Morocco

Category: Resorts » International » Africa » Morocco | Author: biker | Views: 6803 | 21-07-2013, 22:37
Morocco

Official name: "Kingdom of Morocco";

Сapital of Morocco: Rabat;

Geographical location: north-western part of Africa;

Area of Morocco: 446550 square km.;

Climate of Morocco: subtropical;

Population of Morocco: 32,870,000 people;

Ethnic groups: Arabs (55%), Berbers (44%);

Official language: Arabic, Berber;

Form of government: constitutional monarchy;

Administrative divisions: 16 provinces, which are divided into provinces and prefectures;

Largest cities: Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech, Meknes, Tangier;

Religion in Morocco: Muslim (98% Sunni Muslims);

Currency: Moroccan Dirham (MAD, code 504);

Internet-domain: .ma;

Telephone code:  +212;

Time zone: UTC +0 (sometimes in summer  UTC +1).

 

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Morocco

Flag of Morocco 

Morocco

Map of Morocco 

Morocco

Coat of arms of Morocco
 

General information about Morocco 

The magnificent Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea with golden beaches, mountains with beautiful waterfalls and snow-capped peaks,  pine forests at the foot of the mountains, gardens of tangerine and orange trees – all these makes Morocco one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

 

Morocco Morocco Morocco

 

Geographic position of Morocco

Morocco is situated in the West of North Africa. In the East and south-east it borders with Algeria, in the South - with Mauritania. In the West it is washed by the Atlantic Ocean and in the North – by the Mediterranean Sea. The narrow Strait of Gibraltar separates Morocco from Europe (the distance to the Spanish coast is just 14 km).
The country has mostly mountainous terrain. There are plains along the coast. The Atlas mountain system is stretching from the south-west to the north-east. It is covered with oak and pine forests. Atlantic Coast is plainier, Mediterranean - mountainous, with lots of rock masses.

 

Morocco

 

Photos of Morocco

Morocco Morocco Morocco

Morocco Morocco Morocco

 

Climate of Morocco

In general the climate is subtropical, the Mediterranean coast has hot, dry summers and wet winters. In coastal areas the climate is mild without frost. In the central regions there are colder winters and hotter summers. The average January temperature in the coast: +12 C, in July is +24 C, in the mountains:-15C.

 

Flora and fauna of Morocco

The flora of Morocco consists of about 4000 species.
The flora of Morocco is a mixture of Mediterranean and African species. The flora of the southern part is similar to the Sahara`s, and of the northern coastal - to the European sub-tropical vegetation. Cork oaks, olives and pistachios dominate on the Atlantic coast. In the mountains there are giant cedars and oaks. On the southern slopes there is Barbary thuja (Tetraclinis) and juniper. On the plains, you can see dwarf palms, and along the rivers - oases with date palms.
The fauna of Morocco is very diverse and unique. There is a mix of African (baboon, horned viper, mountain goat, and so on) and European (otter fox, wild boar, squirrel, etc.) species. The European fauna is typical for mountain areas, but at the same time, you may also see macaques, hyenas and panthers there. The eastern regions are inhabited by tropical and desert species: Moroccan otter, bustard, jerboa, lynx and jackals. In the south, beware African horned vipers and cobras.


Morocco Morocco Morocco
Morocco Morocco Morocco

 

History of Morocco 

Morocco's Atlantic coast had been inhabited since the prehistoric period. Many civilizations, such as Acheulean, Mousterian and Aterskaya developed on the territory of modern Morocco. Indigenous people of Morocco were the Berbers. In ancient times the fertile river areas and natural harbors attracted Phoenicians and  Greeks, who settled the island of Mogador, near modern Essaouira, in Liksuse and Kouassi (near Tangier). After defeat at Carthage in 146 BC, Rome began to expand its territory and invaded Moroccan land. Nowadays t the ruins of Roman temples, forums and terms can be seen in Rabat and Tangier. After the fall of the Roman Empire, Morocco was conquered by the Vandals, and in the seventh century, the Arabs conquered the country. In the fifteenth century, the European countries - Portugal and Spain began fighting for Morocco. The colonialists forced out the Moors from their own lands. In 1911 Morocco was declared as a French protectorate. In 1953 Morocco gained the independence. But till nowadays we can feel French influence on the culture of Morocco.

 

Culture of Morocco 

Culture of Morocco is deeply connected with its folklore.
Mousse - it is a religious ceremony of local importance. Celebration is organized in honor of the Muslim saint or the end of harvest. It includes a pilgrimage and folk performances (trick riding, fairs and dances) involving different tribes. The brightest performance is Dzhigitovka – participators in traditional clothes ride horse to the women’s singing. Dzhigitovka accompanied by shooting (in the air). It is a fascinating spectacle. Moroccan hands dance is also impressive.
It should be noted that music occupies an important place in the life of Moroccans. The most popular musical instrument is rebab, in someway resembles a small violin, which is a prototype to three-stringed violin of medieval Europe. Locals also enjoy playing the nay (reed flute), the Arab lute, tambourine and derbouka (pots, covered with leather). Berber music is always accompanied with dances, and together it is a real spectacle.

