And why you should see it !
1. It looks small
Morocco looks relatively small compared to the other countries in Africa. But it is a very large country. The surface is around 446,550 km2 and has a population of over 33.8 million people. That is an average of 73 persons per square kilometer. If you compare this to a tiny country like the Netherlands ( 411 persons per square km) it seems we have a lot of space here. And in the most parts of this country we do.
If I had to describe Morocco in colors, it would be white (I know, not a color ;-), blue, red, yellow and green. White and blue are the areas around the sea, the north and the west. The really cool part is that Morocco is just 1 of 3 nations to have both coastlines. The north part borders to the Mediterranean Sea and the west part borders the North Atlantic. The white and green are the mountain areas. Morocco has two big mountain areas; the Atlas (from the north east to the south west) and the Rif mountains (in the north). The red and yellow are the parts to the east and the south: mostly the Sahara Desert.
Because of these mountain ranges it is not so easy to travel. From Fes to Merzouga does not look very far, but by car it can be around 7-10 hours depending on the traffic. If you get car sick than driving around the mountains will be a challenge. In the Atlas and Rif mountains most roads are around the mountains, with a lot of hairpin bends. This also gives you incredible views as you climb up and down with the car/bus. For those with a car sick stomach: be sure you take some medication with you if you don’t drive yourself !
2. The weather, whatever you like.
Do you like the weather in sunny California but does that seem very far?
Well you are in luck. Morocco has the same climate are California, Portugal, Spain and Algeria. That makes Morocco the perfect country to visit all year.
For some mild winters and hot summers you’ll have a good time in the North part of our country. Here the Mediterranean climate will keep you warm enough in the winter, and being able to do side seeing in the summer.
Surf dudes; you need to go to the cities near the ocean. Keep in mind that sea climate can also be very chilly and wet in the fall and winter.
Are hot summers and cold winters more your thing? The cities more inland have this climate. Fes and Meknes can be pretty hot in summer and quite cold in winter. Sometimes it even freezes here.
You love snow? The mountains are the choice for you. The cool thing is: you can even can ski or snowboard here. The high Atlas is perfect for skiing. Oukaimeden is a the higest ski resort of the continent and even a bit higher then Val Thorens. Cities and villages like Ifrane, Azrou and Boulmane will have a lot of snow in the winter.
Don’t like rain but love nice and warm weather? Cities like Agadir and Marrakech are blessed with this combination.
To the south and the east you will find the desert climate. This means warm springs, hot summers and mild – cold winters. In the night it can cool down, in the winter it can freeze during the night.
3. Landscapes of all sorts
Due to the different climates, the sea, mountains and desert you will find so many different landscapes.
Buzzing cities, made out of red stone like Marrakesh.
Or the blue pearl in the Rif Mountains: Chefchaouen.
The \yellow stone in Ouarzazate, the white and grey of the high Atlas, the brown and green in the middle Atlas, the orange dunes in the Sahara, and the lush green areas where you can find olive trees, dades, oranges and cactus.
Every citiy and area seems to have his own dominant color and together that gives the ultimate color mix.
4. Sirocco, the Saharian wind
In Morocco we have Sirocco, a wind that comes from the Sahara.
And this wind is not your average nice breeze you want when it’s getting to hot at the pool. This wind can blow hard, up to hurricane speed and it takes the sand from the Sahara with it.
In Morocco it means that it can be very dusty sometimes. In the desert is can be hard to see in front of you. And this wind does not stop at the border. When it moves across the ocean it will get moist and can causes heavy rainfall in the south of Europe. If you live in the North West of Europe you can also find bits of our Sahara on you doorstep. Your car can be covered in a tiny layer of orange sand.
The good part is that
the Sirocco wind only last for a short time. Sometimes a couple of hours, but most of the time not more than 2 days. And if you don’t have any health problems, it can be spectacular to
5. The biodiversity
With this many climates and so many different landscapes it is easy to have a wide range of biodiversity. But due to the buzzing cities and remote areas around the mountains and the Sahara it can be difficult to spot all these animals. Sadly enough some of the species where hunted and are now extinct. So you cannot see the Barbary Tiger anymore. In fact; there are no really large animals in Morocco, except from the whales in the water.
The most common known is the Barbary Macaque. This is
the monkey that sits on the Rock of Gibraltar but you can also find this monkey in the Rif mountains and the middle and High Atlas. If you go on tour with us to from Fes to Merzouga/ Merouga –Fes
we can stop in the forest of Azrou. A common place to see the monkeys.
There are more than ninety different reptiles in Morocco. Our favorite at Morocco Round Trips is the Berber Skink. A tiny reptile that flows through the sand like a fish. That is why it is also called the sand fish. With any luck your guide can see one swimming in the sand and show it to you. Also on our list is the Jerboa and the Fennec Fox. Both have these cute big ears, The Jerboa looks like a mix between a mouse and an kangaroo. It can run very fast and it has too, since the Fennec Fox loves the Jerboa for dinner.
Most of the animals are active just after sunrise. So if you are staying with us in the desert camp you’ll have to wake up early. With any luck you will experience the wild life yourself.
What will be your reason number 6?
There are many more reasons why Morocco is a country of contrast and a most see.
We would love to tell you about these reasons while you are on a tour with us.
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