Top Attractions in Morocco
Ben Youssef Medersa, Marrakesh
The Saadian sultan Abdallah el-Ghallib rebuilt this 9th-century madrassa as the largest Koranic school to rival Fassi imams' madrassa in Fez. The visual impact is evident in the expansive main courtyard and exquisite tile mosaics. It's one of the best-preserved historic sites in Marrakesh.
Cascades d'Ouzoud, Central High Atlas Mountains
Some 40 miles southwest of Bin el-Ouidane, the majestic succession of waterfalls plunging into the canyon of Wadi el-Abid 330 feet below is a natural wonder not to be missed.
Djemaâ el-Fna and Souks, Marrakesh
Haggle for handmade rugs, leather, silver, and pottery still crafted in ancient artisanal workshops. Feast on succulent lamb kebabs, chicken tagine, pigeon pastilla, and vegetable couscous. Sip mint tea. Wend your way through the narrow labyrinth of medina passages and squares. This must-do experience will thrill, entertain, and sometimes overwhelm even the most seasoned traveler.
Erg Chebbi and Erg Chigaga Sand Dunes, near Merzouga
For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, escape into the world of the Berber nomads and explore these windswept Saharan dunes stretching 19 miles and rising to a maximum height of 820 feet.
Essaouira, the Fortified Coastal Town
The rough Atlantic waves pounding against the rocky shoreline add drama to this romantic fortressed fishing village that has been designated a World Heritage Site. Stroll along the cannon-lined sqalas (sea bastions) toward the ramparts that lead to the picturesque port and medina.
Fez el-Bali (Old City), Fez
Step into a time warp as you enter this 9th-century medina, the world's most active medieval city. With culturally important fondouks, riads, medersas, mosques, and palaces dating back 1,000 years, it's no surprise the Fez el-Bali with its 9,500 alleyways remains a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca
One of the largest mosques in the world covers almost a million square feet and can hold some 25,000 people. Two-thirds of the building is built over the sea, where the minaret's light beacon shines 20 miles towards Mecca. It ranks as the country's most exceptional representation of Moroccan artistry for its ornate carved stucco, zellij tilework (a type of mosaic), and onyx and marble details.
Koutoubia Minaret, Marrakesh
Rising 300 feet, the iconic carved stone-and-green-tile tower is the architectural centerpiece of the Almohad dynasty. One of the largest mosques of the Western Muslim world, the Koutoubia is off-limits to non-Muslims; its minaret, however, is used by everyone as the orientation point by which other city sites are located and captures the collective ear when the imam delivers the daily call to prayer.
Valley of the Kasbahs, near Ouarzazate
Secret gorges. Breathtaking canyons. Spectacular rock formations. In the High Atlas, the stunning Dades Valley is a mystical region dotted with palm trees and sandstone kasbahs that rise from the barren landscape. To start the magical journey, head to the Aït Ben Haddou, a World Heritage Site featured in blockbuster films and only a short excursion from the oasis town of Ouarzazate.Updated: 03-2013
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