Where to go and what to visit in Morocco
  1. Rabat is the capital of modern Morocco. It is famous for its beautiful gardens, magnificent mosques and wide streets.
  2. Casablanca is Morocco's largest city and economic capital of the kingdom. The city's architecture combines oriental palaces and mosques with skyscrapers and shopping and entertainment complexes. Mosque of Hassan the second is the main attraction of the city.
  3. Agadir is the most popular beach resort of the country. Tourists are attracted by the warm ocean, soft sand and warm sun. It is never too hot here, as the mountain ranges protect the city from hot winds of the desert. Despite the fact that Agatir is a tourist center, it has unique oriental atmosphere - all luxury hotels decorated to Moroccan houses and palaces, a large number of restaurants and shops have also Oriental decor and Antique Square with the markets seems to be from a different era.
  4. Essaouira - is also a popular holiday resort, once corsairs found refuge here, and nowadays it is a perfect location for surfers.
  5. Fez - the former capital of Morocco. The town consists of several parts. The Royal Palace, Jewish Cemetery and Gardens Buzhelod are situated in Fez el Dzhdid.
    A Fez el Bali is the most confusing Medina in the world. There are 14 gates, 6,000 streets, 200 180 mosques and hammams there. The main attraction is the mosque of Moulay Idriss. On the eastern markets local craftsmen sell handmade leather goods. There are sources of thermal waters outside the city.
  6. Marrakech - if you want to experience the exotic of Morocco, go to the Djemaa el-Fna, which is listed as a heritage site. Here you will see the snake charmers, old men in their national costumes, tattoo artist, fortune-tellers and singers. In the evening, there are shows of drummers, belly dancers and Berber musicians. To the main attractions of the city belong the Koutoubia Mosque and the El Badi Palace. Menara Garden is a park and a symbol of Marrakech. It is located at the foot of the mountains Atlas. The park has an area of about 100 hectares planted with olive trees, palms and fruit. Marrakech belongs to the list of the most beautiful cities in the world. From Marrakech you can make a day trip to the clay fortress Teluet - bright red castle with wrought-iron gates, which can be opened only with one meter key. Also visit Ouzoud waterfall and a cave with stalactites.
  7. Uukaimedene - year round ski resort, which is situated at an altitude of 2650 m. The resort has several ski lifts and the highest in Africa ropeway.
  8. Erg Chebbi – is recommended for those who want to feel exotic of desert. You can make camel trip and visit the Berber villages.
  9. Meknes - attracts tourists with its unique nature and the underground labyrinth.
  10. Ait Ben Huddu – the city-fortress, which belongs to the list of UNESCO World Heritage.
Morocco Morocco Morocco
Morocco Morocco Morocco

 

What to do in Morocco

  • Beach holidays:
    Morocco is a great place for  beach vacation, but it should be noticed that the Atlantic coast has  wide and sandy beaches, the Mediterranean coast -  rocky. Agadir is a centre of beach tourism.
  • Recreation tourism:
    Sea water and healthy air contribute to the development of thalassotherapy. The main centers of thalassotherapy are located at the hotels in the cities of Casablanca, Agadir and Fez.
  • Skiing:
    Atlas Mountain chain covers more than half of the territory. Some peaks are covered with snow all year round. The main ski centers of the country are located there. The most famous is Oukaimeden. It is located at an altitude of 2650 m and has several ski lifts and the highest in Africa ropeway road.
  • Jeep safari:
    Jeep safari – belongs to the active and informative tour. In one day, you can see the sandy beaches, mountain scenery and picturesque reservoirs. Also you can visit the Berber villages and learn their way of life.
  • Ecotourism:
    Eco-tourism in Morocco is represented by hiking trails through national parks, where you can admire  the nature of the Atlas Mountains. The most famous parks are Toubkal and Tazekka. Also visit Berber villages in the mountains and learn more about their culture.
  • Excursions:
    Morocco is an ancient country. Many civilizations and colonizers changed in its territory and they have contributed to the cultural heritage of the country.  Morocco has a large number of historical sites of different eras, which you can see during various excursions.

Morocco Morocco Morocco

Morocco Morocco Morocco

 

Cuisine of Morocco

Moroccan cuisine is one of the most diverse cuisines in the world. Moroccan cuisine combines traditional elements of Arab, Berber, Moorish, Middle Eastern cuisine and some dishes originated from the Mediterranean, African, Iberian, and Jewish cuisine. The main ingredients are meat, seafood, and various fruits and vegetables. All dishes are spicy. 

