Where in Morocco Would You Spend a Long Weekend?

I know nothing about Morocco. Well, not nothing, but hardly anything. Let’s see what I know:

  • Possible destinations include Marrakesh, Fez and Casablanca. There are probably plenty of others.
  • They apparently have nice rugs.
  • Crosby, Stills and Nash had a hit with “Marrakesh Express” in 1969.
  • “Play it again, Sam”, “of all the gin joints…”, “beginning of a beautiful friendship” and so forth.
  • I’ve looked at this awesome-looking place on LuxuryLink before.
  • I just read the frustrating “You Shall Know Our Velocity” (Eggers is a great stylist, but must all of his books feature such aimless losers?), and part of it took place in Morocco.
  • No Westerner can smoke from a hookah and not look utterly ridiculous.
  • I thought part of Star Wars was shot there, but that was actually in nearby Tunisia.

That’s about it. Has anybody been there? Any recommendations of places to see or places to avoid? I obviously plan to read a guidebook or two and surf around ye olde web, but I thought I’d start here.


  1. I’ve been to Tangiers of all places on a cruise. The city itself was pretty dusty and dry but then you get into the outskirts and it is beautiful and lush. I couldn’t understand at first why Malcome Forbes and Barbara Hutton had homes in Tangiers until I was in the countryside.

    I got to ride a camel for a few minutes for 10 American cigarettes (I don’t smoke anymore). The old city was interesting. We arrived on some religious holiday where they slaughter sheep. It was surreal to walk down streets with blood flowing down the sides and children roasting sheep heads over fires in trashcans. It was truly an amazing experience though some in our group probably never ate lamb again 🙂

    I would have loved to go to Marrakesh from what I have heard about it. When I was in the Canary Islands we were going to fly over but never got a chance.

    BTW, my brother in-law is Maltese. He and my sister have been to Malta and absolutely loved it.

    Good luck wherever you go in Morocco

  2. I’d pick Marrakech as well. You’re close enough to the water at Essouira if you wan to do a day trip, and it has enough of the culture and glamour to give you a euro-ish version of morocco.. in other words you can be as comfortable, or as authentic as you want.

    djemma el fna is a sight to be had, the market is great to wander .. just don’t have any mint tea in a carpet shop.. it’s just an excuse to get you to sit through their show, these men are skilled sellers… so it’s best to keep moving unless you’re a serious shopper

  3. You’ve obviously never documented my refined technique on the hookah practiced in Granada Spain and practiced with my fine brass and porcelin unit from Bagdhad – guess i’ll have to make a podcast about it. First step is get rid of that nasty favored tobacco – that junk can kill ya!

  4. We spent a week in Fez, coming into Morocco from Spain via ferry. To juxtapose the trip, we had two train experiences worth mentioning.

    The first, within 30 minutes of getting off the ferry, was a man who apparently wanted us to go stay some place. When we politely refused he persisted, and persisted and persisted for about 30 minutes until my wife firmly told him we didn’t want to go. He then flipped on us for a few minutes because of her speaking up and eventually got off the train. I think the vehemence of his response at that point was because he’d been “shamed” in front of the other men in the berth. But not an auspicious start to our trip.

    In the second story on our return we shared the berth with a young family with a newborn. He worked in a tape factory and offered to give us a few cassette tapes. It was Ramadan so they weren’t eating (neither were we – out of respect and regardless, you couldn’t get food anywhere) until dark when they shared their sweets with us. The other thing that struck me was the woman breast-fed the baby without being covered – I found this surprising for a muslim country, especially considering our first experience. All in all nice people and a nice ride out.

    Fez was worth it – the medina was amazing. I do wish I’d seen some of the western parts, and gone on a desert trip. A number of travellers we ran into said the desert trips were great.

  5. Pingback: Next Stop, Morocco

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