For those whose only exposure of Africa has been from afar, it’s all too easy to lump many of the continent’s countries together. And indeed, many hop on a forty-minute ferry from southern Spain to Morocco just to check the ‘Africa’ box on their Been-There List. But anyone seeking an patently ‘African’ experience in Morocco will only get as far as a passport stamp, for this isn’t just a country that stands out from its continental constituents, but one the world’s few strongholds of culture with its soul in tact that’s not reluctant to take in guests.

Morocco’s famous cities like Marrakesh, Casablanca, and Fez all offer different entryways into understanding the subtly complex Moroccan identity, and smaller towns like Chefchaouen, bathed in bright blue paint beneath the Rif Mountains have been drawing in backpackers for decades. As well, anyone seeking for outdoor spots should take advantage of Morocco’s geography, diverse as any country on the planet: ski or snowboard in the Atlas Mountains, kitesurf or bodyboard in expat coastal towns like Essouaria and Mehdia, or take to dune buggies and sandboarding in Sahara’s endless dunes.

So far we’ve written about studying abroad in Morocco, reviewed cookbooks of local cuisine, and talked about why couples should consider Morocco for their next romantic getaway. If you’re just now taking a look at Morocco, a good place to start might be our guide to surfing way off the grid or Paul Sullivan’s photo essay on the ‘pink city’ of Marrakech.

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