Morocco Area Guide

Since the nineteenth century travellers have been fascinated by Morocco and this appeal continues to this day. Here we give you an insight into the charm of this country.


Bordered by Mauritania and Algeria, Morocco is situated on the north-western tip of Africa. The coastline runs along the Mediterranean, through the Straits of Gibraltar to the Atlantic and a short 14km stretch separates Tangiers from Gibraltar and Spain. The country is 447,000 sq km and is almost the same size as France.

The Atlas Mountains and the Sahara separate Morocco from the rest of the African continent. In the north, the Mediterranean exudes from the Straits, with similar vegetation, climate and history. In the south this similarity to the Mediterranean disappears.

The Atlas Mountains form the backbone of Morocco and are divided into three differing ranges. The Middle Atlas in the north reaches an altitude of 3,340m and is an area of endless rolling hills and forests. Trekking through these mountains, you will find wonderful waterfalls and see Barbary apes. The High Atlas runs through the centre, reaching a height of 4,167 metres. Here you will find beautiful valleys and mountain passes as well as the Dades and Todra gorges. The Anti Atlas is the southern range, close to the Sahara Desert and the area is extremely dry.

The climate of Morocco depends on the area. The northern coast of Morocco and the interior mountains, the Rif, have a Mediterranean climate. The desert regions reach extremely high temperatures during the hot summer months, whereas the mountainous regions have cool summer evenings and are freezing in the winter.

His Royal Highness King Mohammed VI is determined to put Morocco “on the map” for tourists. With his ministers and advisors he has developed the “Vision 2010” project which aims to increase tourism to 10 million by the year 2010.

The Moroccan coastline has some wonderful sandy beaches and at the moment there are more than 30 very high standard 18-hole golf courses. Through the Vision 2010 project more new golf resorts are planned, such as the five star luxury project at Mediterranea Sadia.

Billions of dollars are being spent on improving Morocco’s infrastructure. Roads, airports, high-speed trains and a new electricity system are all among the projects being tackled, along with a tunnel to connect Spain and Morocco. The tunnel is a joint project funded by Morocco, Spain and EU, located near Gibraltar and due for completion in the year 2010.

Morocco is very popular with the rich and famous attracting people from all over the world - the Beckhams, Yves Saint Laurent and Richard Branson to name but a few.

The official language in Morocco is Arabic, but English, Spanish and French are widely spoken.

Morocco has many interesting cities to explore. Rabat, the capital of Morocco, is a modern city with wide tree-lined boulevards and a modern lifestyle. Tangiers is famous for its markets and typical, narrow streets. Marrakech offers tourists an interesting view of Moroccan culture and Casablanca is not to be forgotten as the city everyone associates with the film of the same name.

Guide to Mediterrania Saidia

Travel to Morocco

Travel to Morocco is becoming easier and cheaper and there are several options to choose from:

Air Travel

Since 1 January 2006, the “Open Skies” agreement has allowed all airlines into Morocco. Competition between the airlines is fierce and there are many cheap offers to be had. Flight time from the UK is around 3 hours.

There are three main international airports in Morocco: Casablanca, Tangier and Agadir.

Direct flights to Fes, Marrakech and Oujda are available from Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin and other European cities. Most long distance flights arrive at Casablanca, a modern airport with plenty of transport options to get to your destination.

There are also 9 helicopter flights a day from Malaga airport in Spain to Tangiers airport

Ferry Services

Ferries are plentiful and fast. This is the option to take if you want your car in Morocco. A fast ferry service operates from Spain and takes just 35 minutes.

The most popular ferry crossing from Spain to Morocco is from Algeciras to Tangier. There are plenty of options available. You can choose from a regular or a high speed ferry, leaving almost every hour, year round.

Another very popular ferry route is from Algeciras to Ceuta (Spanish Morocco). It is a quieter destination than Tangiers and a gentler introduction to the hustle and bustle of Morocco. From there it is a short ride to the town of Tetuoan.

Ferries from Almeria (Spain) and Malaga (Spain) to Melilla go almost every day and take about 6-9 hours. Ferries are more frequent between Almeria (Spain) and Nador (Morocco) The trip takes about 6 hours. You can also get to Tangier (Morocco) from Tarifa (Spain) on a high-speed ferry.

The History of Morocco

Morocco has more than a million years of history. From the beginning, Nomads and Berbers lived in North Africa and they were well established when the Phoenicians made their first incursions in 1200 BC. Their origins are uncertain but are thought to be Euro-Asiatic.

Rome extended its rule into Morocco as part of the province of Mauritania after defeating Carthage in 146BC. After this time, Vandals invaded, followed by the Arabs. What became Morocco in the seventh century was the area invaded by the Arabs who brought their customs, culture, and Islam to the country. Most of the Berbers converted to Islam and formed a strong alliance with the Arabs.

The strategic importance of the country enticed European powers to colonise the country in the early 20th century. This resulted in France holding major control and Spain having a few small segments.

In 1953 France’s rule came to end but it left a strong cultural influence, which can still be seen today. King Mohammed VI is the constitutional monarch and the country is moving fast towards economic prosperity and long-term stability.

Medical, Water and Vaccinations

While no vaccination certificate is required for visitors coming from Europe or America, is a good idea to have Typhoid and Hepatitis A and make sure that you are up to date with your tetanus and polio vaccines.

An anti-cholera vaccination certificate may be required for visitors coming from areas where this disease is prevalent. Anti-malaria treatment is not necessary.

A certain amount of minimal precautions should be taken, particularly in the south.
Avoid drinking water from rivers and water sellers. Bottled water is in plentiful supply.

Take precautions against insect bites and sunburn. If necessary, tourist offices and major hotels can put you in touch with doctors who speak English, French or other languages.

Information Required When Travelling to Morocco

Visas:

EU passport holders do not require visas. Children need their own passports to enter the country and entry is prohibited to children who are on their guardians’ passports.

Vaccinations:

No vaccinations required for visitors from European countries or America. Typhoid and Hepatitis A are recommended

Time Zone:

Morocco is on GMT time

Electricity:

In Morocco the voltage is 220 volts AC (50 cycles) and two point plugs are used.

Currency

The currency is the Dirham divided into 100 centimes

Weights and Measures:

The metric system is used

Tel. Dialling Code:

00 212 Area Code Tel

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