Morocco Destinations Travel Guide


Language: Arabic

Currency: Moroccan dirham (MAD)

Calling code: +212


Morocco - officially called the Kingdom of Morocco - is a sovereign country located in the Maghreb, north of Africa, with coasts in the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. It is separated from the European continent by the Strait of Gibraltar. It borders Algeria to the east - the border has been closed since 1994, to the southwest with Western Sahara, to the north with Spain, its main trading partner with which it shares both maritime and terrestrial borders -Ceuta, Melilla and the squares of sovereignty- and to the south with Mauritania. It occupies part of Western Sahara, after the green march of 1975, the signing of the Tripartite Agreement of Madrid, and the interruption of the process of decolonization and abandonment of Spain from the territory.

In 1984, the Assembly of the Organization for African Unity (OAU), predecessor of the AU and of which Morocco was a founding member, accepted as a member the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). the organization. It is a member of the Arab League, the Arab Maghreb Union, the International Organization of la Francophonie, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the Union for the Mediterranean, the European Broadcasting Union, the Group of 77 and the North-South Center. It is also a major non-NATO ally of the United States. It is also the country in the Arab world where the Spanish language is most studied, with more than 80,000 students according to the information provided by the Instituto Cervantes in 2015. From 1984 to 2017, it was the only African country that was not a member of the African Union. The Moroccan State was reinstated with an absolute majority on January 30, 2017, during the 28th Summit of the African Union, which took place in Ethiopia.


Travel Destinations in Morocco

Souss-Massa National Park is located in the South- west Morocco. This nature reserve covers an area of 33,800 hectares.

Toubkal National Park is situated 70 kilometres from Marrakech in Western Morocco. The nature reserve covers an area of 380 sq km.



The country is officially called Arab. المملكة المغربية‎ al-Mamlakatu l-Maghribiyatu, literally - “the kingdom of the Maghreb”, in addition, there are self-names Arab in the country. المغرب الأقصى‎, El-Maghrib el-Aqsa - "Far West", and Arabic. مراكش‎ - Marrakish, the name from the oikonym of the city, which in the Middle Ages was one of its capitals. In Europe at the end of the 19th century, the French form of the name of the country Maroc became widespread, used in various spellings: Morocco, Marok, Morocco, etc. The exception is Spain - in Spanish the country is called Spanish. Marruecos.


History of Morocco

People inhabited the territory of Morocco from the early Paleolithic. In the area of ​​Casablanca (Thomas I) and Sale, instruments of the Acheulean and Mousterian cultures were discovered. The finds of the early Homo sapiens from Jebel Irhud date from 240 ± 35 thousand years to 378 ± 30 thousand years of age. In the most ancient era, the climatic conditions of the region were more favorable for the life of people. Venus from Tan Tan dates back over 300 thousand years ago. The age of 108 thousand years is dated to the skeleton of a child of 8 years old, found in 2010 in Temara.

Ancient history
See also: Prehistoric North Africa and Carthage
In the first millennium BC, Moroccan lands belonged to Carthage. From the II century BC e., after the conquest of Carthage by the Romans, Roman rule began in North Africa. In 429, the territory of modern Morocco (the Roman province of Mauritania of Tingitan) was captured by the Vandals, but after a hundred years it was returned to the empire by the Byzantines.

Medieval history
In 682, the Arab conquest of North Africa began. The first Arab state in Morocco was founded in 784 by Imam Idris ibn Abdallah, who fled from Arabia. The Arab state reached its peak during the dynasties of the Almoravids and Almohads in the 11th-12th centuries. Under the Almoravids, Morocco was the center of a vast empire that occupied the territories of modern Algeria, Libya, Tunisia and the vast territories of Spain and Portugal. However, with the fall of the Almohad dynasty, the empire collapsed.

From the beginning of the 15th century, Portuguese and then Spanish expansion began in Morocco, when several port cities were captured by Europeans (the first expedition was carried out by the Portuguese to Ceuta in 1415). However, in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a new rise of the Moroccan state began to be observed, which reached its highest power under the Sultan Ahmad al-Mansour, whose reign is called the "golden age" of the country. At this time (1591), Moroccan troops led by Dzhudar Pasha captured the Songai Empire, a state in Western Sudan, taking control of the trans-Saharan trade in salt and gold. Also during the heyday of the 16th century, the Moroccan sultans managed to expand the territory of the state to the maximum extent, having captured the majority of the captured cities from the Spaniards and Portuguese, capturing the western part of Algeria and pushing the border in the south to Guinea.

