Morocco is a popular travel destination, known for its stunning scenery, exotic food and intriguing culture. However, if you only have a weekend in Morocco, it can be difficult to decide where to go and what to do. Here’s a quick introduction the most beautiful and unique destinations in Morocco to help you decide where to spend your 48 hours.
The Busy City: Marrakech
Marrakech is the first stop for many travelers to Morocco. From the stunning architecture to the vibrant atmosphere, this city is an excellent place to spend 48 hours. It offers a great taste of Moroccan culture, with its kaleidoscopic array of colors, shops and more.
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No visit to Marrakech would be complete without a visit to the chaotic medina, or market. You’ll likely find yourself overwhelmed by its unique odors, sights and sounds! Here, you’ll find everything from colorful fabrics to unique spices—plus people in every direction as they complete their shopping, have a meal or visit with friends. It’s sure to be one of the most exhilarating shopping experiences of your life.
Although Marrakech—and Morocco as a whole—is home to many stunning buildings and mosques, the Koutoubia Mosque is one of the most popular and memorable. Day or night, you can view this architectural masterpiece. Take a stroll through its lush gardens, and marvel at its beauty.
Hammams, or public baths and spas, are a great way to relax after a long day spent wandering through the medina. They usually contain baths of varying temperatures, where you can relax or receive various treatments performed with black soaps and scrubs. The experience can leave you feeling refreshed, but be forewarned: hammams may not be comfortable to the shy individual, as hammam attendees typically remove their clothes upon entry.
The Adventure: Sahara Desert
The Sahara Desert is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for something more adventurous and away from the city. There are many amazing treks and tour groups that will take you out camping in the desert or to an oasis. The breathtaking beauty of the Sahara makes this one of the most stunning weekend getaways in Morocco.
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If you choose to visit the Sahara Desert, be sure to arrange a camel ride, one of the quintessential Saharan experiences. Just be careful: they spit! The incredible silence and solitude that you’ll find in the desert, far from your home, will leave you feeling totally awe-inspired.
Throughout the Sahara, you will find Berber villages. Many tour groups or trekking guides will take you to a village to see how daily life is. They may even allow you to prepare a meal with a Berber family! Experiencing the ways of life of the Berber people is incredibly fascinating, and you’re sure to create memories that will stick with you for a lifetime.
The Sahara is full of sand dunes and not much traffic, making it one of the most amazing places in the world to ride a 4×4. Given the tons of open space, it’s even possible to go on a night ride. This is an unforgettable experience for the thrill-seeker.
The Cultural Experience: Fez
If you want to explore a city that is not quite as overwhelmingly large as Marrakech, then this is your place! Fez’s winding alleyways give it a magical feeling that will take you back in time.
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The souks, or shops, of Fez are a must-see. The medina (again, market—learn this word!) is full of tiny passageways where you can find everything from beautiful rugs to camel heads for sale. It is the best place to get lost, wander aimlessly and see what surprises hide around every corner.
Fez has some of the oldest tanneries, or leather-making and dyeing factories, in the world. The smell of the factories is quite pungent, but most tanneries will hand out mint to hide the odor. The experience might sound odd, but it is also incredibly intriguing and beautiful in its own way.
Fez is full of amazing restaurants where you can find traditional Moroccan food—everything from delicious tagines, to couscous, to unique street food. You can even try your hand at a cooking class so you can bring a little bit of Morocco back home with you!
The Relaxing Getaway: Chefchaouen
Chefchaouen is perfect if you want to slow down and relax a little. It’s a picturesque city known for its unique architecture and blue-tinted buildings. Although size-wise it’s still a city, it has a smaller, quainter, feel to it than Marrakech or Fez.
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There are several hikes near Chefchaouen that are suitable for all levels. The most popular is the hike to Akchour, a stunning waterfall. It’s important to take safety precautions and know where you’re going. As long as you prepare a little, the hikes of Chefchaouen can be a great way to lose yourself in the natural beauty of Morocco.
As you may have noticed, Morocco is full of medinas and souks to explore; however, each city puts its own little twist on them. The medina of Chefchaouen is much smaller and easier to navigate than many larger cities’ medinas. The calm and relaxing environment makes it the perfect place to spend an afternoon strolling and shopping.
There is so much to see, do and taste when you come to Morocco, but if you’re looking to get away from it all, Chefchaouen is a tranquil city where you’ll find you just want to wander around, relax and soak in the atmosphere. Whether you choose to stop by a coffee shop for mint tea and people-watching or amble around exploring the cute blue buildings, you should find the peace that you desire in Chefchaouen.
Morocco has so much beauty and culture to offer that it can be overwhelming to decide where to go. Hopefully, you now feel a little more confident and ready to take on Morocco. Whether you decide to go on a camel-riding adventure, relax in the hammams or anything in between, I can guarantee that you will not be disappointed.