Fall under the charm of Morocco - The360 Travel

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  • Thursday, December 12, 2019

    Fall under the charm of Morocco

    Fall under the charm of Morocco

    Between the circuit circuit of the imperial cities, Casablanca and the popular seaside resort Agadir, Morocco is a country that is also discovered by places a little less busy, but equally captivating. 


    The beauty of Chefchaouen

    In front of what could be the most beautiful alley in the medina of Chefchaouen, young tourists take the pose in turn. There is enough to redo his Facebook profile picture or feed his Instagram account in this city that offers all detours bluish streets. But the small town founded in 1471 has much more to offer than a decor.

    Here, the inhabitants take a care jealous of their homes, almost all painted in blue. If it were not for the call to prayer that sounds five times a day, the comparison with a Greek landscape would be easy.

    In the heart of the Rif mountains, Chefchaouen attracts its share of tourists, but unlike other cities in Morocco, we wander here in peace, without being harangued by touts. Located at the foot of Jebel el-Kelaâ, an impressive mountain of 1600 meters, the city is walking while walking, according to the discovery. In the big square Outa el Hammam in the center of the city, restaurateurs compete with trickery to attract people to their table, without too much insistence. A few streets further, a market: prickly pears rub elbows with olives and some rabbits in a cage. In a corner, a woman offers her henna tattooing services.

    The small town has long been on the tour of tourists who came to source hashish, but seems to have settled down, according to the arrival of international tourists, certainly, but also Moroccan.

    On the way to our hotel, an old man who wants to call Quebec a convenience store does not pray to tell the past more bohemian of the city, but is sad: he struggles to find with whom to smoke today. Still, Chefchaouen is the gateway to a region still known for its production of hashish, a central economic activity for this region, although illegal and increasingly repressed by the regime.

    Discover the region on foot

    Hiking enthusiasts will be served in this mountainous region. For a short walk followed by a swim, it is about thirty kilometers from Chefchaouen, to the Talassemtane National Park, that must converge. This is where the great waterfall of Akchour, which is won after two hours of walking. All along the path, pools invite to swim, and small kiosks offer mint tea and tajines cooked on the fire.

    Or sleep

    Chefchaouen can be visited in one day from Fez, but it is worthwhile to sleep there for one or more nights to appreciate the calm that settles there once night falls, after the last call to prayer resonated with unison from the different mosques of the city.

    The hotel Dar Echchaouen, located a few steps from the medina, is backed by the mountains and offers a beautiful view of the city. The rooms are comfortable without being particularly striking, but the true charm of the hotel lies in its swimming pool and the pleasant garden that surrounds it.

    • Rooms starting at $ 125 per night


    Atlantic coast

    For some, Morocco evokes the desert. The majority of the population lives on its shores. Here are three stopovers to put on his itinerary on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.

    Essaouira

    Most Moroccans will tell you: we must go to Essaouira, this windy city where the sea is never far away. The trendy city, which hosts the world-famous Gnaoua World Music Festival each year, certainly deserves a bit of attention. The long sandy beach is popular with kitesurfers, but swimming can be dangerous, as the sea is bustling.

    By going out of season, it is possible to find peace and enjoy the good food and accommodation of choice offered by the place.

    A visit to the fishing port of Essaouira is essential: the heart of the city beats there. Cats and seagulls also find their account...

    Oysters and surf in Oualidia

    Oualidia illustrates what makes Morocco so interesting: it is plural. Here, for example, we do not stop for the medina: there is none. In contrast, the lagoon of Oualidia is impressive, with its shallow waters, which attract the masses of Moroccan tourists in summer. Off the lagoon, the waves of the Atlantic make surfers happy.

    The place is a dream for anyone who loves seafood. Oualidia is famous for growing oysters, which are bought at about $ 1 a piece in crates on the back of scooters and swallowed with a dash of lemon juice. If you venture on the beach, it is then a vast fish market that one discovers. We choose his fish, the seller prepares it before our eyes and then grilling it on charcoal. We eat our feet in the sand, with the view of the sea.

    The mixed charm of Assilah

    Small town located a little less than an hour by car from Tangier, Assilah attracts its share of European tourists, who are only in a strait of Morocco. Fortunately, the city has kept its charm and calm.

    It must be said that it is not yesterday that this small town spawns with Europe. The ramparts surrounding the medina were built by the Portuguese, who had renamed the city Arzila. The streets of the medina are calm, an atmosphere enhanced by the whiteness of the walls.

    The long beach is perfect for long walks or to ride camel.

    Landmarks

    It is easy to reach Morocco from Montreal. To think outside the box, you will need a little organization ... Here are some tracks.

    Go

    From Montreal, two airlines fly non-stop Casablanca: Royal Air Maroc and Air Canada Rouge do it all year long. From Casablanca, you will gain most of the areas mentioned in this article by combining the train and buses, but to venture into smaller cities, the car is practical, even essential.

    Driving or not?

    The Moroccan motorways connect some big cities and are sometimes almost deserted, because paying. Borrow them is a charm for drivers, but the landscape is not interesting. To avoid them, you have to drive on two-lane roads, where the North American codes no longer hold. Exceed in a curve? For many drivers, this does not seem to be a problem. Better to have the solid heart to drive in Morocco.

    Security

    Never before has travel generated so much wise advice, both before leaving and on the part of Moroccans: women will be told how to dress, to pay attention to crooks, to be wary in the evening. Of course, the usual precautions are in order. But this country with a Muslim majority last year saw 10 million tourists; its inhabitants are used to seeing foreigners and women in bikini rub shoulders on beaches women in burkini. Nothing, therefore, to stop yourself from going.

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