Morocco Discovery Guide

Overview

Morocco is an African state on the Western part of North Africa. As a former French colony, Morocco was granted independence on March 2, 1956. Before its independence, Morocco’s strategic position made it a rich jewel in the major colonizer’s catch. French, British, Spanish, and Dutch colonizers have had their eyes set on Morocco at one point during their expansion to Africa. They knew fully well that whoever controls Morocco controls the Strait of Gibraltar and the Mediterranean Sea.

Morocco is bordered by Algeria to the northeast, by the Mediterranean Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar to the north, Mali to the east, and Mauritania to the south along the Western Sahara, which is a former Spanish colony annexed by Morocco in 1975, referring to it as its southern province. The official name is Kingdom of Morocco with Rabat as its capital. On the other hand, Casablanca is the most important city.

Morocco’s offshore areas are dotted by several islands. Moreover, Morocco retains control over the Strait of Gibraltar on the European side at the southern tip of Spain. According to ancient belief, there were two pillars of Hercules, one was the Rock of Gibraltar, and the other is Jebel Musa in Morocco.

The coastal areas are fertile and receive sufficient rainfall, making it ideal for agriculture. In fact, most of Morocco’s agricultural produce comes from the northern coastal areas. Morocco’s climate is distinctly Mediterranean because of its proximity to Europe, although as one goes to the interior, climate becomes more extreme particularly in the areas near the Sahara desert, which is hot at daytime and cold at nighttime.

Getting Around in Morocco

Going to Morocco is easy. Because of its proximity to Europe, it is served by major European airlines. To accommodate these daily flights, Morocco has 12 major airports that receive flights to and from European capitals such as Paris, Brussels, London, and Madrid. The port of Casablanca is an excellent port for Morocco, and most ocean liners and cruise ships make a call in this beautiful and scenic port city. Inside Morocco, there is an extensive network of roads and railroads that connect all parts of the country to each other. Before, there were also railways and roads to Tunisia and Algeria, but these have since been closed. On the European side, on the works is a proposed Gibraltar tunnel, which will connect Morocco with its European neighbors.

Morocco’s Diverse Cuisines

Moroccans boast of the diversity of their cuisines. This was brought about by many centuries of being immersed in the culture of European colonizers for the most part of its history. Moroccan cuisines are a motley of African, Portuguese, Moorish, Spanish, Arabic, and Mediterranean cuisines. Aside from these, there are also dishes brought in by the Turks, Middle Eastern cuisines brought by the Arabs, and Jewish cuisines brought by Jews. Chicken is the most commonly eaten meat in Morocco, but for red meat, beef is the most popular. Lamb is also consumed but is very expensive. The most popular drink is green tea, mixed with mint. There is no doubt that Morocco has one of the world’s most diverse cuisines.


Where to visit and what to see:

* Oued Eddahab-Lagouira, Dakhla
* Laâyoune-Boujdour-Sakia El Hamra, Laâyoune
* Guelmim-Es Smara, Guelmim
* Souss-Massa-Draâ, Agadir-Idda ou Tanane
* Gharb-Chrarda-Beni Hsen, Kenitra
* Chaouia-Ourdigha, Settat
* Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz, Marrakech-Menara
* Oriental, Oujda-Angad
* Casablanca, Casa-Anfa
* Rabat-Sale-Zemmour-Zaër, Rabat
* Doukkala-Abda, Safi
* Tadla-Azilal, Beni Mellal
* Meknes-Tafilalt, Meknes-El Menzeh
* Fez-Boulmane, Fez Jedid-Dar Dbibegh
* Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate, Al Hoceima
* Tangier-Tetouan, Tanger-Assilah

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