After the death of Ahmad (around 1603), the state began to weaken as a result of constant internal wars, so that Mulei-Sherif, a descendant of Ali and Fatima, was easy to overthrow in the middle of the XVII century. dynasty of the first sultans and found a new, still ruling, dynasty of Alids, or Joseini. The most famous of these is Mulei Islam, who ruled from 1672 to 1727 as the greatest despot. Under his successors, feuds and strife over the throne increased, leading the country more and more to decline, before Mulei-Sidi-Mohammed (1757-1789), who was distinguished by gentleness and desire to introduce European culture, entered the throne. After his death, the period of internal conflicts and wars began again. Under the Sultan Mulei-Suleiman (1794-1822), a period of relative prosperity began again.

In the XVII-XIX centuries, Morocco was considered a pirate state, since in many cities the actual power was in the hands of sea pirates. It is interesting that this did not prevent Morocco from exercising diplomatic functions; in 1777, Morocco was the first state to recognize US independence.

Morocco in modern times
During the Spanish-Moroccan War of 1859-1860, the Kingdom of Spain occupied part of the land of the Sultanate.


At the end of the 19th century, Morocco (ruled since 1894 by Moulay Abd al-Aziz) became the object of rivalry between Spain, France, Britain, and in the 20th century also Germany. France’s capture of all of the Sahara and part of Sudan, which made her sovereign of almost all of West Africa, provoked her desire to prevail in those neighboring states that still retained their independence. By the Anglo-French agreement on April 8, 1904, Morocco was recognized as falling within the scope of French influence; but this agreement aroused protest from Germany. Wilhelm II visited Morocco in 1905, and after that the German resident in Fez Tattenbach (German) and Chancellor Bülow launched a campaign against French influence in Morocco. They demanded that the reform project in Morocco, developed by France, be considered at a conference of representatives of interested powers, and not be carried out by France alone. Delcasse's sharp refusal to enter into negotiations with Germany on the issue of reforms in Morocco nearly brought France to an open break with the German Empire. The intervention of Ruvier and the resignation of Delcasse helped to settle the conflict, and on July 10, 1905, an agreement was convened between France and Germany to convene the conference. This agreement left a whole series of questions open - about the reorganization of the Moroccan police, the establishment of a bank in Morocco, the provision of Germany with the port of Mogador in the Atlantic Ocean, etc. The issue of reorganization of the police brought France and Germany into conflict. Germany insisted that the reorganization of the police be entrusted to all interested powers. France strongly protested against this. As a result, all controversial issues were referred to the international conference, which met in February 1906 in Algeciras (Spain) and was supposed to decide the fate of Morocco.

As a result of the Moroccan crises of 1905 and 1911, France acquired most of the territory of Morocco. During World War I, a large number of Moroccans were drafted into the French army. About 8,000 of them died on the fronts.

The modern period of the history of Morocco
After a three-year period of mass protests in a number of areas of the country that turned into insurgent anti-French action, and the political crisis caused by attempts to change the king, France recognized Morocco's independence in March 1956, and Spanish Morocco gained independence in April, although several cities remained with the Spaniards. Morocco becomes a member of the UN, ILO, IMF, WHO, the League of Arab countries. In 1984, Morocco withdrew from the African Union in protest against the adoption of Western Sahara, which Morocco considers its territory. In July 2016, the king of Morocco officially announced the country's desire to return to the African Union, and the next year the kingdom was re-accepted into this organization. Morocco is considered the traditional ally of the United States and France in the region. In June 2004, Morocco received the status of the main non-NATO ally of the United States. At the same time, trade agreements were signed with the US and the EU.


State structure

Morocco is a dualistic monarchy, which is enshrined in the constitution. Exclusive power is concentrated in the hands of the king and his council of ministers. The King signs all laws, his veto can be overridden by a two-thirds vote of both houses of the National Assembly. He is the spiritual head, a symbol of the unity of the nation, appoints all judges by his decrees, approves changes to the constitution, declares war and commands the armed forces. The government, headed by the prime minister, is appointed by the king, who can remove individual ministers at the request of the prime minister.

The constitution provides for three types of courts: civil, religious and special. The Royal Armed Forces are also under the control of the King.

The highest body of legislative power is a bicameral parliament. The lower house - the House of Representatives (325 deputies) is elected by direct vote for 5 years, the upper house - the House of Councilors (270 deputies) is elected for 9 years by indirect vote. Every 3 years, its composition is updated by a third.

According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, the country in 2018 was classified on the Democracy Index as a hybrid regime.



The population is 36.91 million (June 2020 est.). It is the fourth most populous Arabic-speaking country in Africa after Egypt, Sudan and Algeria. About 60% of the population are Arabs, 40% are Berbers. Europeans make up 60,000 people (mostly French, Spaniards and Portuguese), Jews about 3,000.

The annual population growth is 1.5% (2009).

Birth rate: 20.96 newborns / 1000 people (2009).

Mortality rate: 5.45 deaths/1000 people (2009)

Average life expectancy is 69 years for men, 74 years for women (2009).

