By Karim Medrek | Ambassador of Morocco to Australia
The Kingdom of Morocco is a land of multiculturalism, tolerance and diversity where countless charms attract millions of tourists. It traces its history back thousands of years and has inherited centuries of tradition. Morocco has continued to enrich itself on the basis of its interaction with various civilisations, religions and cultures as well as its absorption of many influences.
Morocco has a vibrant culture which is reflected in the little details that make up daily routines and habits, as well as in celebrations and rituals. Indeed, Morocco, a country resolutely turned towards the future, has managed to preserve its traditions and nurture its cultural heritage, by making both basic levers for development. The mingling of modernity and tradition embodies the real strength of Morocco, by promoting responsible tourism, taking into consideration the benefit of the land and local populations.
Exotic and fascinating, Morocco is rich in history and culture, providing travellers with intriguing historic sites, authentic cuisine, and changing scenery which is perfect to explore a fascinating destination. For years, Morocco was the favourite holiday destination for Winston Churchill, the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix, and continues to be one of the preferred vacation spots for celebrities such as Russell Crowe, Meryl Streep or Madonna, all of them keen on casually ambling in souks and medinas.
Morocco’s strategic location between Africa and Europe, its rich history, mesmerising culture, as well as its political and economic stability, consolidates its position as one of the major destinations for tourists. Cities such as Agadir, Casablanca, Chefchaouen, Dakhla, Essaouira, Fez, Marrakesh and Tangier, attract 13 million visitors annually, including 45,000 Australians.
The imperial cities (Fez, Marrakesh and Meknes) provide magnificent scenery in terms of architecture and cultural dimension. Marrakesh is one of the most important tourist destinations in Africa and the Middle East. It will not take you long to see why it is called the Red City.
Fez, the Kingdom’s cultural and spiritual capital, possesses a lot of historical monuments such as Al Qarawiyin, which is the oldest operating university in the world, established in 859, by a Moroccan woman, Fatima Al Fihriya.
Casablanca, the country’s largest and busiest metropolis, is a city for travellers aiming to feel like locals, rather than tourists. It is a mythical city, which inspired the 1942 film starring Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart.
Like Matisse and Delacroix, walking through Tangier – Europe’s gateway to Africa – allows one to be transported by its dreamy ambiance.
The ancient fortified city of Essaouira, called ‘City of the Wind’ or the ‘Moroccan Woodstock’ has fascinated and attracted various artists such as Orson Wells, Frank Zappa and the Beatles. More recently, the American TV show Game of Thrones has been filmed there.
Merzouga, a village lost in the sand, is one of the gateways to the Sahara. It gives the opportunity to explore the desert and the stretches of sand bathed in sun and silence. One of Morocco’s richest ecosystems thrives right in the middle of the desert.
Morocco, a haven of peace and quietude, anticipates the wishes of its visitors, by inviting them to discover its fauna and flora, its subtle mixes of essences from Orient and Africa and to delight their taste buds with one of the most renowned cuisines in the world. This is but a glimpse of the myriad cultures that still thrive in Morocco, the gift that keeps on giving.
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This editorial was created in partnership with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco in Australia. For more information on sponsored partnerships, click here.