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Information on Morocco

The grandeur of the desert, the magnificence of the mountains, beauty of the coast, the scenes and sounds of the souk, and exotic names like Marrakesh, Casablanca, Rabat (capital of Morocco) and Tangier, conjure up images of camels in the desert, belly dancers, spicy food, bazaars, casbahs and magnificent buildings. In a word, MOROCCO – an alluring country of myth, mystery and culture mixed with a great variety of flora and fauna.

With a combination of mountain, desert and ocean, Morocco immediately captures the visitor’s imagination. The Atlantic coast in the south of the country stretches to the edge of the Western Sahara. In the north you find the greater part of Morocco's population occupying the foothills of the often snow-capped Atlas Mountains. The country consists of plateaus, fertile plains and breath-taking canyons and gorges leading down to palm groves, orchards, lush green fields and rose gardens. Then there is the vastness of the shifting sands of the endless desert where sand, wind and sun provide sculpted shapes and colour.

Morocco covers an area of 710,850 square kilometres with a population of more than 27 million, comprising about 55% Arab and 45% Berber, with approximately 98% of the population being Muslim. The remaining 2% consists of Christian and Jewish communities.

The weather varies from a Mediterranean climate in the north to sub-tropical in the south. The proximity of the sea and the Rif and Atlas mountain ranges ensure a pleasant climate all year round. June to September is undoubtedly the best time to visit Morocco as the climate on the coast is virtually free of rain and with temperatures around the high 20°Cs. Inland, the temperature is warmer.

There are many festivals throughout the year, such as the Almond Blossom Festival, the Camel Festival, the Honey Festival and many more. A very popular festival with visitors is the annual National Folklore Festival in Marrakesh which is a 10 day event in June with dancers, musicians and all manner of entertainers from across the country.

Almond Blossom Festival – Tafraout (February)
Roses Festival – El Kelaa des M’Gouna (May)
Sacred World Music Festival of Fes (June)
Moulay Abdeslam Ben M’Chich Moussem – Larache (June)
Cherry Festival – Sefrou (June)
National Folklore Festival – Marrakesh (June)
Rabat International Festival (June)
Essaouira Festival (June)
Camel Festival - Guelmim (July)
Honey Festival – Ida ou Tanane, near Agadir (July)
Asilah Cultural Festival (August)
Oujda Festival (July-August)
Popular Music Festival – Saidia (August)
Moulay Abdellah Moussem - El Jadida (August)
Marriage Fair - Imilchil (August-September)
Horse Festival – Tissa (September)
Moulay Idriss Zerhoun Moussem – Meknes (September)
Moulay Idriss Al Azhar Moussem – Fez (October)
Date Festival – Erfoud (October)
The Wax Festival – Sale (Mouloud)

A large range of handicrafts and skills produce a mass of goods to tempt the visitor to purchase items in woodcarving, leather, silver filigree, ceramics, weaving, pottery and fabrics. Shopping in the souks is one of the memorable experiences of a visit to Morocco. The local currency is the Moroccan Dirham (MD) and bartering is customary.

Morocco offers the visitor a wide range of sport and leisure activities, with equipment and facilities of the highest standard and golfers are well provided with excellent courses in Tangier, Cabo Negro, Fez, Meknes, Ben Slimane, Mohammedia, Casablanca, El Jadida, Marrakesh, Ouarzazate, Settat, Bouznika, Agadir, and the famous Royal Golf Dar Es-Salaam at Rabat, where the Hassan II Trophy is played every year.

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