Unmissable Attractions in Morocco

Parc Lalla Hasna with the Koutoubia minaret in the background
Parc Lalla Hasna with the Koutoubia minaret in the background | © Cavan Images / Alamy
Sarah Williams

Whether you’re planning a trip to North Africa or just need a little inspiration for your next global adventure, there are many diverse experiences to be enjoyed in captivating Morocco.

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1. Erg Chebbi, Sahara Desert

Natural Feature

Camel caravan, Erg Chebbi desert near Merzouga, Sahara, Morocco
© Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy

Erg Chebbi, close to Merzouga, is a dramatic 50km (31mi) series of sand dunes. Soaring up to 150m in places, the large dunes offer a quintessential experience in the Moroccan Sahara. Camel treks through the dunes and to local Berber villages are also popular.

2. Ait Benhaddou, Ouarzazate

Historical Landmark

© Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy Stock Photo
A historic citadel, the majestic Ait Benhaddou is located close to Ouarzazate. On the edges of the desert, the picturesque Unesco-listed village has been used as a shooting location for a number of films. Although many previous occupants now live elsewhere, a walk through the maze-like citadel reveals how people here once lived. The multilevel dwellings, with the lower levels reserved for livestock and merchants’ homes, are all built from mud.

3. Legzira Beach, Sidi Ifni

Natural Feature

The seaside Legzira in Morocco is known for its famous rock formations.
© Zdenek Kajzr / Alamy
A beautiful stretch of beach along Morocco’s southern Atlantic coast, the rocky Legzira Beach is known for its red cliffs and natural stone arch. Although one magnificent stone archway unfortunately collapsed, there remains one to admire. The rugged coastline is scenic, whilst the windy conditions attract keen surfers and paragliding enthusiasts.

4. Volubilis, Meknes


Roman ruins of Volubilis near Meknes, Decumanus Maximus, UNESCO, Morocco, Africa
© Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy
The Unesco-listed Volubilis is a large ancient Roman site close to Meknes. Thought to be the old capital of Mauritania, the ruins include soaring columns, foundations, well-preserved mosaics, tall archways, steps and stone blocks. See where grand buildings once stood and imagine the area’s splendour in its heyday.

5. Bab el-Mansour, Meknes

Historical Landmark

Street life scene. La Bab Mansour or Bab Masour el-Aleuj door, Lahdim Square. Old Imperial City Gate built in 1732 by Moulay Abdallah, Meknes. Morocco
© Jerónimo Alba / Alamy

One of the most beautiful monumental gates in the entire nation, Meknes’s Bab el-Mansour is adorned with striking tiles and decorative calligraphy. Built in the 1730s, it was the main gateway between the city’s old medina and the former royal capital.

6. Chaouwara Tanneries, Fes

Architectural Landmark

Morocco, Fes, Chaouwara Tanneries, workers tanning leather in large outdoor tannery
© Neil McAllister / Alamy
Colourful, active, atmospheric and more than a little pungent, the tanneries of Fez offer a glimpse into the ancient craft of leatherwork. Watch the hides are treated and dyed in large pits, using methods that have remained largely the same for several hundred years. There are several viewing areas, accessed through leather shops, from where you can watch the work in the Chaouwara Tanneries.

7. Medina of Chefchaouen, Chefchaouen


Blue painted walls in old medina of Chefchaouen, Morocco, Africa
© Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy
One of Morocco’s most charming destinations, Chefchaouen is renowned for the cobalt tones of the buildings throughout its old medina. Yet this is no Disneyland, the medina here remains home to plenty of locals who go about their daily business much as they always have. Head to the river and watch people beating and washing carpets, or step inside the high walls of the old kasbah and see the Grand Mosque with its octagonal minaret.

8. Ouzoud Waterfalls, Tanaghmeilt

Natural Feature

Ouzoud Waterfalls ( Cascades dOuzoud ) located in the Grand Atlas village of Tanaghmeilt, in the Azilal province in Morocco, Africa.
© Dimitar Chobanov / Alamy

Situated close to the village of Tanaghmeilt in the High Atlas Mountains, Ouzoud Waterfalls is a large series of cascades that are surrounded by reddish-coloured cliffs and green valleys. Visitors can walk along paths lined by olive trees to reach the bottom of the 600m (1,969ft) falls. Keep an eye out for mischievous monkeys that swing through the trees here.

9. Jbel Toubkal


View of Mt Toubkal and a traditional Berber village near Imlil in the High Atlas mountains, Morocco, North Africa.
© Paul Strawson / Alamy
The tallest mountain in Morocco, Jbel Toubkal stands at 4,167m (13,671ft) high. Part of the High Atlas Mountains, it attracts adventure travellers, hikers and lovers of the great outdoors. The mountain’s peak provides sweeping vistas and the surrounding national park is filled with interesting wildlife.

10. Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakech


Koutoubia mosque. Image shot 05/2014. Exact date unknown.
© Zoonar GmbH / Alamy

The Koutoubia Mosque is an enduring symbol of Marrakech, an impressive jewel in an already spectacular crown. Although non-Muslims aren’t allowed inside the building you can admire the tall minaret from the outside, feast your eyes on the ornate decorative details and stroll through the leafy adjacent gardens.

11. Djemaa el-Fna, Marrakech

Architectural Landmark

Marrakesh. Jemaa el Fna Square in the early afternoon. Morocco
© Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy
The main square in Marrakech, Djemaa el-Fna is known for its carnival-like ambience. Especially lively in the evenings, fortune tellers, musicians, henna artists, dancers and people wearing traditional outfits are among the sights to see. The smells of cooking waft through the air and visitors can try an array of Moroccan street food. During the day, highlights include market stalls with a colourful array of wares, snake charmers and monkeys.

12. Bahia Palace, Marrakech


Beautiful courtyard with mosaic floor and fountain in ancient Bahia Palace. .Marrakesh_W47GC5
© Valery Bareta / Alamy
A stunning palace in Marrakech, Bahia Palace dates back to the late 19th century. The large complex has many rooms, as well as gardens and courtyards. With a name that means “brilliance”, it’s little surprise to find marvellous decorative details on the walls, ceilings, floors and doors throughout this former palace.

13. Kasbah of the Oudaias, Rabat

Archaeological site

Morocco, Rabat, Kasbah des Oudaias
Step inside the high, sandy-coloured walls of the old citadel of the Kasbah of the Oudaias in Rabat and take a stroll through the narrow residential streets. Many homes are painted white and blue whilst there are Spanish influences throughout. There are pretty Andalusian gardens to admire within the fortress complex, as well as the imposing ornamental gate of Bab Oudaia.

14. Hercules Cave, Tangier


Morocco: Tangier. Couple of tourists in the Caves of Hercules, natural calcareous caves directly overlooking the sea.
© Andia / Alamy
Steeped in myths and legends, Hercules Cave in Tangier sits above the crashing waves of the Atlantic Ocean. The entrance to the cave displays a number of traditional items and artefacts. Head down the steps and admire the small interior waterfall, rock formations and statues.

15. Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca


The Hassan II Mosque or Grande Mosquee Hassan II. Casablanca, Morocco
© shoults / Alamy Stock Photo
Completed in the early 1990s, Casablanca’s Hassan II Mosque showcases the finest examples of Moroccan craftsmanship. A beautiful place of worship, the mosque sits right next to the Atlantic Ocean. Visitors can appreciate the stunning facade, complete with one of the tallest minarets in the world, before marvelling at the exquisite interiors.

16. Moroccan Jewish Museum, Casablanca

Museum, Synagogue

Housed within a former Jewish orphanage, the Moroccan Jewish Museum in Casablanca is the only museum throughout the Arab world dedicated to Jewish history, heritage and culture. There are many interesting artefacts on display and you can learn more about the role of Moroccan Jews throughout history and the influence of the once-sizeable Jewish community upon the nation.

17. Setti Fatma Waterfalls, Ourika Valley

Natural Feature

Waterfall at Setti-Fatma, Ourika River, Ourika Valley, Atlas Mountains, Morocco
© Stephen Barnes/Morocco / Alamy

The scenic Ourika Valley is popular with both locals and tourists. There are several walking routes through the valley, including along the river and into the mountains. For most though, the seven-level waterfalls are the highlight of a trip here. Climbing the lower levels requires a bit of a scramble up rocks, but the track to the upper levels is less challenging. In addition to lovely views, visitors can also experience Berber life, go rafting and take a dip in the refreshing water.

18. Ifrane National Park


October in Morocco, with autumn foliage on poplar trees next to a lake in Ifrane National Park, located in the Middle Atlas Mountains, Morocco.
© Cheryl Ramalho / Alamy
Within the Middle Atlas Mountains, Ifrane is often referred to as the Switzerland of Morocco. The charming city, with its Swiss-style chalets, is a prime gateway to the nearby Ifrane National Park. Hiking opportunities through cedar forests abound – and you may spot Barbary macaques.

19. Tagharte Beach, Essaouria

Natural Feature

Surfer standing on the beach, watching the surf, Plage Tagharte, Essaouira, Morocco
© imageBROKER / Alamy

One of the most well-maintained beaches in Essaouria, this windy stretch of yellow sand along the Atlantic is a haven for surfers and kite surfers. Mogador Island juts up from the waters; camels and donkeys trot across the sands; the squawking of seagulls rings through the skies and the old citadel stands proudly overlooking the entire enchanting scene.

20. Todra Gorge, Tinerhir

Natural Feature

Todgha Gorge is canyon in Atlas Mountains, near Tinghir in Morocco
© Elena Odareeva / Alamy

A remote canyon, the Todra Gorge is a terrific place for hiking and camel trekking. Towering multi-coloured rocks in shades of browns and reds rise impressively on either side of where the now-dry river used to flow.

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