Morocco

Attraction

Hassan II Mosque

In 1980, during the birthday celebration, King Hassan II made his birthday wish. He wished Casablanca to be endowed with a large, fine building of which it can be proud of until the end of time. The faithful Muslims could go there to pray and to praise Allāhon firm soil. They could also contemplate the sky and ocean Allāh created there.


The King’s wish came true. In 1993, the Hassan II Mosque was built. It is the largest mosque in Africa, the hall and square of which can house 105,000 worshippers in total. Its minaret is the second tallest in the world, standing at 210m. The minaret is topped with a laser, which emits lights directed towards Mecca the Holy City.


The Hassan II Mosque was designed by Michel Pinseau, a French architect who worked on many landmarks in Casablanca. He was mostly recognised as Hassan II’s architect.


A part of the base of the mosque is stretched to the Atlantic Ocean. The mosque then looks like as if it floats on the Atlantic Ocean. The mosque integrates Moroccan elements with traditional Islamic architecture. It also reflects some Moorish influences. The materials used in the construction process, including stones, wood and granite were all cut and polished manually. 


Visitors can join multi-languages guided tours in non-prayer periods to learn more about the design of the mosque’s interior. The dress code for the mosque is relatively loose. Just wear clothes that cover your upper arm, chest and that are long enough to cover your knees. Hijab for female is not a must.

Archaeological Site of Volubilis

Archaeologists believed the remains of Volubilis in northern Morocco cover more than 40 hectares, in which only half of the remains are unearthed.


In the 3rd century BC, Volubilis was founded in a fertile agricultural area as a Phoenician settlement. It then became an important outpost of the Roman Empire in the 1st century and flourished mainly due to olive cultivation. It was also graced with many fine buildings, including temples, a triumphal arch, as well as iconic mosaic houses.


Today, Volubilis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, recognised for being "an exceptionally well preserved example of a large Roman colonial town on the fringes of the Empire".


The display boards provide only limited information in the site. It is not unusual that you don’t get to know the background of the building in front of you. It is therefore advisable to pay to join a one-hour guided tour. You can then learn more about the urban planning of the Roman Empire and its architecture from the official tour guide.

Chouara Tannery

The unique view and smell of Fez can be found in Chouara Tannery.


Chouara Tannery in the medina (old town) of Fez was built in the 11th century. It is still producing top-quality leather products with techniques and process passed down from Middle Ages. The leather products will then be exported to different parts of the world.


The tannery has become a popular tourist destination in recent years. There is a balcony from which you can observe the process of leather making: almost a hundred stone vessels filled with different coloured dyes are densely placed. The leather will then be soaked in the vessels for dyeing and softening. Leather lovers simply cannot resist the lovely smell of leathers that fills the tannery. 

High Atlas

The Atlas Mountains are a mountain range that stretches through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The Moroccan parts of the range are called the High Atlas or IdrarenDraren (in the Berber meaning “Mountains of Mountains”).


The High Atlas is like a gift to Morocco. It blocks the hot air from the Sahara, enabling most parts of Morocco to have a moderate Mediterranean climate.


The Western High Atlas provides a relatively easier route which descends less abruptly and has warmer weather for trekkers. It stretches from Jbel Toubkal to the Souss plains. At the foot of Jbel Toubkal, there’s a huge piece of grassland, looking up from which allows you to admire the peak covered with snow. Walking towards the west, you can see a forest, valleys and Berber villages.


Tichka Plateau is another attraction in the western High Atlas. There is a huge Berber pasture along the way. In spring, the plateau is full of blossoms. The plateau is almost the end of the western High Atlas, and going further you will arrive at the Souss Plains.

Chefchaouen

Many people visit Morocco mainly for taking nice pictures in Chefchaouen, where buildings are blue-washed.


People hold different views regarding the reasons for the locals to paint the exterior of the houses blue. Some say that blue buildings can keep mosquitoes away. Some say that the Jews who escaped from the Nazis painted them blue because they think that blue symbolises the sky and Heaven. Some locals even say that they painted them blue in the 1970s just to attract tourists.


Besides enchanting blue houses, the market is also worth a visit. The market sells rare and unique handicrafts including wool jackets and hand-woven blankets. The dried goat cheese sold there is also popular among tourists. 

University of al-Qarawiyyin

The University of al-Qarawiyyin, which is located in Morocco, is recognised by UNESCO and Guinness World Records as the oldest existing, continually operating educational institution in the world.


Located in the medina (old town) of Fez, Morocco, the university forms a complex of buildings together with a mosque and madrasa. It has a variety of faculties which provide teaching of Islamic laws, Arabic language and literature, theology, philosophy and others. It has once become the leading spiritual and educational centre in the Muslim world.