How the Adventure Traveller can best experience Morocco
With direct flights from Montreal to Casablanca, Morocco, this North African kingdom is closer than one may think. And yet it’s primed for adventure travel from coast to coast whether it may be riding the waves on the Atlantic, exploring Morocco’s south on two wheels or summiting North Africa’s highest peak.
Take a culinary adventure
The famous Jemaa el Fna square is the largest square in Africa and a hive of activity from morning to long after the sunsets. Sheltered from the Atlas Mountains to the south and the Koutoubia Mosque which hovers over to the west, expect to find monkey charmers, storytellers and dentists performing their trades throughout the day. As the sun sets, the square becomes a lively open-air food market with everything from sheep’s head to snails and sausages on offer.
We suggest joining a local private guided tour for the full experience.
(Photo Credit: Jessica Josie Photography for Tasting Marrakech - www.tasting-marrakech.com. Mandy Sinclair and guest dining in Jemaa el Fna Photo credit Jessica Josie.jpg)
See the Sahara Desert from a camel back
Watching the sun set over the Sahara Desert while gently gliding across the vast sand dunes on a camel is often a highlight of one’s trip to Morocco. Expansive dunes that stretch for miles, bold colours and the silence over the region make this a must-do activity either to reach your camp in the Sahara Desert for the evening or as a trek from your camp once you are settled in. I
We recommend that if you can’t make it to the Sahara Desert from Marrakech (it’s at least 10 hours by car), plan a camel trek in the nearby Agafay Desert.
Explore the Anti-Atlas Mountains on two wheels
Morocco’s rugged Anti-Atlas Mountains are tucked between the Sahara Desert to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the High Atlas Mountains to the north. This smaller range sees fewer tourists but is filled with tiny villages, canyons and gentle rolling hills for exploring on a bike (or foot for those who prefer shorter walks). Cycle through villages, palm groves where farmers tend their small plots of land or explore the rock carvings dating back centuries, all while on two wheels.
Summit North Africa’s highest peak
From the village of Imlil in Morocco’s Toubkal National Park, trekkers depart making their way through the tiny villages, fields of wildflowers up the challenging summit of Mount Toubkal. At 4167 metres, Toubkal is the highest peak in North Africa and a popular destination for trekkers. It’s recommended to book a guide who will also take care of selecting a cook to prepare the meals, and cups of sugary mint tea along the way, and a mule to carry the supplies and baggage.
For this part of your Moroccan journey, expect to spend at least two full days to summit the peak. When you’re back in the village, book a hammam treatment and a hotel for the night before travelling onwards to reward your efforts.
Spend a day, or two, riding the waves
With stretching Atlantic coastline from Tangiers down to Dakhla, Morocco is home to some great waves and secret wild beaches only locals know about. Many travellers arrive in Casablanca on trans-Atlantic flights, but very few know that surfing in this bustling metropolis is possible as the city boasts an impressive surf scene and culture. Further south, Taghazout is perfect for surfing from September to May and caters well to surf holidaymakers.
Kites-urf in Essaouira
Known as the windy city, coastal Essaouira is famous for its kite surfing. It’s not uncommon to see what appear to be kite surfers floating across the ocean upon arrival in the small town on a windy day. The winds tend to be calm during the winter months but pick up in the summer months making this an ideal time for kite surfing in Essaouira.
For more information on experiencing an adventure to Morocco, or other thrill-seeking locations and itineraries, please contact Krista Tovell.