Cheap flights to Morocco
Flights to Morocco
Fancy visiting magical Morocco? Of course you do. With excellent shopping, awesome food and beautiful weather, it makes an excellent autumn winter escape.
Morocco is blessed with a Mediterranean and Maritime climate, even though it is part of the Maghreb region of North Africa. It’s usually associated with large mountainous regions, and the beginning of the Sahara Desert; but modern Morocco has far more to offer than oases and desert safaris.
Marrakech is arguably the most recognizable of the main cities in Morocco, due to its huge markets, history dating back to 1062, and being at the base of the snow capped Atlas Mountains. However, the 3 largest cities are Casablanca, Fes and Rabat (Morocco’s capital city).
Whilst you’re exploring, you’ll need to see the medina quarter of each city. Here the streets can be as small as a metre wide, but obviously they’re free from car traffic. Instead, they have labyrinthine souks built into them, which can be high pressure at the best of times – don’t expect to pay full price for anything, the name of the game here is bargaining, and remember – its supposed to be fun!
Once you’ve done your best attempt at a Sex & the City-esque bargaining session, you can finally relax by sinking into a floor cushion at one of the many restaurants you’ll find all over Morocco. Tagine is a typical Berber dish that you’ll definitely encounter over here. It’s made with traditional Moroccan spices, lamb, and pieces of fruit, and usually served with couscous or bread to mop up the juices. This is usually followed by a sweet tea whilst you let your food digest.
One of the best things about the tagine dish is that it can be transported in the pot it is cooked in, which you might need if you’re going on a desert trip. The Sahara is the obvious choice, but if you want to go off the beaten track you can trek into the Atlas Mountains, the Anti Atlas Range in the South or the Draa Valley. Stay over night in a riad, before you hop back on your camel to explore the rest of this beautiful country.
What you need to know
You can fly from Dublin to Agadir, or Marrakech Menara. There are decent bus transport links for Casablanca, Marrakech, Fes and Tangier, for reasonable prices. They usually charge a very small fee for baggage handling too.
There are 2 passenger trains in Morocco, from Tangier to Marrakech, and Oujda to Marrakech and Tangier. These are well-made Belgian trains, and are far preferable to the bus services. They also have comfortable couchettes available on the service from Marrakech to Tangier.
They use the dirham (Dh), which can be divided into 100 centimes. Notes come in dominations up to 200Gh, whereas coins vary from 1 to 50Dh.
In the main tourist ports like Tangier and Fes you might find the odd hustler, attempting to sell you fake trips. These problems can be easily avoided by booking with a reputable seller in advance. Ladies should also cover up, as it is an Islamic country and not seen as “respectable” to be showing too much skin.
Although marijuana is grown in Morocco, it is still illegal to smoke it, and you can be punished on being caught.
Irish nationals are able to stay in the country for 90 days on entry, without a visa.
When to visit
Morocco’s temperature soars in the Summer, reaching up to 40 degrees in July. If you can stand the heat, this is when the Berber dancers, musicians and street performers take over Marrakech for the Festival of Popular Art. In the winter months (November – January), it can get quite chilly at night, but the day temperatures can be up to 18 degrees – perfect for bargain hunting in the souk, or hiking in the hills.
Morocco is also an Islamic country, meaning that they do fast as part of Ramadan. Visiting during this time is vastly different to any other time, so factor this into your travel plans. It’s also prohibited to visit many mosques (unless you are Muslim), but some do allow you to visit, providing you dress respectfully in their place of worship.
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