So many destinations, so little time! With the New Year finally here, for many travelers the question isn’t if you’ll be traveling or when you’ll be traveling: it’s just a matter of where. Where should you go on your dream vacation? Where should you spend your days relaxing after a hectic month at work? Where will you be taking that once-in-a-lifetime family trip?
To make your life a little easier, we give you 7 excellent excuses to visit Morocco as your next destination in 2017.
Celebrate New Year’s Twice
We know January 1st is behind us – but it’s not too late to celebrate the New Year in Morocco! On January 14th 2017, the traditional Berber community of Morocco celebrates Yennayer, the Amazigh New Year, which inaugurates the beginning of the crop year. On this day, various towns in Morocco, such as Agadir and Tiznit, will organize events to commemorate the new year. But the most traditional celebrations occur in the middle Atlas, where Berber tribes sing, dance and prepare couscous in the hopes of obtaining a prosperous agricultural year.
Witness the Almond Blossom Season
As Morocco’s almond-producing capital, Tafraoute has historically held a small agricultural gathering every year during the second week of February to sell almond products and celebrate the year’s harvest. Today, the Almond Blossom is held in Valle Dei Tempi and has become a local folklore celebration involving traditional Berber music, dance and theater. Among the valley’s ancient Roman ruins, market stalls line the streets and the stage performances compete with the blossoming almond trees for your attention.
Choose from beaches, mountains or historical sites
Wake up by the ocean in Essaouira, spend the afternoon discovering the ancient heritage of Marrakesh and end your day with a sunset on the Atlas Mountains. In Morocco, there is something for every kind of traveler to enjoy. Outdoors adventurers will love venturing off into the Sahara Desert while history buffs will delight in exploring Morocco’s Imperial Cities.
Stop and Smell the Flowers at the Festival of Roses
The Festival of Roses is one of the prettiest celebrations in Morocco, dedicated to commemorating the season’s rose harvest for three days in mid-May. It is held approximately 50 miles north of Ouarzazate in El Kelaa M’Gouna, a town affectionately also called the Valley of Roses. It is here that Morocco produces the majority of its rose water, a staple in Middle Eastern cooking. Along the narrow streets of the souk in El Kelaa M’Gouna, you’ll find delicious food stalls, Berber dancers and singers, and even a parade of floats.
Eat Until Your Heart’s Content
From the moment you step into Morocco, you will be able to smell the country’s traditional spices and herbs from miles away. Food is intricately connected with Moroccan culture, so expect to find only the best of the best wherever you go. Homemade bread, tasty tagines, hot couscous, fresh salads and delicious pastries are always on the table!
Travel Back in Time at the Imilchil Marriage Festival
This traditional Berber custom happens once a year in September and seeks to bring together families of various local tribes to meet and marry their sons and daughters in this small village in the Middle Atlas. Visitors are allowed to attend the event, but discretion is advised while observing the ceremonies.
Shop Till You Drop!
We dare you to visit Morocco and leave without a bag full of spices, teas, carpets and pottery artifacts! Every main city has its own souk – a maze of winding alleyways lined with shops selling everything from ceramics to leather goods and jewelry. Haggling with the shop owners for the best price is expected and accepted in Morocco, so make sure to brush up on your bargaining skills before your trip!
If you’re ready to add Morocco to your 2017 travels we’re ready to help you make it happen. Give us a call or email Journey Beyond Travel today to start planning!