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Travel Guide: There’s Magic in Morocco source: federico gutierrez on unsplash.com
A Little Bit of Glam: Fall Occasionwear for All Those RSVPs
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Travel Guide: There’s Magic in Morocco


Written by Jessica Moore


I can’t tell you what led me to Morocco. It might have been Casablanca or the Sahara Desert, I don’t quite remember. But what I can tell you with certainty is my original three-day itinerary quickly turned into a three-week adventure where I at one point reasoned and weighed all the possible scenarios that could keep me in Morocco forever.

I had never seen so much color in a city. I never wanted to leave.

Yallah Morocco!

morocco travel source: marvin meyer on unsplash.com

Morocco is a beautiful country that buzzes with energy. You get lost in cities of souks. You watch hazy orange sunsets from rooftop gazebos. You listen to melodious prayers from mosques that echo through confusing narrow alleyways that wind, like veins, to the medina, the vibrating heart of each Moroccan city, brimming with people, patterns, music, and color.

When you go to Morocco, you lose track of time. Scents and sights hypnotize and you never want to leave.

morocco travel source: tyler hendy on unsplash.com

Our travel guide to Morocco highlights the top three cities you can’t miss and my glowing recommendations on where to stay. BTW, this article is by no means sponsored by these hostels–I just loved them that much.

Start and spend most of your journey in Marrakesh and make your way to Essaouira and Chefchaouen for a complete, life-changing trip. Well, what are you waiting for? Yallah! (“Come on, let’s go!”)

Marrakesh: “The Red City” + The Sahara Desert

Where to Stay: Equity Point Marrakech Hostel


Moroccan travel soure: annie spratt on unsplash.com

Marrakesh (or Marrakech) is the capital city of Morocco and should be your starting point. Its medina, or city square, is an open area bustling with food vendors, henna artists, and snake charmers at all hours of the day. At night, dozens of tents and benches pop up for an even grander display of local delicacies and nightlife.

Marrakesh is the red city of Morocco, where deep clay walls and metal tin roofs blot out the scorching sun. A labyrinth of souks (Moroccan marketplaces) bombard your senses with fresh leather goods, incense, dried fruit, pastries, and baskets of vibrant Moroccan spices.

moroccan basket source: ferran feixas on unsplash.com

Don’t be surprised if you get a little lost–welcome it! Something beautiful will find you in this maze of a bazaar: clay trinkets, metal lanterns, decorated poufs, and elaborate carpets will make you wish you would have brought an extra suitcase for all your treasures.

morocco travel source: frida aguilar estrada on unsplash.com

Spend hot days at Moroccan cafes and drink the best mint tea you’ll ever taste.

Stay at the Equity Point Marrakesh Hostel, a spa hostel. There are beautifully decorated common rooms with rugs, poufs, and lovely balconies, two levels of outdoor dining areas that serve meals all day, a large cooling pool in the center of the riad (open floor house), and affordable spa amenities that are always available, including an in-house henna artist.

The Sahara Desert

Equity Point also offers 3-day and 5-day Morocco tours to several areas surrounding Marrakesh, including one you can’t miss, an excursion into the Sahara Desert. You’ll ride camels for an hour into the desert and travel to a large tent where you’ll share an intimate traditional Moroccan meal with your desert guides and fellow travelers. End your Sahara night by sleeping under a million stars!

sahara desert source: yeo khee on unsplash.com

The dusty road to the desert is a sightseeing wonder all on its own. Whether you choose a three or five-day adventure, you will pass through the Atlas Mountains, the Todra Gorge (limestone canyons), and Ait Benhaddou, an ancient fortified village that is featured in Game of Thrones (season 3 episode 10 for you GOT fans).

You’ll even pay a special visit to see a Berber farm to learn about traditional farming practices and learn how beautiful Moroccan rugs are made and what they signify.

source: nicolas cool on unsplash.com

The best part of this journey? Equity Point makes it easy to plan all of this. You don’t even have to purchase travel plans to the desert beforehand, and the tour guides are so friendly!

Essaouira: “The Bride of the Atlantic”

Where to stay: Atlantic Hostel

essaouira morocco source: louis hansel on unsplash.com

A laid-back beach town of white and light blue, time slows and stretches in Essaouira. This breezy seaside town is 3 hours away from Marrakech and is totally worth the scenic countryside bus ride to the coast.

