Six reasons to plan a trip to Morocco in 2022: On February 7, Morocco lifted the ban on international flights and reopened it to tourists. Here are a few reasons why you should visit this North African country.
Wander the winding medieval streets of Essaouira
On the Atlantic coast of Morocco, the city of Essaouira is perhaps best known for its association with Game of Thrones. It was used as a filming location for the fictional city of Astapor in the series’ third season. You can recognize him from the scene where Daenerys first meets her Unsullied army.
Apart from its appearance on the small screen, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed city is also a center of culture. Wandering its narrow streets, you will find shops selling local arts and crafts, restaurants, and cafes. There is much more to be found here than the standard pottery stalls and carpets.
Taste delicious traditional dishes
One of the main reasons to visit Morocco has to be the food. The smells of tajines, falafel, and real spiced pastries waft through the streets of most cities. Mint tea is a welcome gesture in Moroccan culture, so you will almost certainly be offered this sweet green tea during your stay.
If you want some truly traditional Moroccan cuisine, head to Berber villages and camps for homemade food. The traditional cuisine, called the Amazigh, has a number of different influences from across North Africa, including the Atlas Mountains and the Sahara Desert.
Majorelle Garden, Marrakesh
This two-and-a-half-acre botanical garden was restored by Yves Saint Laurent and his partner in 1980. It was originally designed by the artist Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s using the artist’s color palette.
Water takes center stage in the garden with lily ponds, fountains, and streams, offering a welcome oasis in the middle of a hot city. In addition to an extensive collection of plants, there is a courtyard cafe, a book and photography store, and a boutique that sells Saint Laurent-inspired items.
Browse the stalls in the bazaar
Souks are perhaps one of the most famous attractions in Morocco. These markets can be found in most cities and towns selling everything from pottery, fabrics, and furniture to slippers and musical instruments.
Most travelers pass through Marrakesh during their stay in the country and here you can find some of the biggest and best souks. Each sells a different selection of merchandise, but if you’re looking for incredible food, head to Djemaa el Fna Square as soon as night falls. There are hundreds of stalls selling a variety of food here.
In the center of the square, storytellers practice traditional Moroccan art, a fusion of music, comedy, and current events.
If you decide to walk around the bazaar, be careful. Pickpockets are everywhere, so don’t wear flashy jewelry or carry a lot of cash.
Surfing on the beaches of Morocco
Warm weather and cheap accommodation mean Morocco is fast becoming one of the most popular surf destinations in the world. The best time to visit is from December to March, but with 1,835 km of coastline, good waves can be found all year round.
There are plenty of great beaches near popular cities like Rabat or Agadir, but if you’re looking for a serious challenge, head to Morocco’s surfing capital of Taghazout. Within 15 minutes of this fishing village, there are over 20 world-class places to visit.
Sunrise in the Sahara
Camping in the Sahara Desert may seem like an intimidating prospect, but it’s the best way to experience its stunning beauty. Many tour operators organize trips where everything is organized for you.
Incredible views of the stars are one of the main reasons to venture into the sands of the world’s largest desert. Isolated from big cities or towns, light pollution is virtually non-existent, so you can see hundreds of constellations and even the Milky Way in all its glory.
When dawn breaks, you can watch the landscape change as the sun rises over the desert.