Literacy - 60% of men, 40% of women (according to the 2004 census).



It is washed in the north by the waters of the Mediterranean Sea and in the west by the Atlantic Ocean. The Strait of Gibraltar separates Morocco from Europe. In the east and southeast it borders on Algeria, in the south - on Western Sahara (according to the Moroccan authorities, who consider Western Sahara their territory, the country borders on Mauritania in the south). The southeastern border in the Sahara desert is not exactly defined.

The total area of ​​the country is 446,550 km². According to this indicator, Morocco ranks 57th in the world.

The total length of land borders is 2018 km. Including with such countries as: Algeria - 1559 km, Western Sahara (occupied by Morocco) - 443 km, Spain (Ceuta) - 6.3 km, Spain (Melilla) - 9.6 km. In fact, Morocco controls most of Western Sahara, therefore it borders on the Free Zone of Western Sahara - 2200 km.

Coastline of the country: 1835 km.

On the northern coast of Morocco are the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla. The country is divided into four physiographic regions: Rif, or mountainous region, which lies parallel to the Mediterranean coast; the Atlas Mountains, stretching across the country from the southwest to the northeast from the Atlantic Ocean to Rif, from which they are separated by the Taza depression; the region of the vast coastal plains of the Atlantic coast; valleys south of the Atlas Mountains, merging into the desert. The highest point of the country - Mount Toubkal (4165 m) - is located in the High Atlas ridge. Rif rises to (2440 m) above sea level, Sebha Tah is the lowest located place in Morocco - 55 meters below sea level. The main rivers of the country are the Muluya, which flows into the Mediterranean Sea, and the Cebu, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean.

In general, territories suitable for agriculture occupy 12% of the country's area (9 million hectares), the same amount is occupied by forests, 25% of the territories are occupied by mountains, the rest is arid semi-desert and desert (mainly in the south and southeast of the country).



The climate when moving through the territory of Morocco changes somewhat. At the same time, the temperature is positive almost throughout the territory.

On the Mediterranean coast of the country, the climate is mild, subtropical. The average temperature here in summer is about +24…+28°С (sometimes reaching +30…+35°C and higher, in the case of the shergi wind blowing from the Sahara), and +10…+12°С in winter. Moving south, the climate becomes more and more continental, with hot (up to +37°C) summers and cool (up to +5°C) winters. The daily temperature difference can reach 20°C.

The northwestern part of the country is greatly influenced by air masses from the Atlantic Ocean. Because of this, the climate here is cooler, and daily temperature fluctuations are much stronger than in the rest of the country. In the mountainous regions of the Atlas, the climate is highly dependent on the altitude of the place. Precipitation falls from 500-1000 mm per year in the north and less than 200 mm per year in the south. The western slopes of the Atlas occasionally receive up to 2000 mm of precipitation, even floods of a local scale are not uncommon, while in the southeast of the country there are years when precipitation does not fall at all.

Beginning in the 1960s, at the initiative of King Hassan II, a program was adopted to build reservoirs and develop water resources, which made it possible to provide drinking water to the population, as well as agriculture and other sectors of the economy, while preserving the country's water resources. This initiative received high marks from international experts and is still in operation. Thanks to this policy, in 2014-2015, the kingdom has more than 139 large reservoirs with a total capacity of more than 17.6 billion cubic meters and more than a hundred small dams. On average, 2-3 large reservoirs are put into operation per year. Construction is carried out mainly by local contractors.


Administrative-territorial division

The territory of the country is divided into provinces and prefectures, which are combined into 12 regions, of which one region is completely, and the second is partially located on the territory of the disputed territory of Western Sahara.

Land boundaries
1559 km - with Algiers (with the exception of the northern section, its line is not officially recognized). Due to political differences, the land border between the countries has been closed to crossing since the mid-1990s (air traffic remains)
443 km - with Western Sahara (in fact, it is not a border: the country in the south borders Mauritania)
16 km - with Spain (semi-enclaves of Ceuta - 6 km and Melilla - 10 km)

Islam is the state religion of Morocco. Moroccans are 98.7% Sunni Muslim, 1.1% Christian, and 0.2% Jewish.

The official languages ​​are Arabic and Berber. The spoken Moroccan dialect is lexically and grammatically very different from both the Arabic literary language and from other (non-Maghreb) dialects of Arabic and is practically incomprehensible in the Arab countries of the Middle East.

Widespread: French, Berber and Spanish (in the north of the country).

Approximately 12 million (40% of the total population), especially in rural areas, speak the Berber language, which exists in Morocco in the form of 3 dialects. French, which is not the official language, but is actually regarded as the second language of Morocco, is widely used in business and economics. It is also widely used in educational and government fields. The use of Spanish is also common (especially in the north of the country).

