Discover amazing Morocco in our interview with Mohamed Taha.
Q: How would you describe the region surrounding Morocco for visitors who haven’t been there?
Morocco is a country in the northwestern corner of Africa. It is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea on the north, the Atlantic Ocean on the west, Algeria on the east and Mauritania on the south. The Strait of Gibraltar, which connects the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, separates Morocco from Spain by only about 8 miles.
Morocco is a splendid and varied country. In close proximity we have snow-capped mountains, sun-drenched beaches, historical and cultural cities with its old Arab Medinas, old Jewish quarter (Mellah), sanctuary and old synagogues, Koranic and Islamic schools (Medersas), new towns and even the seas of sand of the Saharan regions.
A place where tradition blends with ethnicity, the picturesque rocky terrains and world renowned cuisine, along with its vibrant heritage, make Morocco one of the most exotic places in the world. The uniqueness in every region contributes towards the national culture. The Arabic name for Morocco is Al Maghrib, which means, "where the sun has set".
Q: When is the best time to visit and why?
Because of the diversity of its touristic products, Morocco can be visited all year long. However, the best periods are from March to the end of July and from mid-September to the end of November.
Q: What are the top sights visitors shouldn’t miss?
Q: How would you describe the people and the culture?
Moroccans are extremely hospitable and very tolerant. Though most people are religious, they are generally easy-going and most young Moroccan women don’t wear a veil, though they may well wear a headscarf. Some consider Morocco as a Berber-Arab country, while others back the African-Berber identity. A majority of the people practice Islam. Other forms of belief include Christianity and Judaism.
The culture is slowly embracing western values. Family values are given a lot of importance. The elders in a family are respected and greatly influence the rest of the members in a family.
Q: What cultural etiquette should visitors be aware of?
You should try not to affront people’s religious beliefs, especially those of older, more conservative people, by, for example, wearing skimpy clothes, kissing and cuddling in public or eating or smoking in the street during Ramadan
Q: What food and wine would you recommend visitors try?
The national dish is couscous, consisting of steamed wheat served with vegetables, fish or meat and a soup-like sauce. Then there is the ever-popular tagine, a delicious vegetable stew with the occasional lumps of beef or mutton. For dessert, Moroccans prefer seasonal fruit. Moroccan wines are renowned all over the world. Moroccans like pastries made with honey and almonds called heloua or baklava, a dentist’s delight. And they drink a lot of mint tea. When offered a glass, please don’t refuse for this is an essential part of Moroccan hospitality.
Q: What activities are popular in Morocco?
Q: In your opinion, where are the best scenic views and why are they the best?
Every region of Morocco has its specificity and characteristics that differ from the others. Excellent landscapes and panoramas will transport you along your journey in Morocco - the Imperial cities, the road of Kasbahs, the Moroccan South, the Atlantic Coast etc. Each region offers a diverse range of conditions and dramatic scenery.
Q: What makes this destination so exotic for wellness travel?
Morocco is establishing itself as a leader within medical tourism in North Africa. Morocco has more than 80 plastic surgeons operating in more than 15 clinics located all over the kingdom. Most of these clinics are in Casablanca and Marrakech and the prices of a plastic surgery are for every budget. The number of plastic surgeries taken each month is said to be around 1,200 operations.
In Spas and Wellbeing Holidays, Morocco has an exceptional pedigree for spa treatments through its traditions of hammams (steam baths), massage and use of highly therapeutic natural products, some of which are unique to Morocco.
Natural products often used include essential oils such as Rose Absolute (from the Dades Valley), Rhassoul mud (famed for its strong cleansing properties and mined only in Morocco), and oils such as argan (native to the south of Morocco). In addition, soft olive oil soaps, body scrubs and various herbal products including henna may restore the quality of the skin and hair.
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