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Places to visit in 2012 – Morocco

The general view of Morocco to outsiders is that of a narrow stretch of hot sand featuring overcrowded beaches on one side of it and the Sahara Desert on the other. As it is with most general or popular views of African countries, this particular one is rather far from the truth.

The Northern half of the country, far from being made up of a sea of hot sand is actually a place of vast expanses of fertile agricultural lands, forests, vineyards and grazing meadows. The climate in this region is strikingly Mediterranean-like and one might be amazed to find out that the place doesn’t only offer some great golf courses but also skiing, near Marrakech.

Marrakech itself is a wonderful mix of old an new, you can spend several days just wandering the maze of souks and ruins and one thing that you can’t miss if you’re here for any amount of time longer than a day is the great plaza of Djeema El Fna at dusk. This plaza is the place to be at night, this is where musicians, dancers and story tellers gather to create something unique. It’s interesting to visit the place during the day as well as at night so that you can notice the transformation.

The souks, or markets, are places where you can buy pretty much anything ranging from spices and shoes to who knows what – keep in mind that foreigners are traditionally overcharged but make sure to bargain, it’s tradition.

However, for those who are looking for a more adventurous place in Morocco, they should know that the remote desert town of Dakhla is for them. This settlement is located on the Atlantic Coast, six hundred miles south of Marrakech, Dakhla is steadily becoming one of the world’s best destinations for wind- and kite-board surfing.

However the atmosphere of the place is much more laid back than one might think, its combination of wildness due to remoteness makes it a rather bohemian place to be, filled with a strong Tuareg culture, constantly warm waters and the desert only a short trek away, it packs a lot of things into just one place.

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