I’ve already written a detailed guide to travelling in Morocco, but what better way to introduce a country than through the magic of photography? I had an amazing time snapping photos during my trip, and I’d like to share some of the best ones with you…
This touristy but pleasant coastal town was easily one of the highlights of my Morocco trip. Not everyone likes Essaouira equally (I’ve heard some people say it’s too touristy for their liking), but to me it felt like a breath of fresh air after a decidedly more stressful Marrakech.
I had some wonderful sunset views from the rooftop of Atlantic Hostel in Essaouira…
The harbor is worth a stroll, especially in the morning when there is much activity at the docks and adjoining markets.
We purchased some fresh fish here which we later took to a restaurant in the medina where they were happy to grill it for us with a bit of butter and lemon.
These fortress walls were featured in Games of Thrones, in a scene where Khaleesi deals with some slave owners in Astapor. I know this has little to do with Morocco, but that’s still pretty cool!
Lots of great places to go shopping for herbs and tea. As always, make sure they don’t rip you off. Like seemingly any place anywhere, there is a local aphrodisiac—in this case it’s mandrake root sold as “Berber Viagra”.
I like how this boat picture got photobombed by a seagull.
Easily one of the prettiest towns in Morocco, Chefchaouen is not one to miss. You’ll find it in the north of Morocco not too far from Tangier, and if blue is your favorite color you’ll be in for a treat.
Shops in the medina (old city) in Chefchaouen sell all kinds of wares including textiles, pottery, and of course a good deal of tourist trinkets. I felt significantly less pressure and hassle here than in Marrakech or Fez, so if you want to shop for souvenirs it’s a great place to do so.
I met a bunch of folks at the wonderful Aline Hostel. We decided to hike up one of the nearby mountains together and got some wonderful vistas of the town below.
Fez is a bit mental. The old city is an enormous maze of little alleyways; it’s almost impossible not to get lost. As this is one of the largest medinas in the world, you’ll have a great time exploring all the markets and little nooks and crannies.
Hostel Dar Lalla Kenza looked like a monument to me, with all its beautiful tiles and intricate detailing.
Getting happily lost in the medina…
Occasionally you’ll emerge from the narrow alleys and hit an artery with some shops.
Some of the alleys in Fez are super narrow! It’s worth loading a map onto your smartphone before diving in, to avoid getting totally lost.
Atlas Mountains & Sahara
While it can take at least two days to reach the Sahara from Marrakech, the desert is relatively easily accessed in Morocco. Many organized tours pass by a number of sights in the Atlas Mountains, before finishing with a camel ride into the Sahara where you can stay the night in a Bedouin tent.
Ait Benhaddou is a fortified city along one of the former caravan routes. These days it’s occasionally used as a movie set—scenes in Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia, and Game of Thrones were filmed her.
The stunning Draa Valley, on the way to the Sahara.
Mounting our camels at the edge of the desert. The camel ride is under an hour and goes just a few kilometers into the desert, so this is designed as a tourist attraction, though when the sun starts to set the views are undeniably spectacular—often with no one else in sight.
A brief rest halfway to our camp…
My favorite thing about these camels is how they’ll sometimes just make the most needlessly dramatic wailing sound. Imagine the sound of Chewbacca suddenly despairing that life is ultimately meaningless—and you’ll have roughly what a camel sounds like when it’s just chilling out.
Sleeping under the starry night sky in the desert surrounded only by sand is one of those fantastic experiences that stays with you a long time.
For many more impressions of Morocco, check out my destination guide.