Marrakech is an inland city, and while it does see the Oued Issil River running through it, the river dries up completely during the summer months. Despite this, it is possible to enjoy a classic seaside experience by taking a day trip, or an overnight trip, to the Atlantic coast. The Moroccan beaches can be reached in two to three hours depending on which beach you choose. Safi, Essaouira, and Agadir are the most popular choices for a day out at the beach. While they each have their own unique characteristics, only one is known as ‘The Miami of Morocco’. Agadir Beach is often likened to those of Florida.
For a sand experience with a difference, why not venture into the Sahara Desert and visit North Africa’s famous sand dunes? The nearest dunes to Marrakech are located 350 kilometres away in Zagora, so it’s best to hire a car and allow for two or three days to really enjoy yourselves. Merzouga is another destination known for its incredible sand dunes. While you’re there, you can take part in a number of activities, such as camel trekking. It’s also a great opportunity to check out some of the popular tourist destinations outside of Marrakech. Ouarzazate, with its UNESCO-listed old fortified village, is well worth a visit.
You may be surprised to learn that Moroccan cuisine is similar in many ways to Mediterranean, as the country extends all the way up to the Med. The difference is that Moroccan foods are generously seasoned with fresh local spices including cinnamon, cumin, turmeric, ginger, paprika, and coriander.
Savoury stews known as tagines are common menu items here, often made with meat, veg, spices, nuts, and dried fruits. They’re prepared in a pyramid-shaped pot, also known as a tagine. What is believed to be the world’s largest tagine is located just a two-hour drive from Marrakech, in the pottery town of Safi.
Morocco has a big street food culture. Spiced meat sandwiches called brochettes are extremely popular, as are kebabs. Be sure to try chermoula, which is marinated grilled or fried fish. In Morocco, the fish used is usually sardines. Morocco is a major exporter of them, and most fish caught here are sardines.
For an authentic Moroccan experience, it has to be the medina in Marrakech, especially Jemaa el-Fna Square. It can be hot here, so be sure to pick up a fresh orange juice or green tea with mint. Outside of the medina are more modern cafes and bistros, along with international fast food joints.
Although Morocco has a hot climate, most of the vineyards are located in the cooler Atlas Mountains. The colder weather here creates high acidity wines such as Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc. Brasseries du Maroc brews local Moroccan beers, lagers and pilsners including Speciale Flag, Stork, and Casablanca.
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