Mesmerised in Morocco: a Guide to Your Next Holiday
One of Morocco's UNESCO World Heritage Sites is the Medina of Marrakech, where you'll find artefacts from the reign of the Almoravids (Muslim aristocrats) during the 11th century, like Koutoubiya Mosque, the Kasbah fortress, and Ben Youssef Madrasa college. The Saadian tombs, where sultans of the Saadi Dynasty were buried, and Place Jamaâ El Fna, a square where snake charmers, acrobats, and fortune-tellers perform nightly, are other hot spots.
The setting for movies such as "Lawrence of Arabia," "The Mummy," and "Gladiator," the town of Ait-Ben-Haddou is another World Heritage Site. It is renowned for its fortified earthen walls, imposing towers, and kasbas, clay houses built close to each other.
The cliffs of Dadès Gorge, the beaches of Agadir, and the gardens of Tangier are among the natural highlights of the country. The largest mosque in the world, Hassan II Mosque, is in Casablanca, while the Caves of Hercules at Cape Spartel is where legend has it the Greek demigod lived.
Shopping is an integral part of your Moroccan holiday. The country is an ideal place to buy leather, silk, and wool, while fine carpets abound in the south. Spend some time in the “souks” where you can bargain for a traditional kaftan (a loose gown), or its hooded version, the djellaba, as a souvenir.
For a more comprehensive experience of Moroccan cuisine, try Pastilla, flaky pastry filled with pigeon meat; Tajine, lamb or chicken stew; and Djaja mahamara, chicken stuffed with wheat, raisins, and almonds. Cool your throat with some mint tea.