If you’re lucky enough to be jetting off the sunny, spectacular and diverse cultural land of Morocco, it can help to get a detailed overview of what the country has to offer.
Morocco is located in North Africa and has many different customs in comparison to the UK and Europe. Here is some vital information, provided by the beautiful Marrakech hotel Riad el Zohar covering everything from the people of Morocco to the climate and food options. Enjoy your trip!
Moroccan Climate and Environment
There is a notably diverse climate in Morocco that you will gain familiarity with should you choose to travel across the entire country.
Some parts of Morocco are affected by the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Coast which is cooler and slightly wetter. Other parts of Morocco, particularly in the South, feature arid and incredibly hot desert and mountain regions.
There are plenty of different climates you are likely to experience, so this should encourage you to bring clothing to suit all types of weather. Bottled water is a must wherever you go to ensure you stay hydrated. You should also be prepared for extreme conditions which can change dramatically on the odd occasion.
The beauty of the Moroccan environment cannot be ignored, with the stunning central valley’s featuring swatches of farmland and produce that supply markets across Europe.
While there’s little to interest a tourist around these locations, it is certainly an excellent geography lesson that gives you a better idea of where a selection of European ingredients are sourced.
The People of Morocco
It is vitally important to understand that Morocco is an Islamic country, with Islam playing an integral role in the laws and culture of Morocco. Many beliefs are based on the teachings of the Prophet Muhamad, written in the Koran.
Orthodox Muslims will pray five times a day in accordance with the five pillars of Islam, feast during Ramadan and practice charity. You will almost certainly witness the locals taking part in these duties during your visit. It is very important that you respect this.
You cannot visit a mosque in morocco unless you are a Muslim, which is unfortunate considering the beautiful artistry that lies within these stunning buildings. Some historic mosques allow for visitors, so if you are particularly interested in this you should do some background research early on.
Morocco is a liberal Islamic country, meaning it follows the laws of Islam strictly. Alcohol is sold but at an expensive price and with high restrictions. Hotel bars and upscale restaurants will almost always serve alcohol however.
You should not offer alcohol to a Muslim, yet you will likely find many Moroccan residents welcoming you for a drink, which is a good way to make friends.
The food in Morocco is somewhat different in comparison to other countries in that you won’t find too many Middle Eastern specialities on the menu. There are certain mainstays that will almost always feature on these menus, including kefta, couscous and tagine typically served with vegetables, fish and meat. Tagine is meat or chicken baked in a clay dish accompanied by a thick and incredibly tasty gravy.
You certainly won’t get western style portions of meat, so don’t expect them! The more expensive the restaurant, the more likely you are to be treated to a much larger portion of meat. The dishes are usually mild to spicy, so don’t be too worried if you’re not a fan of hot food.