AFRICA

What is Morocco Known For?

The Kingdom of Morocco, located in Northern Africa with coastlines along the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, welcomes over 13 million visitors every year. This vibrant North African nation has a rich cultural history spanning over 12 centuries and is influenced by indigenous Berber, Arab, African, Andalusian, and European traditions. From exotic desert scapes and dramatic mountain ranges to colourful souks and delectable cuisine, Morocco has plenty of iconic sights, scents, and experiences to offer.

What is Morocco Known For?
CountryMorocco
AreaMediterranean coastline: 1,800 km of sandy beaches lapped by the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea, dotted with charming seaside towns like Essaouira and El Jadida.
Rugged Rif Mountains: Rising dramatically in the north, home to Berber villages, verdant valleys, and the iconic Chefchaouen, the “Blue Pearl.”
Vast Sahara Desert: Stretching southwards, offering an endless expanse of golden dunes, dramatic kasbahs, and nomadic traditions
Rolling Atlas Mountains: Forming the backbone of the country, with snow-capped peaks, lush valleys, and traditional Berber villages clinging to the slopes.
Famous PeopleHakim Ziyech: Galatasaray S.K and Moroccan national team football star
Majida Bekkouche: Renowned fashion designer, blending Moroccan craftsmanship with contemporary styles.
Najat Aatabou: Popular singer-songwriter, blending Moroccan rhythms with global influences.
Tahar Ben Jelloun: Acclaimed novelist, writing about social and political issues in Morocco and beyond.
Famous FoodTagine: Slow-cooked stews with tender meat, vegetables, and spices, often served with fluffy couscous.
Pastilla: A sweet and savory pie filled with pigeon, almonds, and spices, dusted with cinnamon and sugar.
Bissara: A hearty soup made from fava beans, perfect for a chilly day.
Méchoui: Slow-roasted lamb cooked over coals, a staple dish at special occasions.
Mint tea: A symbol of Moroccan hospitality, enjoyed steaming hot throughout the day.
Enchanting CitiesMarrakech: The vibrant imperial city, with bustling souks, opulent palaces, and the iconic Jemaa el-Fnaa square.
Fes: The oldest imperial city, home to ancient madrasas, winding alleys, and colorful tanneries.
Chefchaouen: The “Blue Pearl,” a picturesque mountain town awash in shades of indigo, with charming squares and cascading waterfalls.
Essaouira: A laid-back seaside town with Portuguese ramparts, vibrant fishing harbor, and strong surfing culture.
Meknes: A city of imperial splendor, with monumental gates, ornate palaces, and historic mausoleums.

Captivating Culture

Morocco’s culture beautifully blends Berber, Arab, and European influences seen through traditional music, clothing, architecture, customs, and lifestyles.

Music

Folk music has deep roots across Morocco

Folk music has deep roots across Morocco, with unique styles like Berber music using drums, flutes and stringed instruments and Andalusian music bringing together Arab and European influences. Over 50 different annual music festivals celebrating everything from classical to hip-hop are held in Morocco today.

Clothing

Some famous garments from Morocco are the djellaba

Some famous garments from Morocco are the djellaba – a long, loose, hooded outer robe; caftans decorated ornately for special occasions; and the labia, a traditional dress for women. Fez hats, babouche slippers, and tribal jewellery are also iconic.

Architecture

Magnificent mosques, mausoleums, madrasas (schools) and Kasbahs (fortresses) display intricate Islamic geometric patterns, mosaics, colourful tiles, ornate plasterwork, and carved cedar and oak motifs across Morocco. The city of Fes has 9,000 historic buildings within its Medina quarter – the world’s largest contiguous car-free urban area.

Customs

Hospitality and strong traditions around community, family, and social customs define Moroccan culture. Some unique businesses include couscous, the practice of coming together over a shared meal, and often couscous – the staple of Moroccan cuisine.

Vibrant Cities and Attractions

Morocco’s top destinations offer glimpses into a storied past, opportunities to experience cultural rituals and traditions, and insight into a diverse North African lifestyle.

Marrakesh

Marrakesh

This imperial red-hued city established in 1062 AD is home to the sprawling Djemaa el Fna market square, one of Africa’s busiest open-air bazaars where storytellers, musicians, dancers, henna artists and food stalls converge. In the Medina quarter are the 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque, Saadian Tombs, and El Badi Palace ruins from the 16th-century Saadi dynasty.

Fes

Fes

Fes is often described as the “Athens of Africa”, with two well-preserved medieval Medina quarters – Fes el Bali, founded in 789 AD, has 9,000 narrow alleys, while Fes Jdid from the 14th century hosts the opulent Royal Palace. Popular sites include the oldest university in the world (859 AD), Chouara Tannery from the 11th century, and Medersa Bou Inania- a 14th-century madrasa and still intact mosque, library and student quarters.

Rabat

Rabat

Morocco’s capital has the iconic 12th-century red sandstone Hassan Tower, rising 44 meters high. The adjoining Mausoleum of Mohammed V houses the tombs of two respected 20th-century Moroccan rulers. The Kasbah of the Udayas was a filming location for Game of Thrones and features lush gardens and museum exhibits on Moroccan crafts. The Chellah area has Roman ruins from the 7th century and medieval fortified granaries overlooking the Bou Regreg River.

