Why you should visit Morocco
If you didnt already know I love to travel! Its one of the things that keeps me sane and is one of my past times when I’m not so busy working! I make sure I use my annual leave wisely to accommodate travelling throughout the year. I usually have a short city break the first quarter, a long haul holiday during summer and then a week long break at the end of the year.
Last year I was lucky enough to travel 5 times! This year I was able to go away 4 times and hopefully next year it will be around the same or the 3 trip mark. I already have Cannes and Mexico planned for next year and probably will aim for another break away during winter 2017. Hopefully Dubai which was originally on the list for 2016. For those of you who want to go away on a budget you can check read how to do that here.
This year I visited Central America (New York) and Europe (Barcelona & Paris), I thought it would only be right that I added another country and continent to my travellers list. If you are going away any time soon you can check out my top 10 travelling tips.
Given the UK is now hitting below 10 degrees celsius it was only right that I booked a trip away to get some winter sun. Reasonably priced and as a destination less than 5 hours away, Morocco was certainly on the horizon. Hence why you should travel here!
Travelling to Morocco
I flew with Thomsons and stayed at 5* Riu Palace Tikida Agadir. I know a host of bloggers and travellers alike have visited Marrakech recently, but for me, unless its a city break for a few days, I much prefer somewhere on a beach to relax and unwind. Thats not to say I didn’t visit Marrakech of course! What would a trip be to Morocco without going to Marrakech?
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Agadir treated us well with its beautiful sandy beach. The 3km long promenade made sure we burned calories after our lunch and made the perfect spot for breath taking scenery of the sea and Kasbah mountain before we reached the Marina.
We climbed the Kasbah mountain which was home to the local Moroccans before the earthquake over 50 years ago (history lesson!). More breath taking views which did not disappoint.
Travelling to Marrakech
After our mini tour around Agadir we decided to round off the trip over the weekend to Marrakesh. Merena Gardens, Bahia Palace and Jema El Fnaa were some of the main attractions we were able to see in one day. We met the hustle and bustle of Jemaa El Fnaa with hundreds of market stalls and narrow alleys filled with zooming motorbikes and bartering locals.
Bartering is a way of life in Morocco and there isnt one shop owner not willing to give you the ‘best price’. But there also wasnt atleast one shop owner who wasnt willing to let us pass their merchandise without ‘just having a look’.
Bahia Palace ended up being my last attraction for the say before I headed back to Agadir which is an absolute must see. Its so local to the square and Jema El Fnaa that there really is no reason not to visit the palace while you’re in Marrakech. The beautiful mosaic tiles, tall ceilings and inscribed text within the architecture made my visit worthwhile towards the end of a very long day. It only costs 10 dhs which is like £1! Theres genuinely no reason to miss out seeing a great place.
I was almost conned out of going to the palace being told by local street men that it was closed owing to a football match scheduled for the day and told to see jewish women who make loads of spices instead!
Beware of anyone telling you to go elsewhere other than where you intend. They make money and commission from diverting you to places you never planned to go! After it happened to me the first time when I got lost in the market, I definitely did not intend on letting it happen for a second time. Luckily I had internet on my phone to check opening times and asked another local for directions and whether it was still open. So if you plan on making a day out by yourself without a tour guide be sure to have a clear plan and when the places are open so you dont get tricked into going somewhere else.
The only thing I would say that I missed out on was the local cuisine. I’m such a big fan of middle eastern and Moroccan food that I cant believe I missed this one out! Of course we had a variety of Moroccan dishes to select from within the hotel but nothing beats the real deal from local cuisines!
On the whole, my trip to Morocco was an experience I will certainly remember and no doubt I will eventually return. I hear La Mamounia is a lovely place to visit in Marrakech including the Kautoubi Mosque, Maison De La Photographie and the Dar Cherifa for some modern art.
If you have been to Morocco where did you stay and what did you like about it. If you havent been, are there any places recommended that I havent mentioned? List them below I would love to hear!