Must-know things in Morocco
Your cheat sheet to enjoy best your stay !
To discover all the hidden treasures of Morocco and its attractive historical sites, the following iconic places and rituels are the most popular one in Moroccan heritage. These will guide you through your journey as your check-list that helps you get to grips with the experiences you want to enjoy.
In the deep alleys of the most famous medinas
What is an imperial city ?
It’s a city declared, at a certain period, as the capital of Morocco. In Morocco, and as a result of several successive dynasties, there are four imperial cities that are rich in history and absolutely worth a visit: Rabat, Fez, Meknes and Marrakech.
What is a medina ?
Medina, which means city in Arabic, refers to the old towns as part of several Moroccan cities. Often walled and characterized renowned by its intertwined alleyways, the medinas are home to traditions and culture, architecture and crafts. Those of Fez, Marrakech, Essaouira, Tetouan and Essaouira are the most famous ones.
What is a Souk ?
Being a popular place of trade, the Souk means Market in Arabic. Taking place once or twice a week, it's the traditional supermarket of all Moroccans. You can go there find everything in a welcoming atmosphere ! In the urban environment, the souk usually nestles in the old medinas.
Tourist spots and atypical accommodations
What is a Kasbah ?
The Kasbah, which is built out of mud and straw, is a fortified building defined as several structures behind a defensive wall widely seen in the south of Morocco. Being home to lords, this fortified castle is an important heritage of Moroccan architecture and the village that depends on it. It’s also an inevitable component in the movie making industry.
What is a Ksar ?
Widely present in North Africa and more specifically in Morocco, the Ksar refers to a walled fortified village. Gathering several Kasbahs, dwellings and common places, the ksar is the main dwelling in the eastern valleys.
What is a Riad ?
The Riad, which means garden in Arabic, is an old house typical of the great Moroccan families. Composed of several rooms overlooking a patio with a fountain and a picture perfect garden, the Riad is one the most wonderful craftsmanship and architectural work.
Sacred sites deep-rooted in history
What is a Jamaa ?
A Moroccan place of worship, the Jamaa means mosque in Arabic. It brings together all muslims to do their prayer "Salat". The Jamaa is also open for those who want to learn and recite the Koran. It usually includes a Koranic school.
What is a Medersa ?
The Moroccan Medersa is an institution for teaching religion and learning the Koran. Formerly directed by a Waqf who is the dean, the Koranic Medersas bear witness to Morocco's rich history, the Merinids being the most famous.
What is a Zaouïa ?
A purely religious building, the Zaouïa is the meeting place of the Sufi brotherhoods. It’s also a funerary monument where « Muslims saints » are buried. It also includes a mosque and rooms for meditation where spiritual rituels are practiced.
Delve into the cultural highlights
What is a Moussem ?
In Morocco, the Moussem or festival refers to a cultural or religious event. during which all the inhabitants of the region are busy celebrating a specific theme : harvest , which is tribute to a saint or an ancient tradition of the region. The most famous are the Moussem of Cherries, the Moussem of Tantan or the Moussem of Engagement at Imilchil.
What is Fantasia ?
The Fantasia or Tbourida's show is a traditional equestrian Moroccan show. All over the country, Fantasia shows are part of the activities of the Moussem. Women and men are active every day, training their horses and getting to know each other. Get ready for a performance of stunts while horse riding and unloading olf power-guns in a cloud of dust.
What is a Hammam ?
Inherited from the Romans, the traditional Hammam plays an important part in Moroccans everyday life. The traditional hammam or public bath also represents a convivial space. The Hammam Ritual includes: steam bath similar to sauna, skin exfoliation and showering.
Ultimate relaxing experience
What is Jnan ?
Jnan, which means Garden in Arabic, is a cultivated vegetation where local inhabitants come in droves to a relaxing stroll on the shady paths. These lush garden can either be inside or outside a structure, they’re often found in the palaces, Ksars or even the largest Riads.