…you ethereal, picturesque, culture-haven, broad-based fairy-tale. So juicy are the stories your streets have to tell, making you the most visited African country for the last two years. Within arm’s reach you have both the Mediterranean and Atlantic Oceans. That’s pretty decent company. You have it all from the beaches, city towers, history, colour, little villages, to the deserts, scenery, wildlife and the quiet. But where do we start from?
Marrakech is arguably the biggest draw about Morocco, in terms of its cities. Luxury restaurants and hotels, sophisticated souks (local market stalls) and rich cultural and cosmopolitan entertainment abound in Marrakech. In connection, it is certainly for good reason and from a place of admiration why Marrakech is often mistaken as the capital of Morocco (and, by the way, Rabat, the original capital of Morocco is AMAZING as well).
But after Marrakech, what next? What do you do after you have supposedly gained a fair mastery of the Marrakech terrain?
LOOKING BEYOND MARRAKECH: THREE DAY TRIPS TO EMBARK USING MARRAKECH AS AN AXIS
Maybe it’s fair to consider Marrakech as the figurative epicentre of Morocco. The overload of development out there, in transportation specifically, makes the city a good ‘yo-yo’ on which visitors of Morocco can propel themselves into what could be termed as the lesser-known-yet-equally-receptive cities of Morocco.
West of Marrakech is Essaouira, one of our favourite Morocco trump cards. Essaouira hugs the Atlantic Ocean and is known for its gusty winds all year round. It should take about 3 hours to get to Essaouira from Marrakech, via the buses that take off from the Supratours Bus Station. Given the proximity to the Ocean, the city of Essaouira gives off a sea town vibe, with a dash of closely-knit historical housing units, clusters of souks that embody strong communalism and an energetic harbour that all but says ‘welcome to the countryside’.
With an incredibly addictive name, Ouarzazate presents a 4-hour scenery-riddled journey from Marrakech. Notably, you get to travel through the famed Atlas Mountains of Morocco in order to get to your destination, which adds to the fascinating views that you’re sure to have on the journey. For Game of Throne lovers, the lustre of Ouarzazate will probably be greater because some scenes from the show were shot in the region. Ouarzazate offers breath-taking landscape, an opening into the lifestyle of rural Morocco, pockets of snow (if you do visit during the winter period) and COLOUR; largely from the red earth clay architecture found in Ait Benhaddou.
Of course Morocco is also known for its Sahara terrain. Some say it is criminal to visit Morocco without touching the Sahara face of it. Debatable, nonetheless a very strong argument. The Agafay Desert is only 45 minutes from Marrakech. It is interesting to note that The Agafay Desert is not your traditional lonely desert. We are talking daring bike rides by the boatload, horse-back riding, intimate dining, canoeing and everything in between.