The Rough Guide to Morocco (Travel Guide eBook)
388 pages

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388 pages

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World-renowned 'tell it like it is' guidebook.

Discover Morocco with this comprehensive, entertaining, 'tell it like it is' Rough Guide, packed with comprehensive practical information and our experts' honest and independent recommendations.

Whether you plan to hike in the Atlas Mountains, surf on the Atlantic coast, shop in the souks or camp in the Sahara, The Rough Guide to Morocco will help you discover the best places to explore, sleep, eat, drink and shop along the way.

Features of The Rough Guide to Morocco:
Detailed regional coverage: provides in-depth practical information for each step of all kinds of trip, from intrepid off-the-beaten-track adventures, to chilled-out breaks in popular tourist areas. Regions covered include: Tangier and the northwest, the Mediterranean coast, Fez, the Atlantic coast, Marrakesh, the High Atlas, the southern oases routes, Agadir and Western Sahara.
Honest independent reviews: written with Rough Guides' trademark blend of humour, honesty and expertise, and recommendations you can truly trust, our writers will help you get the most from your trip to Morocco.
Meticulous mapping: always full-colour, with clearly numbered, colour-coded keys. Find your way around Marrakesh, Fez and many more locations without needing to get online.
Fabulous full-colour photography: features a richness of inspirational colour photography, including vibrant images of the extraordinary blue town of Chefchaouen and awe-inspiring views of the rolling dunes of the Sahara.
Things not to miss: Rough Guides' rundown of the High Atlas passes, Fez, Volubilis and Meknes, Telouet and Essaouira's best sights and top experiences.
Itineraries: carefully planned routes will help you organise your trip, and inspire and inform your on-the-road experiences.
Basics section: packed with essential pre-departure information including getting there, getting around, accommodation, food and drink, health, the media, festivals, sports and outdoor activities, culture and etiquette, shopping and more.
Background information: comprehensive Contexts chapter provides fascinating insights into Morocco, with coverage of history, religion, ethnic groups, environment, wildlife and books, plus a handy language section and glossary. 
Covers: Tangier, Tetouan and the northwest, the Mediterranean coast and the Rif, Fez, Meknes and the Middle Atlas, the Atlantic coast: Rabat to Essaouira, Marrakesh, the High Atlas, the southern oases routes, Agadir, the Souss and Anti-Atlas, the Tarfaya Strip and Western Sahara.

About Rough Guides: Rough Guides have been inspiring travellers for over 35 years, with over 30 million copies sold globally. Synonymous with practical travel tips, quality writing and a trustworthy 'tell it like it is' ethos, the Rough Guides list includes more than 260 travel guides to 120+ destinations, gift-books and phrasebooks.



Publié par
Date de parution 01 juin 2019
Nombre de lectures 2
EAN13 9781789195651
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 17 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0040€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Where to go
When to go
Author picks
Things not to miss
Getting there
Getting around
Food and drink
The media
Sports and outdoor activities
Culture and etiquette
Travelling with children
Travel essentials
1 Tangier, Tetouan and the northwest
2 The Mediterranean coast and the Rif
3 Fez, Meknes and the Middle Atlas
4 The Atlantic coast: Rabat to Essaouira
5 Marrakesh
6 The High Atlas
7 The southern oases routes
8 Agadir, the Souss and Anti-Atlas
9 The Tarfaya Strip and Western Sahara
Islam in Morocco
Moroccan architecture
Wildlife and the environment
Moroccan music
Moroccan Arabic
Introduction to
For Westerners, Morocco holds an immediate and enduring fascination. Though just an hour’s ride on the ferry from Spain, it seems at once very far from Europe, with a culture – Islamic and deeply traditional – that is almost wholly unfamiliar. Throughout the country, despite the years of French and Spanish colonial rule and the presence of modern and cosmopolitan cities like Rabat and Casablanca, a more distant past constantly makes its presence felt. Fez, perhaps the most beautiful of all Arab cities, maintains a life still rooted in medieval times, when a Moroccan kingdom stretched from Senegal to northern Spain, while in the mountains of the Atlas and the Rif, it’s still possible to draw up tribal maps of the Berber population. As a backdrop to all this, the country’s physical make-up is extraordinary: from the Mediterranean coast, through four mountain ranges, to the empty sand and scrub of the Sahara.
Across much of Morocco, the legacy of colonial occupation is still felt in many aspects of daily life. The Spanish zone contained Tetouan and the Rif, the Mediterranean and the northern Atlantic coasts, Sidi Ifni and the Tarfaya Strip; the French zone the plains and the main cities (Fez, Marrakesh, Casablanca and Rabat), as well as the Atlas. And while Ceuta and Melilla are still the territory of Spain, it is the French – who ruled their “protectorate” more closely – who had the most lasting effect on Moroccan culture, Europeanizing the cities to a strong degree and firmly imposing their language, which is spoken today by all educated Moroccans (after Moroccan Arabic or one of the three local Berber languages).
This blend of the exotic and the familiar, the diversity of landscapes, the contrasts between Ville Nouvelle and ancient Medina, all add up to make Morocco an intense and rewarding experience, and a country that is ideally suited to independent travel – with enough time, you can cover a whole range of activities , from hiking in the Atlas and sandboarding in the Sahara to getting lost in the back alleys of Fez and Marrakesh. It can be hard at times to come to terms with the privilege of your position as a tourist in a country with severe poverty, and there is, too, occasional hassle from unofficial guides, but Morocco is essentially a safe and politically stable place to visit: the death in 1999 of King Hassan II, the Arab world’s longest-serving leader, was followed by an easy transition to his son, Mohammed VI, and the country pretty much carried on as normal while the Arab Spring uprisings toppled governments in nearby Libya, Tunisia and Egypt. Indeed, your enduring impressions are likely to be overwhelmingly positive, shaped by encounters with Morocco’s powerful tradition of hospitality, generosity and openness. This is a country people return to again and again.
< Back to Introduction
Where to go
Geographically, the country divides into four basic zones: the coast (Mediterranean and Atlantic); the great cities of the plains; the Rif and Atlas mountains; and the oases and desert of the pre- and fully fledged Sahara. With two or three weeks – even two or three months – you can’t expect to cover all of this, though it’s easy enough (and highly recommended) to take in something of each aspect.
Broadly speaking, the coast is best enjoyed in the north at Tangier – still shaped by its old “international” port status despite undergoing considerable renovation – Asilah and Larache , and in the south at El Jadida , Essaouira , perhaps the most easy-going resort, or remote Sidi Ifni . Agadir , the main package-tour resort, is less worthwhile – but a functional enough base for exploration.
Inland , where the real interest of Morocco lies, the outstanding cities are Fez and Marrakesh . The great imperial capitals of the country’s various dynasties, they are almost unique in the Arab world for the chance they offer (particularly in the former) to witness city life that, in patterns and appearance, remains in large part medieval. For monuments, Fez is the highlight, though Marrakesh is for most visitors the more enjoyable.