Situated off the Atlantic, this fortified town is a historical gem, with 18th-century cannons, citadels, and towers (brought to life in GOT’s season 3 finale).

game of thrones essaouira source: louis hansel on unsplash.com

Moroccan rugs are hung beautifully across Essaouiran souks. You can buy a platter of a variety of freshly caught fish, shrimp, and octopus for close to nothing and eat it all with a view. Tour the elaborate stacks of fishing boats and then grab dessert in the medina.

Essaouira is THE place to get a Moroccan hammam. Similar to a traditional Turkish hammam, you’ll be able to relax, detox, and exfoliate all your troubles away at a luxurious spa and open bathhouse along the sea.

morocco travel source: louis hansel on unsplash.com

Stay at the Atlantic Hostel in the heart of Essaouira where you can meet Cous Cous, the coolest guy in Essaouira, a wonderful man popular amongst locals and visitors alike. He works at Atlantic Hostel as a chef.

Stay in comfortable rooms and lay out at the bohemian rooftop, where Cous Cous creates elaborate dinners for more than 20 people at a time and throws daily parties for travelers. It will feel like nothing you’ve experienced before, but it will also feel like home.

Chefchaouen: “The Blue Pearl”

Where to stay: Dar Dadicilef

chefchaouen morocco source: ferran feixas on unsplash.com

Arguably bluer than any ocean, Chefchaouen is a mountainous city that will shake you visually to your core. Everything, from the walls to the city steps is a lively, mesmerizing shade of blue that all seems like a dream.

Sleepy cats run about. Plants and brick line the alleyways. Motorcyclists speed up and down tiny cobblestone streets. The best thing to do in this blue city is to simply wander and soak up these little scenes like a sponge.

chefchaouen source: robert brands on unsplash.com

Chefchaouen is not as crowded as other cities, so if you’re a fan of slow-pace traveling, you’ve come to the right spot. Spend your days in the kasbah, a fortress-turned-garden. Drink the sweetest orange juice on a hot day. Eat tajine in the medina (THE dish of Morocco, a stew of meat and vegetables perfectly cooked in an earthenware pot).

chefchaouen morocco source: dimitrie stanescu on unsplash.com

Stay in the family-run hostel, Dar Dadicilef (Felicidad backward, so it translates to “House of Happiness”). Just five minutes away from the heart of Chefchaouen, this riad is one of the oldest in the city. Enjoy a delicious traditional Moroccan breakfast on their esteemed terrace and garden, included free with your stay. Watch the multicolored sunset from the roof overlooking the city and nearby mountains. At night, drink tea near a fire set up by the lovely staff.

Tips for Your Stay in Morocco

  1. A little conversational French will go a long way in Morocco. Even the effort is appreciated among locals! Don’t worry if you don’t have time to learn French. The most populated areas are English-speaking, too!
  2. Use your hostel as an information center. The staff at the hostels mentioned above are more than happy to help you with information on transportation to and from cities (bus rates from Chefchaouen to Fez, for example), day trips, excursions, where to get the best tajine, etc. Think of the staff as your local guides and pick their brains!
  3. Before entering a taxi cab, make sure you and your taxi driver agree on a price rate. Don’t just enter a cab and pay at the end of your ride–you may be overcharged!
  4. Dress appropriately. As a female traveler, it’s important to cover your shoulders and wear pants or skirts way below your knees. It’s important to respect fashion norms in any country to avoid unwanted attention. We have an entire article dedicated to solo female traveling (including Travel Advisories for up-to-date info) and what to pack for a trip like this.
  5. Morocco’s currency is the dirham. Finding an ATM can be difficult at times, so when you land in the airport in Morocco, I highly suggest withdrawing money there.
  6. Haggling is an essential part of Moroccan culture. It’s almost like a sport. Learn how to haggle and be respectful, and don’t be surprised if they keep calling you back after you walk away (I haggled my way from a $60 leather backpack to $20 only after walking away and being called back.)
  7. Drink bottled water, not tap water, just in case. Be wary of ice. Pack Immodium just in case.