On the Sale side of the estuary, it seems that time has been forgotten. It still carries some practices from earlier eras. Sale is a walled city. Central to life is the Grand Mosque and medersa, built in the 1300s. The Mosque itself is closed to non-muslims but the medersa is open to visitors as a museum. Near the back of the Grand Mosque is a shrine to Sufi, Zawiya of Sidi Abdallah ibn Hassoun, patron saint of Sale. The most interesting excursions would be the Souq-el-Ghezel or wool market. Your Morocco tour operator can advise you best on where to go and what to expect.

Other lesser known gems north of Rabat are also worth a visit. A Morocco travel itinerary might include the freshwater Lac de Sidi Bourhaba. It’s a great place for walking, but not-so serious visitors in for a a Morocco trek should just come for the view. Thousands of birds of Morocco use this lake as a stopover when migrating from Europe and Africa. This part of Morocco is a bird watcher’s paradise from October to March. Moreover, Moulay Bousselham would be a pleasant stop for bird oglers as well.

Merdjz Zerga National Park makes a great stopover for migrating birds watchers too. The fishing village in and of itself is a beautiful place to rest while taking in spring time and summer views. Surfers come here too but it’s wise to go with an outfitter who can give advice and lessons. If you are interested in learning how to surf in Morocco, be sure and let your travel operator in Morocco know in advance and they will have the equipment and lessons pre-arranged.

Larache and nearby ruins of the Roman city of Lixus are not usually crowded, making them a pleasant stop on your Moroccan holiday. It’s medina, however, is in some disrepair, but fascinating nonetheless. Larache comes with friendly people and Spanish architecture. One of the main sights is the Musee Archelologique housed in the former Merenid place. It is often closed, but if you do happen to find it open, you will be treated to a small but good collection of Roman and Phoenician artifacts found in nearby Lixus.

Lixus sets on a hill overlooking the Loukkous Estuary. This Roman Empire ruin is neglected but impressive. It is not cared for by the government, so the ruins have been badly damaged and ransacked. This area was inhabited originally by a sun worshipping people. Little is known about them other than they were astronomers and mathematicians. All that remains from them is megalithic stones. The Morocco Roman ruins are, to say the least, much more impressive. Remains from garum factories, public baths, and the amphitheatre are still visible. Most of the mosaics have been removed to a museum in Tetouan or sold on the black market to earnest buyers.

Asilah is a resort town of Old World charm. In the summer it is usually crowded because of its popular beaches. Nearby are the mysterious monoliths of M’Soura. This prehistoric site is similar to Stonehenge in England. Even though many of the stones have fallen or have been broken, it is an impressive sight. The circle consists of about 175 stones. The highest is 5.5 meters tall. This is not the easiest place to get to, but it should be no problem for your Morocco travel guide to arrange a four wheel drive vehicle to take you there.

There are many other places north of the city of Casablanca in Morocco to visit.

by Carole Morris