Most people arriving in Morocco tend to flock to the city of Marrakech. And with good reason, the city is home to beautiful Moorish and Islamic architecture, bustling souks and a feast of spicy aromas. But beyond Marrakech is a host of other exciting and unusual experiences guaranteed to make your trip to Morocco all the more memorable.
For those looking to explore further afield and try something out of the ordinary, here are our top five experiences in Morocco.
Enjoy a Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Ride
Start your day before dawn and head to the launch spot of your hot air balloon ride. Enjoy coffee and fresh pastries as the crew inflate your balloon. Then, as dawn starts to break, step into the basket and take to the skies for the ultimate bird’s eye view of Morocco.
Watch the sands change colour as the sun rises over the surreal desert landscape. Head to the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains and gaze out to the snowy peaks and lush valleys beyond. The ride is stuffed with great photo opportunities and is the perfect romantic experience to share with a special someone.
Stay at a Traditional Berber Camp
Step away from your smartphone and immerse yourself in the Berber way of life. Traditionally nomadic, Morocco’s Berber communities have long defied harsh desert and mountain environments in search of pastures for their herds. Spend a night in a rustic Berber tent and enjoy traditional Moroccan food against a backdrop of rugged Moroccan scenery.
Those wanting to take this experience one step further may choose to join the biannual Migration of the Berbers. Trekking between the Dades Valley and the High Atlas Mountains, the Berbers climb into the mountains to escape the heat during the summer and descend into the valleys to avoid freezing temperatures in the winter. Join the trek and enjoy one of the few opportunities in today’s modern world to experience a life that runs according to nature’s timing.
Learn to Cook in Fes
The origins of Morocco’s cuisine extend beyond its north African roots. Whereas the Berber influence is found in staple products such as cous cous, the country’s cafe culture was introduced by the French and its famous spices and dried fruits by the Arabs. Although each region has its own flavours, some of Morocco’s most unique and diverse cuisine can be found in the spiritual capital of Fes.
Explore the city’s World Heritage-listed Medina, with its maze of streets and souks. Buy fresh ingredients and sample some of the best local delicacies before a hands-on workshop where you can develop some tasty dishes for yourself. After all, what better way to discover Morocco than through its food?
Take a Buggy Tour
Escape the bustling cities and discover the rural side of Morocco on a buggy tour. Travel along desert dirt tracks and dry riverbeds to wild palm groves and ancient volcanic formations. During the tour you can soak up the views and experience the changing desert colours as the sun moves across the sky.
Far removed from the city you will find traditional Berber villages. Local families offer visitors a warm welcome into their households and refreshing pots of hot Moroccan tea. Meet these fascinating nomadic people and gain an insight into their lives before heading back out to explore.
Experience the Gnaoua World Music Festival
Each June the port city of Essaouira comes to life with the Gnaoua World Music Festival. As Morocco’s biggest summer festival, the event sees the city’s streets, squares and performance venues flooded with sounds and colour. Drawing hundreds of thousands of people, the city transforms into a musical and cultural hub over four days.
Deeply rooted in the traditional styles and sounds of the Gnaoua people, the festival now celebrates music from all over the world. The lineup features not only local rhythms but jazz, soul, funk and blues – truly offering something for everyone. And when you need a break from the beats, the nearby beaches and pretty inner-city courtyards provide the perfect spots to unwind.
What was your best experience in Morocco? Comment below or, if you’re yet to go, check out our Morocco group tours.