How To Plan a Trip to Morocco

Morocco lies on the northwest side of Africa and is only 9 hours from New York's JFK airport. The country has major airports in most cities, many of them serving select European and international destinations. For the American traveler, you will most likely arrive in Casablanca or the capitol city of Rabat.

Rabat. Touchdown in the capital city for an extraordinary view of Morocco's Moorish architecture, mosques and minarets for an exciting day with much to do. Situated along the scenic beauty of the Atlantic coast, Rabat has five top attractions beginning with the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, which houses Moroccan royals King Hassan ll and Prince Abdullah. Next is the Hassan Tower built in the 11th century, then on to the Chella necropolis located just outside the city. This medieval monument has heavy Roman influence, but there are also traces from the Egyptian Ptolemies. If you like archaeology, give yourself a half day to fully explore the grounds.

Fez. A short drive from Rabat takes you to Fez, a culturally enriched city to sample traditional Moroccan food, shop at the open-air souks and visit one of the oldest universities in the world. Also, you may want to stop in Meknes, located halfway in between Fez and Rabat. There you will find the only mosque in Morocco open to non-muslims.

Marrakesh. Moving southward, you will come to Marrakesh, which has a more contemporary feel than Fez and Rabat. However, there's plenty of history here with places to visit such as Medina (Old City) and a stop at the tombs of the Saadi dynasty. The surrounding terrain is rugged and the scenery awe inspiring. Though there are no coastal waters in Marrakesh, you will find some of the most surreal landscapes and an opportunity for magnificent photos.

Casablanca. Last on the tour is Casablanca, one of the most cosmopolitan cities in Morocco. Casablanca beach areas are located on the Corniche and seem to be the main attraction. For a light lunch, try the Central Market for tasty Mediterranean dishes, fresh fruits and vegetables. For a larger variety of food and crafts, try the Habbous Souk for pastries, antiques, clothing, shoes and more. Though Casablanca is considered the political and economical heartbeat of Morocco, it's also a tranquil place to relax. There's enough to do for a few hours with plenty of beach time leftover, making this city the perfect conclusion to your Morocco tour. 


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