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Top 10 Sites to Visit in Morocco

Morocco is a mixture of old world charm and modern Muslim atmosphere. The country is a conglomeration of various cultures including Spanish, French, African, Berber and British, and the variety of things to see and do is just as diverse. It is not possible to visit everything in Morocco on one trip or even two, but you can plan your vacation around these top ten sites to visit in Morocco.

Top 10 Sites to Visit in Morocco

1. The Erg Chebbi Dunes are located in the Sahara Desert near Merzouga, a small village with a general store, mechanic and a few carpet shops. The Erg Chebbi Dunes have a local legend that says God was upset with a woman and her son, so he buried her in the desert under mounds of sand, thus the Erg Chebbi Dunes were formed.

2. The Place Djemaa el-Fna is located in Marrakesh, which is a midpoint city for many other attractions in Morocco. The square is known for its snake charmers, musicians, monkeys and fortune tellers. These unique characters transform the square into a medieval circus during the evening hours, but during the day the square is open for eating and tourist shopping.

3. Majorelle Garden, a popular botanical garden, is also located in Marrakesh. Designed by Jacques Majorelle and Yves Saint Laurent, the gardens welcome visitors to stroll through them at their leisure.

4. Cascades d'Ouzoud is near Marrakesh and Azilal. One of the more dramatic waterfalls in the area, the cascades were created out of towering red rocks and lush foliage. The water runs into the valley below and the river serves as a water source for Berber villages in the area.

5. While near Marrakesh and the High Atlas Mountains visitors may wish to travel to Todra Gorge, a canyon carved over time by water. The canyon is the last high point before the landscape opens into the Sahara Desert.

6. Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakesh is a 12th-century mosque and symbol of Marrakesh's past. While the inside of the mosque cannot be accessed by tourists, it is possible to see the mosque from several areas of the city and tour the grounds.

7. Voubilis is the site of several Walili Roman ruins. Built in the third century, the site today consists of just a few walls of the great structures that once demonstrated the power of the Roman Empire. The site is now an archeological dig site, and archeologists work to undercover and preserver what is left of it. Voubilis is located in North Africa near the Rif Mountains.

8. Ouarzazate is located in the desert past Marrakesh and the Todra Gorge. Visitors can visit Ait Benhaddou, which is a kasbah in the Souss Massa Draa Valley, as well as Kasbah Taourirt, which was built by Glaoui. It is also the site of the film Lawrence of Arabia.

9. Morocco's capital city, Rabat, may not be as well known as the other imperial cities, but it is rich in history. The city's most famous site is Le Tour Hassan, a tower built during the reign of Almohad ruler Yacoub el Mansour in the late 12th century.

10. In Fez, visitors should check out Fez Dar Batha Museum. This former palace is a 19th century home of Hispano Moorish background. It has since been turned into a museum housing traditional art.
Rich history and culture will greet you at every site. Whether you have time for all ten locations on a long tour of Morocco as a whole country or can only visit a few of these locations, you have plenty to see and do on your vacation to Morocco.

Sam Mitchell is a freelance writer for Journey Beyond Travel, an eco-friendly, sustainable Morocco tour company. Journey Beyond Travel specializes in trekking tours in the High Atlas Mountains as well as other cultural itineraries. For more information on planning your Morocco holiday, visit Journey Beyond Travel's Morocco travel guide.

Source: S._Mitchell
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