Lonely Planet guide to Morocco

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Tangier, Casablanca, Marrakesh…just the names of these cities stir a hint of spice in the nostrils.

Jostling crowds, the piquant tension of debate, space in perpetual motion – the minute you set foot in the country you know you’ve arrived somewhere very different.

Spend a weekend in a luxury riad in Marrakesh, Fès or Rabat, exorcise your shopping demons in some of the most colourful markets in the world, or indulge in some off-piste desert driving over sugar-soft dunes… And this fantastically varied destination is barely three hours flying time from Europe.
When To Go:

On the northern coast the weather is tourist-friendly pretty much all year round, although winter can bring cool and wet conditions.

Beaches further south are prone to fog in the summer months, a phenomenon caused when the heat of the desert meets the chill Atlantic current.

In the lowlands, the cooler months from October to April are popular among visitors. This time of year is pleasantly warm to hot (around 30°C) during the day and cool to cold (around 15°C) at night.

Winter in the higher regions demands some serious insulation. If you’re heading into the hills, the ski season usually lasts from December to March.

April to October is the main trekking season, when the mountain snows start to thaw. In high season (mid-June-mid-September) you’ll need to book or you may find areas full.
Terrorism Concerns – Western Sahara:

In March and April 2007 several suicide bombings were carried out in Casablanca targeting Western interests.

The overall threat of further attacks has increased, particularly in Casablanca. Travellers should exercise caution, pay attention to news reports regarding safety and heed any local advice regarding potential dangers.

The disputed territory of Western Sahara has a history of political instability and insecurity. Many areas of the Western Sahara are mined.
Morocco – Fast Facts:

  • Full Name: Kingdom of Morocco
  • Capital City: Rabat
  • Area: 446,550 sq km / 172,413 sq miles
  • Population: 33,000,000
  • Time Zone: GMT/UTC 0 ()
  • Daylight Saving Start: not in use
  • Daylight Saving End: not in use
  • Languages: Arabic (official), Tamazight (official), Spanish; Castilian (other), French (other)
  • Religion: 98% Muslim, 1% Christian, 1% Jewish
  • Currency: Moroccan Dirham (DH)
  • Electricity: 127/220V 50HzHz
  • Electric Plug Details: European plug with two circular metal pins
  • Country Dialing Code: 212 

Lonely Planet

By Lonely Planet