Fact file Morocco’s area of 446,550 square kilometres (722,550 sq km including the Western Sahara) makes it slightly smaller than France or Spain, slightly larger than California. The population of just under 34 million compares with just eight million at independence in 1956. Nearly 99 percent of Moroccans are Muslim , with 1 percent Christian and a tiny minority (an estimated 6000 people) Jewish . The literacy rate is 68.5 percent (78.6 percent for men, 58.8 percent for women). The main languages are Arabic, Berber (Tarfit, Tamazight and Tashelhaït) and French. Spanish is still widely spoken in the north, and English is increasingly spoken by young people, especially in tourist areas. Morocco gained independence from French and Spanish rule on March 2, 1956. The head of state is King Mohammed VI , who succeeded his father Hassan II on July 30, 1999. The government is chosen from an elected legislature and is currently run by Prime Minister Saadeddine Othmani of the moderate Islamist PJD (Party of Justice and Development). The main opposition parties are the Istiqlal (Independence) Party, Morocco’s oldest political group, and the RNI (National Rally of Independents). Such is the importance of date palms in the Moroccan south that oases are traditionally measured by the number of their palms rather than their population, and it was once illegal to sell a date tree, a historically vital source of food. Despite the beauty of zellij work in medersas and fountains across the country, it is thought that there is at least one flaw in every mosaic due to the Islamic belief that only Allah can create perfection.

Arabs and Berbers
The Amazigh – more commonly known as Berbers – were Morocco’s original inhabitants. The Arabs arrived at the end of the seventh century, after sweeping across North Africa and the Middle East in the name of their revolutionary ideology, Islam . Eventually, nearly all the Berbers converted to the new religion and were immediately accepted as fellow Muslims by the Arabs. When Muslim armies invaded the Iberian peninsula from Morocco, the bulk of the troops were Berbers, and the two ethnic groups pretty much assimilated. Today, most Moroccans can claim both Arab and Berber ancestors, though a few (especially Shereefs, who trace their ancestry back to the Prophet Mohammed, and have the title “Moulay”) claim to be “pure” Arabs. In the Rif and Atlas mountains, and in the Souss Valley, though, groups of pure Berbers remain, and retain their ancient languages (Tarfit, spoken by about 1.5m people in the Rif; Tamazight, spoken by over 3m people in the Atlas; and Tashelhaït, spoken by around 4m people in the Souss Valley region). In recent years, there has been a resurgence in Berber pride (often symbolized by the Berber letter Ж); TV programmes are now broadcast in Berber languages, and they are even taught in schools, but the country’s majority language remains Arabic.

Travel in the south is, on the whole, easier and more relaxing than in the sometimes frenetic north. This is certainly true of the mountain ranges , where the Rif can feel disturbingly anarchic, while the southerly Atlas ranges (Middle, High and Anti-) that cut right across the interior are both beautiful and accessible. Hiking in the High Atlas , following old mule paths through mud-brick villages or tackling some of the area’s impressive peaks, is increasingly popular, especially around North Africa’s highest mountain, Jebel Toubkal , though more and more trekkers are being tempted east by the quieter trails that cut through the beguiling Aït Bouguemez. Summer treks are possible at all levels of experience and altitude, and despite inroads made by commercialization, the vast majority of the area remains essentially “undiscovered” – like the Alps must have been in the nineteenth century.
Equally exploratory in mood are the great southern routes beyond the Atlas, amid the oases of the pre-Sahara. Major routes here can be travelled by bus, minor ones by rented car or local taxi, the really remote ones by 4WD vehicles or by getting lifts on local camions (trucks), sharing space with market produce and livestock. The oases, around Skoura , Tinghir , Zagora and Erfoud , or (for the committed) Tata , are classic images of the Arab world, vast palmeries stretching into desert horizons. Equally memorable is the architecture that they share with the Atlas – bizarre and fabulous pisé (mud) kasbahs and ksour , with Gothic

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