Coastal Destinations

Casablanca 

The port city of Tangier, shaped by the Phoenician, Roman and Arab empires, was the launch pad for the Moorish conquest of Spain. It inspired many artists and writers like Henri Matisse, William S. Burroughs and Paul Bowles. The bustling Atlantic port of Casablanca is home to Rick’s Café, as popularized by the classic film bearing its name, along with one of the world’s largest mosques – the Hassan II Mosque. Dotted with ramparts, watchtowers and charming blue-painted architecture, Essaouira is a relaxed oceanside destination also called “Morocco’s Jewel of the Atlantic” with an enduring reputation for arts, food and festivals since the 1760s.

Scenic Landscapes

From snow-dusted peaks piercing the sky at 4,000 meters to seemingly endless seas of dunes forming fiery sunset silhouettes, Morocco’s landscapes offer plenty of charm.

Atlas Mountains

Atlas Mountains

The High Atlas, Middle Atlas and Anti-Atlas mountain ranges spanning over 2,500 kilometres provide scenic spots for skiing in winter and trekking on demarcated routes in spring and fall. Up to 30 species of Coloradotriton salamanders, Barbary leopards, and endangered primate species like Barbary macaques inhabit this terrain.

Sahara Desert

Sahara Desert

The Sahara spans 11 countries in North Africa and covers over a third of the continent. Erg Chebbi has iconic burnt orange dunes, while the stony desert plains and volcanic rock formations of Hamada Du Dra make the backdrop at Merzouga a sight to behold. Camel treks at dawn or dusk, 4×4 excursions, desert camps, and the annual Marathon Des Sables race draw over 50,000 visitors yearly.

Mediterranean Coast

The sun-soaked Mediterranean coast has long sandy beaches providing 32% of Morocco’s annual tourist arrivals, primarily between Saïdia and Oujda. Water sports like windsurfing, sailing, snorkelling and swimming can be enjoyed along this 998 km stretch dotted with traditional fishing villages like Asilah, coastal wetlands teeming with flamingos and wildlife, and farmlands producing olives and citrus fruits.

Exports and Key Industries

Beyond tourism, major parts of the Moroccan economy and its end markets abroad depend on:

Agriculture – Morocco has been among the world’s leading exporters of phosphates since 1948, holding over 72% of global reserves used to produce fertilizers. It also exports citrus fruits, olive oil, tomatoes, fish products and wine, with 40% of its workforce engaged in the farming sector.

Mining – Upstream operations centre around phosphate rock, silver, lead, copper, and zinc deposits across the Atlas Mountains, generating around $2 billion in annual exports and employing over 20,000 people as per 2014 data.

Textiles – Offering proximity to European markets and lower costs than China, Morocco’s 600+ clothing factories supply big fast fashion retailers, making up almost 80% of total exports to Europe. Over 220,000 locals work in textiles and sewing.

Auto and Aerospace – France’s Renault and Peugeot-Citroen have production hubs in Morocco, also exporting wiring harnesses and components to Europe’s Airbus and Boeing. 110,000 Moroccans are employed in the automotive and aeronautic trades.

Technology and Outsourcing – With workforce literacy at 80%, tax breaks and multilingual talent, major global offshore service firms are expanding into cities like Rabat, Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech and Tangier, tapping Morocco’s nearshore advantage.

FAQs

What food is Morocco most famous for?

Some of Morocco’s most famous foods enjoyed worldwide are tagines, couscous, harissa soup, tajine bil zealous, pastilla, Tanja Marrakech, maghrib, and pastries like baklava and kabab el ghazal. Sweet mint tea is the national drink.

Why is Morocco so famous as a destination?

From kaleidoscopic souks to chunky wool rugs and arresting architecture to the addictive rush of haggling for a good deal, Morocco yields an intense sensory experience. As a bridge from Europe to Africa and the Arab world, it welcomes with open arms. Lush landscapes and charming coastal scenes stir the romantic in us. Moroccan culture feels at once exotic and strikingly familiar with the hospitality, community values and cuisine dishing up the comfort of home.

What are some unique facts about Morocco?

The world’s largest solar power complex, called Noor, resides in Morocco, contributing 35% of the country’s energy mix. The oldest operating library on Earth, founded in 859 AD, is in Fes. The shades of Marrakesh cityscape inspired Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic colour palette shape. Morocco was the first country to recognize the independence of the United States in 1777. Over 40 million Morocco fossils and dinosaur bones have been excavated here.

What is Morocco best known for producing?

From rich red phosphates and fertilizers powering global agriculture to stitching fast fashion garments enjoyed worldwide, Morocco produces:
72% of international phosphate rock reserves
Citrus fruits, textiles and clothing for export
Wiring harnesses, electronics and parts supplying leading aerospace and automakers
Outsourced services for global technology and financial firms

dhia errahmane nedjai

Dhia is an aspiring travel writer who researches and writes content about interesting destinations, places worth discovering, and fascinating facts and mysteries about locations around the world in order to inspire wanderlust in readers.

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