Africa and the Middle East

Sights in Chefchaouen, Morocco’s Blue City

Often regarded as one of the prettiest towns in Morocco, the blue city of Chefchaouen (sometimes shortened to “Chaouen” or “Xaouen”) doesn’t disappoint. The narrow blue passages give way to wide squares where the historic Andalusian influence on the town is easily notable in ornate archways, doorways (the most famous of which is a ruin at the entrance of town), and windows and the sprawl of red-tiled rooftops.

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UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Morocco

Morocco is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which make for a spectacular tour for archaeologists and Indiana Jones wannabes. Explore the maze of Fez’s medina and discover the Roman ruins of Volubilis before heading north to the medina of Tetouan. Then it’s back south, down the coast, to the Portuguese Cistern of El Jedida and medina of Essaouira before tucking inland to the Red City of Marrakech and over the High Atlas to the living Ait Ben Haddou kasbah on the edge of the Sahara.

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Road Trip Morocco’s Mediterranean Coast

If you love a good road trip, consider a drive along the newly paved National Road 16 (N16), which runs along the north Mediterranean Coast, and take the six-hour drive from Tetouan to the Spanish city of Melilla. This drive features majestic cliffs plunging into the blue-green sea below, long stretches of seldom-visited beaches, the occasional national park, and a few protected lagoons that dot the way.

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Three Week Best of Morocco Itinerary

With this perfect 20-day itinerary you can see everything Morocco has to offer, from the great imperial cities of Marrakech, Fez, Meknes, and Rabat to the calm oases of the desert. Relax on the beaches along the Atlantic Coast and literally walk through Roman history in Volubilis. If you have less time, prioritize Marrakech, Essaouira, and the desert excursion. This can be done in as little as 10 days.

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Featured Africa Travel Guide

Moon Guides Author Spotlight

Moon author Lucas Peters

Lucas Peters

Having spent the better part of ten years living in different parts of Europe and the U.S., Lucas M. Peters thought it was time for a change. In 2009, he took a job in Morocco teaching literature and composition at a college in a small town atop the Middle Atlas Mountains outside of Fez. When his plane landed he found that all of his luggage was lost. Two weeks later his luggage was returned, but Lucas had already had to shop at the local markets for food, clothing and other basic necessities without speaking a word of the local dialect.

Lucas has traveled Morocco from the date groves of the Sahara to the fishing villages along the Atlantic Coast. He’s dined at Rick’s Café in Casablanca, caught a ride on the “Marrakech Express,” gotten lost in the labyrinthine maze of the Fez medina, and followed “The Beats” in Tangier. Along the way, he picked up some of the language, made a few friends, and married his wife, a Tanjaioua from Tangier. Together, they continue to explore the small towns dotting the national roads, the difficult-to-access mountain villages, and tucked-away beaches.

Since publication, Lucas has moved to Paris. Want to get Morocco updates and additional tips? Visit his website: Moon Morocco.