Before visiting Morocco there are some must read books that will enhance your travel experience. From guide books to fiction and non fiction taking hold of a vacation whether you are traveling on budget or a luxury private tour is easily done. It is also important to have a good guide book to inform and orient you when taking a Morocco tour. With a wide range of guide books available the ones that come out on top are the Rough Guide to Morocco and Lonely Planet Morocco. Both serve as a reliable and practical introduction to the history of Morocco along with its urban and rural life. Both guide books also offer travelers information about Morocco’s souks, historic sites, best places to eat and shopping options. There are a growing number of guide books to Morocco and local city guides as well however Rough Guide and Lonely Planet are generally reckoned to be the best and most up to date available on the market.
Marrakech’s hippest shopping destination is rue Mouassine in the Marrakech Medina. Bab Laksour and the Marrakech medina’s Mouassine district is an intimate introduction for first time visitors to Marrakech. The Mouassine in the Marrakech medina boasts many trendy, fashionable boutiques, antiques dealers along with arts and crafts shops. The Mouassine has become one of the best places to shop in Marrakech. One of the easiest ways to get to Bab Laksour and the Mouassine is from Avenue Mohammed V just after the Ensemble de Artisans which leads to rue Laksour. This route offers an alternative to entering via the Jemma El Fna and the crowded souks.
A previously hidden discovery of great historic and cultural importance is emerging from behind layers of white plaster in a private residence next door to the great 16th century Mouassine mosque built when the Saadian dynasty made Marrakech their imperial capital. Marrakech became one of the great cities in the Islami c world with a population of perhaps 50,000. The major projects of the dynasty including the mosques at Mouassine, Bab Doukkala, Ben- Youssef and Sidi Bel -Abbes gave the city a new dynamic.The Saadians initiated a grand building program and moved the Jewish population to the Mellah and distributed land to Chorfa families so they could occupy the area.
Moroccan Street Food is a great way to discover Morocco’s local culture. While the best Moroccan food is said to be found in a Moroccan home, very reasonably priced street food is available in small stalls and roadside cafés all over Morocco. Eating Moroccan Street Food in the old medina of Fes, Marrakech and Essaouira allows for a great opportunity to meet Moroccans during breakfast, lunch and dinner or just for a snack. Moroccan Street Food is also the best way to discover local Moroccan fresh foods that are well cooked and full of flavor.
Riad Star opens in September 2013 after two years of renovation by a team of Marrakech’s finest craftsmen. It was part of the palace once owned by the Pasha of Marrakech, Thami El Glaoui who in the 1940s invited Josephine Baker to live there. She was inspirational vaudeville star, singer and dancer of the jazz era. She was also a French resistance heroine and civil rights pioneer to come and live in it and Riad Star’s seven rooms have been decorated in Art Deco style with memorabilia sourced from the Parisian music halls of the twenties and thirties. Riad Star is a unique addition to Moroccan Riad and Boutique Hotel offerings.
Morocco has a diverse and vibrant culture close to Europe just 13 km from the coast of Spain yet with growing ties with the Middle East where the oil rich Gulf countries are investing substantially in Morocco’s tourism industry.
In the new Moroccan constitution adopted in 2011 in the context of the Arab Spring , His Majesty King Mohammed VI reaffirmed the “Hebrew distinctive characteristic” of Morocco as ” one of the age-old pieces ” of “its national identity”” and he called for “the restoration of all the Jewish temples ” in the Kingdom. In a message at the restoration ceremony of the 17th century Slat al Fassayine Synagogue in Fes, King Mohammed VI reiterated his commitment to religious freedom and spiritual diversity, and emphasized the importance of the three-thousand-year-old Jewish legacy in Morocco.
In Morocco in July and August when temperatures are on the high side, you can avoid the sweltering heat of the cities by heading to coastal resorts or the Atlas Mountain retreats where cooler breezes allow you to escape inland heat. Agadir’s long clean crescent beach on the Atlantic coast, offer opportunities for surfing, snorkeling, wind surfing and jet skiing. Most of the larger hotels and surf clubs on the beach rent out water sports equipment and surf boards and cool sea breezes keep the temperature down.