An Instagram Tour of Morocco

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An Instagram Tour of Morocco
Morocco is a country pulsating with life. Every turn reveals a new market stall offering a local delicacy or a workshop practicing a family craft. I discovered this vibrance on a recent trip around the country, as I traveled from Casablanca to Chefchaouen, Fes to Marrakech, and many cities in between on the G Adventures Highlights of Morocco trip. Here’s what not to miss on a journey through the land of the setting sun.
By Michaela Trimble, AFAR Ambassador
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    Sunset at the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
    Hassan II Mosque is the center of religious life in Casablanca. Locals crowd the open-air pavilion to mingle and enjoy the beach views of the Atlantic, and it’s no secret as to why—the artistic appeal of the mosque is immense. Every tile is meticulously placed within the granite-and-marble structure to create one of the most beautiful mosques in all the world. Though Casablanca is typically seen as an airport to-and-from destination in Morocco, Hassan II Mosque is well worth the visit.

    Photo by @michaelatrimble
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    Roaming the Old Medina in Chefchaouen

    Chefchaouen is best known as Morocco's blue city, but there's much more to explore in the winding streets of the Old Medina. Local life is on full display in the central market, where locals go to buy fresh produce, fish, and meat. After a day spent perusing the market, I climbed up the many stairs at Lina Ryad & Spa to take in an aerial view of the city. The Rif Mountains are on full display, and secrets to the maze of the Old Medina are uncovered.

    Photo by @michaelatrimble

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    Eating and shopping through the Old Medina in Fes
    The Old Medina in Fes is the most bustling, beautiful market in all of Morocco. Lines of shops flank the halls of the winding streets, selling everything from leather handbags to couscous. My favorite part of the medina was the abundance of street food. I picked up a bag of walnuts on my walk, and the shop owner even helped me crack a few before I ventured off.

    Photo by @michaelatrimble
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    A stay at an authentic Bedouin camp in the Sahara Desert
    The Sahara Desert covers almost all of North Africa, making it one of the most prominent harsh landscapes in the world. The Bedouin people of Morocco's Sahara Desert are the perfect guides for braving the vast sand dunes. Camels are on call to take travelers out to traditional camps, where you can enjoy a fireside meal of local Bedouin cuisine. But don’t forget to look up! There is virtually no light in the Sahara Desert, offering an unobstructed view of the night’s sky.

    Photo by @michaelatrimble
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    Experiencing the High Atlas Mountains like a local
    All treks in Toubkal National Park begin at the lovely base town of Imlil in the High Atlas Mountains. Guides are on call for any adventurers without preset plans, and the town shops sell everything from snow shoes to windbreakers. The reason to stay a night in Imlil (as opposed to another town) lies in the variety of homestay options available for travelers. Learn what it's like to live as a local and opt to stay with a family. They will enlighten you to the storied past and culture of the local Berber people.

    Photo by @michaelatrimble
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    Leisure in the coastal city of Essaouira
    Essaouira is Morocco’s bohemian capital of cool. Cafés line the Old Medina, where Morocco’s most fashionable set sips away at mint tea into the early-morning hours. Nowhere is this more evident than at Mega Loft, a cafe-meets-art gallery, where green juice is on tap and traditional Berber baskets line the walls and ceilings to create the ultimate hippie haven. Other cafes, like Loft, have a similar atmosphere, and are perfect for an afternoon coffee with friends.

    Photo by @michaelatrimble
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    Relaxing poolside in Marrakesh
    At the end of the tour, I opted to take a dose of alone time at Hotel Fellah, located on the outskirts of Marrakesh. The property has an on-site library, boxing gym, and pool, where it's easy to pass away an afternoon in the Moroccan sunshine. Hotel Fellah also has tagine cooking classes in its creative, beautifully curated tea room; it's the perfect opportunity to both make and sample local tagines.

    Photo by @michaelatrimble