It can be frustrating that when you have the time (before jobs, mortgages and family tend to keep you grounded) to go off on an adventure backpacking abroad, you tend not to have the funds. Morocco can be a perfect compromise, full of excitement and a world away with just a couple of hours’ flight.
The pace of life is startlingly different from the UK. It is an Islamic country in North Africa, so when travelling in Morocco do be respectful of customs and beliefs. It’s an exotic place, rich in culture, spectacular architecture and enthralling history.
With warm, sunny beaches and rolling mountains, there is plenty to see and do. It’s an ideal place to explore on a budget, and it is a culture-filled country.
Look out for picturesque villages with pretty medina passages and busy souk shops selling traditional Moroccan wares such as leather, pottery, brass and carpets.
The food is delicious and well within the budget of a backpacker. Be sure to eat tagine and chicken pastille (filo pie) washed down with a mint tea. It is a social pastime, so expect to spend some time enjoying it.
Trekking is a big draw for backpackers, and the romance of setting out at sunrise heading for the mountains is not to be missed. For those looking for adventure, local transport won’t cause a problem. Check out Morocco overland tours to get the best out of your time and see the best bits.
However you choose to travel, make sure your backpacking expedition takes in the city of Fes. After a tiring journey, a hamman (public steam bath) is a great way to relax.
As for tourists anywhere, following some basic security tips will make you stand out less and minimise the risk of a crime spoiling your holiday. Generally, the crime rate is low, although the risk does rise in cities. As with many places across North Africa currently, there is a terrorist threat, so be on your guard and avoid large crowds if possible. Keep valuables secure and out of sight.
What to Take
Start with a large back pack and a sturdy money belt. Don’t scrimp on a sleeping bag, especially if you plan to sleep out in the desert, where temperatures will plummet at night. The main languages are different varieties of Arabic, so it is worth taking a guide book with a phrase book included. French and English are also widely spoken.
Take a small first-aid kit with basic supplies and a plug adapter if you want to be able to charge a phone or tablet. Wear layers to cope with the varying temperatures, and women should avoid vest tops as shoulders should be covered. Pack a hat and plenty of sunscreen and a swimming costume for beach stays.
Morocco is a great year-round destination for overlanders, but be aware that many shops will close during the day in Ramadan.