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Marrakech (مراكش), also known as Marrakesh, is one of the imperial cities of Morocco. The name Marrakech originates from the Amazigh (Berber) words mur (n) akush, which means “Land of God.” It is the third largest city in Morocco, after Casablanca and Rabat, and lies near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. It is a few hours from the foot of the Sahara Desert. Its location and contrasting landscape has made it an enviable destination in Morocco.
Fez is the medieval capital of Morocco founded by Idris I in 789, and a great city of high Islamic civilization. Fez has the best-preserved old city in the Arab world, the sprawling, labyrinthine medina of Fes el-Bali, which is incidentally also the world’s largest car-free urban zone. Within the medina transports of goods is provided by donkeys, mules and handcarts. Understand that the city infrastructure is not necessarily prepared for tourism, especially English speakers. Try to use Google translate to get across, but learning basic words won’t hurt, and you will see people appreciating your efforts.
Casablanca (Arabic: الدار البيضاء), almost universally referred to as ‘Casa’, may be the cosmopolitan, industrial and economic heart of Morocco (and its largest city), but it is one of the less endearing in the country. With a small, unassuming medina and a traffic-congested ville nouvelle, travellers arriving via Casablanca may be tempted to find the first train out to nearby Rabat. The awe-inspiring Hassan II Mosque and happening nightlife, however, are worth at least a day of your Moroccan itinerary.
Tangier is a fascinating Moroccan city to visit. It has many of the things that travellers love–a sense of exotic mystery, interesting history, beautiful vistas, unspoiled beaches Tangier is an uncontrolled mix of north Africa, Spain, Portugal and France. It is located in northern Morocco, and was under joint international control until 1956. Tangier is separated from Spain by the 20 miles of the Strait of Gibraltar.
Meknes (مكناس) is a city in the Middle Atlas region of Morocco. Fez driving you nuts? Nearby Meknes is a vibrant, modern city bustling with nightlife, restaurants and an impressive royal palace. Since it’s relatively ignored by most tourists, it’s also free of the usual hassles (touts, faux guides, etc) that plague the other tourist centers.
Ouarzazate is relatively small (~60 000 habitants) and, for Morocco, a quiet town, built mostly along the main street – Avenue Muhammed V. Ouarzazate is situated at an elevation of 1,135 metres. Its name comes from a Berber phrase meaning “without noise” or “without confusion”. In the past, Ouarzazate was a crossroad for African traders seeking to reach northern cities in Morocco and Europe. During the French period, Ouarzazate expanded considerably as a garrison town and administrative centre. It is the largest town in the Moroccan Sahara.
Merzouga is a village in the Sahara Desert in Morocco, on the edge of Erg Chebbi, a 50km long and 5km wide set of sand dunes that reach up to 350m high. Most people are here to take a camel safari into the dunes, and to get a taste of remote (tourism-influenced) Berber life.
Winter months (November to February) are cool but sunny, with daily high temperatures only slightly over 10 C, and cold nights. Spring until April is pleasant, with temperatures from 25 C up to 30 C in the afternoons, and with cool nights. Summer months are hot. In winter and spring there is occasional short rain or drizzle (a couple of days per month, on average), but heavy rain is unusual. Best time to visit Merzouga is February to April.
Agadir is a major modern city in the southern part of Morocco. It is of interest primarily because of its location, as it is surrounded by the Anti Atlas, the Sahara Desert on the Atlantic coast with many national parks, and secluded beaches which are all easily accessible.