meknes region.
also widely sold – the best is called “Flag” and “Casablanca”. Mahia is a 40-degree fig vodka. It resembles a rakia and becomes milky white when added with water. Has a characteristic licorice flavor. And at the end of the issue, it will be useful to acquaint you with one of the reviews of a Tourists to our portal about Morocco:
“… It is imperative to take a car, it is quite possible for 30-40 dollars. And then – just a fabulous vacation.
And precisely from Agadir, since it is practically in the center of the country. From there you can go to the famous Marrakech, and to Casablanca, and to Fez. These last two cities – you can spend the night. In Agadir itself, it is better to take an inexpensive hotel and travel to different places every day.
Where the Ocean Meets the Desert
Especially go to the south, through the Anti-Atlas to the Sahara. Where the ocean meets the desert. of course, but on the ocean – no, there is a cold current and even air conditioning is not needed if the hotel is on the beach. People are very friendly, and in general, the king ordered them to take care of foreigners.
And the country is amazing – mountains, sea, and desert. The most beautiful town is Essaouira, 200 kilometers from Agadir to the north. Now in June, there are ethnic music festivals – very cool. And in the Gulf of Essaouira, windsurfing is one of the best in the world.
Marrakesh is generally one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s not for nothing that European celebrities have their homes there.
In the south, in the town of Tan-tan, on the ocean shore, a hotel costs 10 dollars. Europeans go there from September to December, especially the French, and before that the hotels are pretty empty. There is nothing to do in Agadir itself, but there are plenty of people there: the Germans are mostly. You have to drive, very nice, and the roads are very decent.
beggars in the markets, but this is a problem for the whole East. The first three times they will pester very much, and then you will learn how to turn them off. But bargaining there is a pleasure. It is only necessary to immediately lower the owner’s price by 10-20 times. Without any hesitation, and stand on it without, just like a parrot. Then he will respect you and reduce his almost to yours.
I have not seen it either in Tunisia or Algeria. But as a tourist in Morocco, it’s funny entertainment – goats that climb on the maiden and eat the foliage.
A shepherd is sitting under a tree, and as soon as you point the camera at the goats. He hits the trunk with a stick and they jump down. You have to pay for the pleasure. I managed to take a few pictures – in Moscow no one believed the stories, but they believed the photos.
In Morocco, about 200 kingdoms have been different in its history. The capital of one I found in the Anti-Atlas mountains. A stunning place, where life seemed to have stopped five hundred years ago. And practically no tourists in Morocco! There are many different things – you can’t tell everything. I have traveled about fifty countries in that number and exotic. Morocco is one of the best memories, I want to come back and watch if there is time. … ” this is y experience as a tourist in Morocco.
Thank you for reading 🙂