Riad Chichi

A guide to Morrocan tourism

Exploring the Hidden Treasures of Morocco’s Cultural Tourism Destinations

Morocco is a land of magic, vibrant colors, exotic architecture, and centuries-old traditions. It attracts millions of tourists yearly with its rich cultural history, diverse landscapes, and warm hospitality. There are several lesser-known destinations in Morocco that are hidden treasures offering a unique and enriching experience for cultural tourism enthusiasts.

One such destination is the coastal town of Essaouira. Located on Morocco’s Atlantic coast, it was a bustling trading port on the ancient caravan route to Timbuktu. Today, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a thriving arts and music hub. Essaouira’s charm lies in its 18th-century seafront ramparts, narrow alleyways, and whitewashed houses with blue shutters. The town is dotted with galleries and craft shops selling local wooden handicrafts and hand-woven textiles. The annual Gnaoua music festival attracts thousands of visitors who come to enjoy traditional African and Moroccan music.

Another hidden gem is the ancient city of Meknes, known for its rich architecture and history. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Meknes was once the capital of Morocco’s powerful 17th-century Sultanate. The city is adorned with monumental gates, sprawling city walls, and stunning palace complexes. The Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail, one of the largest mosques in Morocco, is a must-visit for architectural enthusiasts. Meknes is also a gastronomic hub, renowned for its traditional Moroccan cuisine, such as the flavorful lamb and prune tagine.

The charming coastal town of Asilah is another hidden treasure in Morocco that’s worth exploring. The town’s medina (old town) is a labyrinth of alleys and plazas adorned with colorful murals and local artwork. The town’s breathtaking beaches are perfect for a day of sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying some fresh seafood at the local restaurants.

Morocco is also a holy land for the Muslim religion, and there are several shrines scattered across the country. One such destination is the small town of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun, the spiritual heart of Morocco. The town is nestled in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains and is home to the mausoleum of Moulay Idriss al-Akbar. The town’s narrow streets and plazas offer a glimpse into everyday Moroccan life, with locals going about their work and families gathering for traditional meals.

In conclusion, Morocco is a tapestry of cultural experiences, and its hidden treasures offer a unique and enriching experience for cultural tourism enthusiasts. Whether it’s exploring the architectural marvels of Meknes or soaking up the vibrant energy of Essaouira, Morocco’s cultural tourism offerings are sure to leave a long-lasting impression.