Blue boats in Essaouira MoroccoWith such a rich array of historical sites, ancient traditions, geological wonders, cuisine, music and culture, it can be overwhelming to choose what to see and do when you travel to Morocco. Here are five must-have experiences in Morocco that will give you a taste of all that Morocco has to offer.

View Street Performers in Djemaa el Fna

For a first-time visitor, the streets of Marrakesh’s Djemaa el Fna will be positively overwhelming. The name Djemaa el Fna is translated as “assembly of the dead,” but the place is one of the liveliest on Earth. The city’s main square is literally an open-air theatre with snake charmers, roving Gnaoua musicians and the halqa or street theatre. ??

Browse Handcrafted Goods in Fez

The beautifully crafted goods found throughout the bustling souks of Fez will mesmerize even the most shopping-averse person. Almost everything is handcrafted with incredible detail from the intricately woven rugs to Fez’s famous blue-and-white pottery. Handicrafts are passed down from generation to generation in Morocco and you will likely see craftspeople shaping and glazing zillij artisan tiles or weaving vibrant rugs right in front of you.

Trek the High Atlas Mountains

The High Atlas Mountains is the highest mountain range in North Africa and a trekker’s paradise. Running for almost 1000km, the High Atlas Mountains stretch from east to west from the Atlantic Ocean all the way to the Moroccan-Algerian border. Day hikes will take you to the foot of the mountains with sweeping views of green valleys with orchards of fig, walnut and fruit trees. Multi-day treks will lead you to through valleys and over mountain peaks to remote Berber villages.

Explore the Sahara by Camel

Learn how to ride a camel to the edge of the Western Sahara and gaze into the golden abyss of the world’s second largest desert. Many tours are available from a 1-hour sunset tour to a weeklong excursion. You will find many tours leaving from Zagora or Merzouga. Another option is to leave from Marrakesh, where your tour will combine camel trekking with other country sites. From Marrakesh you will climb up the exhilarating Tizi n Tichka Pass, up and over the High Atlas Mountains, before descending down into Ouarzazate and the desert beyond. Make sure your tour allows time at Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that has served as the backdrop for many famous films.

Wander Along the Beaches in Essaouira

A trip to Morocco is not complete without a little relaxing time at the beach. The wide, sandy beaches in Essaourira are perfect for wandering and the strong winds make it the perfect place for kite-boarding and windsurfing, but a little less ideal for swimming. Unlike other Moroccan cities, Essaourira has an unhurried pace that allows for leisurely exploration of the city’s medina, souks and ports. Enjoy a cup of coffee at one of the village’s many cafes and reflect on the many varied sights, tastes and sounds you have experienced during your trip to Morocco.

Written by Amiee Maxwell.

Photo by curreyuk.