Explore the Magic of Morocco and Its Royal Cities


Morocco is a land of myth and modernity, legends and rich culture. Visiting brings you into another world; one that is filled with history, incomparable scenery, and some of the most hospitable, charming, and curious people in the world. Morocco is magical; not only is it set within a picturesque and rich environment, it is filled with royal cities, intriguing architecture, and always, always, a sense of life lived more vibrantly and colorfully.

While we may immediately think of desert landscapes, Morocco actually has a varied environment that is interesting to explore. But its cities tend to capture the imagination of visitors and reflect the culture of the people. Here are some suggestions that will help you plan your itinerary.

Fez. The imperial city of Fez, or Fes, is the second largest in Morocco, and the perfect setting in which to experience the life, culture, food, smells, and sights of this unique country. It is the oldest imperial city, and its Medina, or Old Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Behind its high walls lies a twisting, turning medieval city, which will transport you centuries back in time. The Ville Nouvelle, or the new part of Fez, is much more contemporary, with modern shops - and traffic! Visit the Kairaouine Mosque, the Merenid Tombs, museums, or just wander through the 9,000 narrow streets of the Medina and enjoy.

Rabat. Rabat is another old city in which you can lose yourself while exploring Morocco. It, too, has a Medina, but this is more compact than the one in Fez. It is a well-organized enclave that is bordered by water on two sides and high walls on the other. You will see incredible architecture, and souks, or traditional markets, which sell anything from Morocco's famed leather goods to spices. A great time to pick up some souvenirs!

Marrakech. The "Red City" is the most historically important imperial city in Morocco, and you will see that history etched into every stone. Here you will find the biggest souk in the country, and Djemaa el Fna, one of the busiest squares in the world. Watch acrobats, dancers, musicians, and story tellers perform, or get a bite of authentic Moroccan food at the stalls that open at night.

Casablanca. Morocco's most famous city, Casablanca, is worth a visit. Its Medina is much smaller and its Ville Nouvelle is very congested. Stop to see the Hassan II Mosque or enjoy the famed nightlife. For a better Medina experience, though, go to Rabat or Marrakech.

Experience the blend of old and new, classic and modern, ancient and contemporary in Morocco's beautiful imperial cities.

Enid Glasgow is a travel writer who recently visited Morocco.

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