Despite being just a short flight away from the UK, Morocco both enchants and surprises visitors with the complete change of scenery it offers. Culture and tradition still play an important role in the everyday life of the Moroccan people. In fact, you could visit Morocco several times and have a completely different experience every time. This country entices an ever-increasing number of tourists every year thanks to its diverse attractions, which include culture, history, beaches, sun, gastronomy, shopping, sport, desert, hiking, and even skiing. The warm welcome of its inhabitants also goes a long way to making this near yet faraway destination such a success.
The Middle Atlas is a desert region full of charm though despite this, few tourists venture to the area. It is essentially home to Berber tribes. Further south, the High Atlas stretches from the Atlantic plains to the Algerian border. It is dominated on its western side by the Toubkal Massif, home to the highest peak in North Africa.
Morocco's Atlantic Coast stretches for more than 1,800 miles. Rabat and Casablanca are the two major cities by the ocean. Marrakech and Meknes are nestled further inland, between the Middle Atlas and the High Atlas. Yet despite the fact that Rabat and Casablanca are home to both long sandy beaches and lagoons, they are not overly very popular with tourists and mostly attract locals.
The flora in Morocco is typical of the Mediterranean area. Depending on which region of the country you are visiting, you may spot vines, olive trees, cedars, pines, palm trees and even wild flowers. While the Draa Valley is known for its palm grove, the Dades Valley is renowned for its rose production, so much so that it is nicknamed the 'Valley of the Roses'.
Morocco's fauna is essentially made up of goats, horses, sheep and jackals, as well as some chameleons and monkeys. What's more, Morocco's camels play an important role in the lives of the inhabitants of some regions.
Hispano-Moresque art appeared in the 11th century under the Almoravid Dynasty, which at the time also ruled over Al-Andalus. It is also the result of oriental influences introduced by the Arabs in the 8th century. This type of art is based on three key elements: arabesque, the verses of the Quran, and an octagonal geometric pattern. Together, they create the refined interior decoration inside deliberately austere outer walls.