Main Regions of Morocco
Extending from the Mediterranean Shores and Rif mountains in the north to the Atlantic Shores to the west to the hot desert lands of the Sahara in the south, Morocco is a vast country with a huge range of landscape regions. Cutting across its midline are the Atlas mountains, with the Sahara on one side and the more lush, coastal regions on the other.
Each region in Morocco has its own scenery, climate, traditions, customs and modern day developments. All are captivating in their own way. Morocco certainly offers a variety of options for every kind of traveler, where you can create a tailor-made itinerary to include the regions and activities that interest you most.
In the north of Morocco, you’ll find the coastal cities of Tangier, Rabat, Casablanca and El Jadida. All offer charm as well as lengthy pleasant beaches. Inland are the historical cities of Fez and Mekenes, ancient Imperial Cities. You’ll also find the Rif mountains in the north, a beautifully scenic area and home to the now protected macaque monkeys.
Farther south — and now very much the hub of Morocco’s present-day tourism popularity — is Marrakech. This “Rose City” (so named due to the pink hue to its buildings) is exotic and captivating and is an ideal base from which to start or finish your trip. Time in the city offers an exciting bustle of activity, tradition, and color whilst, not so far away, are the tranquil foothills of the High Atlas Mountains, the Marrakech Plain, and the surrounding Jbilet mountains and Atlantic coastline.
West of Marrakech, on the Atlantic Ocean seaboard, is the delightful and very active traditional fishing port of Essaouira. White and blue building colors add great charm to the town, its Medina and sea defense walls. Morocco’s unique argan trees grow inland, providing argan oil, much revered for its culinary and cosmetic benefits. North and south of Essaouira are other lovely coastal places and charming villages.
South from Marrakech are the High Atlas mountains. Toubkal is the highest peak (13,671 ft / 4,167 m). To explore the deep mountain valleys, amongst towering peaks, either on a trek or in 4×4 vehicles, opens up a fascinating world of the Berber people, their activities, and customs. Their remarkable ingenuity, hard endeavor, and understanding how to work with the environment has allowed communities to thrive here for many centuries.
Farthest south, but still readily accessible, is the Sahara. Think oases, palm trees, sand seas, and camels silhouetted against the sunset. The Sahara consists of rocky desert and sandy desert. Watching a glorious sunset over the sand sea of Merzouga, for example, is very beautiful. Spending a night “under the stars” (in a Bedouin tent!) is also most invigorating.