Morocco

Ever since a few adventurous hippies first “discovered” Morocco in the late 60’s and really got to know it in the 70’s, dreadlocked shoestringers the world over have flocked to this gorgeous country to experience the vibrant Muslim culture, drink mint tea. smoke shisha (among other substances), eat delicious couscous and tagine, wander the narrow mysterious streets of the old medinas, haggle endlessly in the markets, and generally speaking, rock the Casbah in a variety of ways. Regardless of your style of travel, or whether you identify with Kate Winslet’s Sufi-seeking ways in “Hideous Kinky” or not, due to its being well connected on Europe’s budget airline network (Ryanair and Easyjet both operate numerous weekly flights to several Moroccan cities for less than $100), Morocco is an appealing destination for many.  Imperial cities such as Marrakesh and Fez are must-sees, as well as coastal beach towns Essaouira and Agadir, the blue city of Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains, and for more adventurous types, little villages on the edge of the Sahara as well as Berber towns in the Atlas Mountains are just begging to be explored. It’s unique diversity of Arabs, native Berbers and Tuareg nomads, all having contributed to weave the mosaic carpet that is Morocco, and ease of transport throughout, make this North African country a gem of a place to visit. ~ Julia Totino


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 Full name: Kingdom of Morocco

 Population: 32.3 million (CIA, 2012)

 Capital: Rabat

 Largest city: Rabat

 Area:  446,550 sq.km. (172,413.9 sq. mi.)

 Major languages: Arabic, Berber dialects,  French

 Major religions: Muslim, Christian, other

 Monetary unit: Moroccan Dirham

 GDP per capita: US $5,100

 Internet domain: .ma

 International dialling code: +212

 Source: CIA World Factbook