 

The main dishes are:
1) Couscous - a traditional dish made from semolina grains;
2) Harira - lamb soup with beans and coriander;
3) Pastilla - consists of pigeon meat,  hard-boiled eggs and  almonds, laid between layers;
4) Tagine - stew meat with vegetables and dried fruit,  prepared in a clay pot;
5) Sharmula - fish with olives, coriander, parsley, onion, pepper, ginger, lemon juice and salt;
6) Kebabs - grilled meat on the coals.


Moroccan cuisine can offer delicious dessert with honey, sesame seeds, almonds and grapes. You should also enjoy traditional mint tea.
"Mahia" is a very popular liquor.
The country also produces the best wines in North Africa. The best brands are "Buluan", "Cabernet President", "Taleb", "Pierre Antoine", "Cardinal Amazir" as well as white wine "Shyud-Sotelo" and "Valper".

 

Morocco Morocco Morocco
Morocco Morocco Morocco

 

What to buy in Morocco:- One of the traditional purchasing in Morocco is a bright and colorful rug. There are two types of carpets in Morocco: Arab and Berber.
- National shoes called "Grandma". The famous fairy-tale characters Little Muck and Aladdin wore such shoes.
- Eastern jewelry: earrings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets, made of gold or silver.
- Products of traditional crafts: carpets, fabrics, embroidered belts, tablecloths, pottery.
- Articles of copper: teapots, sugar bowls, vases and candlesticks.
- Handmade leather goods.
- Wooden souvenirs from cedar, arborvitae, oak and mahogany.
- Clothes made of camel hair.


The best place for buying gold is Fez and for carpets and leather - Rabat. When you buy should haggle.

 

Prices in Morocco:
Prices in Morocco are moderate. For example, for 50 dirham (5 euros), you can dine in the restaurant. Sweets on the street you can buy for 5 dirham and sandwiches: 10 - 20 dirham. If you want to use the services of a tour guide for the day, it will cost you 100 dirham. Entrance to the museum is – 10. A cab ride - 5-15, the average price for one night in the hotel: 70 euros.
Important:  One euro is about 9 - 10 dirham.

 

Morocco Morocco Morocco

 

What you need to know about Morocco

- For any service you are expected to give a small tip. In restaurants and hotels it is 10% of the total amount. Tips are given from hands to hands to the person who is serving you.
- Do not drink the tap water, only bottled. Also be careful with ice juice. It is recommended to bring with you all necessary medications.
- It is prohibited for non-Muslims to enter the mosques.
- Hugging and kissing in public is not acceptable.
- At the beginning of dinner you will probably serve a cup of hot water for washing hands. You should not touch the food with your left hand, it is considered "unclean".
- It is not polite to reject the invitation for visiting. But accepting invitation you should be ready to drink at least three cups of tea.

 

Interesting Facts

  • The full Arabic name of Morocco is «Al-Mamlaka al-Maghribiya», which translated as "Western Kingdom".
  • The word "Berber" (indigenous people of Morocco), translated from French as "Barbarian".
  • Morocco is located between Africa and Europe, in a place where East meets West.
  • The top of Jebel Toubkal (4165 m) in Atlas Mountain is the highest point in North Africa.
  • Morocco is a great place for skiing. It is probably the only skiing place in Africa.
  • When the king is changing the banknotes are also changing. The portrait of the former king is changing to the portrait of the new king.
  • Every gas station and train stations have special prayer rooms.
  • The university in the city of Fez (859) is considered the oldest university in the world.
  • Moroccans love to help when they are not asked for, and then beg money for it.
  • A good way to get rid of such needless "assistants" - to start speaking unknown for them language.
  • Morocco is the only African country that is not part of the African Union (came out in 1984).
  • At the traffic lights, motorists can honk to each other just for fun. You can say that it is a local entertainment among motorists.
  • The Moroccan goat graze on the trees, it is because there is not much grass on the ground and they have to climb trees and eat leaves and fruits there.

 

Conclusions about Morocco

Morocco is located in the north-western part of Africa. The country, which is a prominent representative of Eastern culture, attracts tourists with its mild climate, sandy beaches and rich natural diversity. The country has an interesting history. Different civilizations and colonizers have contributed to the cultural heritage of it.  Morocco has a large number of historical sites from different eras. The country can offer various kinds of tourism.  You can enjoy a beach vacation in Agadir, get acquainted with the life of the Berbers in the alpine village of Imuzzer, stroll ancient and colorful streets in Marrakech, and have picnic in the shade of the orange groves. Strange but true, this African country has excellent ski resorts.

Morocco Morocco Morocco

Morocco Morocco Morocco

Morocco Morocco Morocco



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