Customs regulations
The import and export of foreign currency is not limited, but its circulation in the territory of the Kingdom is prohibited. When exporting unspent currency, you must have a bank exchange certificate. It is forbidden to export objects and things of historical and artistic value without special permission. There is a restriction on the import of professional photo and video equipment (this does not apply to amateur equipment), as well as on the import of alcohol - no more than one bottle of spirits and one bottle of wine, no more than 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars and 250 g tobacco.

national holidays having a fixed date;
religious holidays, the date of which changes annually and depends on the lunar calendar;
holidays regional

National holidays
January 1 European New Year
January 11 Independence Day
May 1 Labor Day
May 23 national holiday
July 30 Throne Feast
August 20 Revolution Day
August 21 youth holiday
November 6 is the memorial day of the Green March
November 18 Independence Day - the anniversary of the return from exile of King Mohammed V

Religious holidays
Muslim New Year
Birthday of Prophet Mohammed
End of Ramadan
Feast of the Sacrifice

Regional holidays
Almond Blossoms - Tafraout - February
Roz - El Kelaa M'Gouna - May
wax candles - Sale - May
Meda - Immouzzer - May
Desert Symphony - Ouarzazate - June
(Festival) of music HANUA - Essaouira - June
Cherries - Sefrou - June
(Festival) Popular Art - Marrakesh - June
Camels - Guelmim - July
Horse riding - Tissa, Fez - September
Finikov - Erfoud - October
(Festival) Sacred Music - Fez - June
(Festival) Agadir - Agadir - December


Armed Forces of Morocco
This is the military organization of the Kingdom of Morocco, designed to protect the freedom, independence and territorial integrity of the state. Consists of ground forces, naval and air forces.


Foreign policy

On February 27, 1976, the Polisario Front, waging a guerrilla war against Moroccan troops with the support of Algeria, proclaimed Western Sahara an independent state called the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR).

2005 year
From June 15, 2005, the Kingdom of Morocco unilaterally switched to a visa-free regime for Russian citizens arriving in the country.

On September 7, Russian President V. Putin visited Casablanca. As a result of the meeting between the President of Russia, King Mohammed VI of Morocco and Prince Moulay Rashid, the following agreements were signed:
convention on the transfer of persons sentenced to deprivation of liberty;
an agreement on cooperation in the field of marine fisheries;
an agreement on cooperation in the field of tourism;
an agreement on cultural and scientific cooperation;
agreement on cooperation in the field of mass communications;
agreement on cooperation in the field of plant quarantine.

Muhammad VI paid a working visit to Russia on March 15-16, 2016. During the visit, he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. A number of Russian-Moroccan documents were also signed on cooperation in the field of investment development, countering terrorism, protection of classified information, transport, ecology, tourism, and in the humanitarian sphere.

On October 11, 2017, Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev, together with a large delegation, paid an official visit to Rabat, during which the previously expressed intentions to develop mutual relations in various fields were confirmed. Dozens of documents and agreements were also signed in the field of agriculture, the fuel and energy complex, cooperation between law enforcement agencies, the development of peaceful atom and alternative energy, arms exports, engineering, culture and education.

On November 24, 2021, Israel and Morocco signed a memorandum of understanding in the defense field in Rabat.



Benefits: Economic stimulus policies and cheap labor attract investment. Already, the developed tourism industry has even more significant potential; phosphate mining and agriculture.

Weaknesses: high unemployment (23%) and large population growth. dry periods. Cultivation of hemp (mainly for the European market) complicates relations with the EU.

Foreign economic relations
The Moroccan economy is characterized by an outward orientation. Several free trade agreements have been concluded with foreign countries:

Free Trade Agreement with the European Union with the aim of joining the European Free Trade Area by 2012.
Agadir Agreement signed with Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan to create an Arab Free Trade Area.
Free Trade Agreement with the UAE.
Free trade agreement with Turkey.

The main export commodities are phosphates and fertilizers, clothing and textiles, electrical components, inorganic chemicals, transistors, minerals, petroleum products, citrus fruits, vegetables, fish; imports - crude oil, textiles, fabrics, machinery and equipment, wheat, gas, electricity, transistors, plastics.

The main trading partners in 2017: in terms of exports ($24.57 billion) - Spain - 23.2%, France - 22.6%, Italy - 4.5%, USA - 4.2%; imports ($44.13 billion) - Spain 16.7%, France 12.2%, China 9.2%, USA 6.9%, Germany 6%, Italy 5.9%, Turkey 4.5% .

The trade turnover between Russia and Morocco in 2016 amounted to $2.5 billion (for comparison, in 2001 the trade turnover between the countries was $300 million), the positive balance in favor of Russia amounted to about $1.5 billion; 70% of Russian exports to Morocco are oil and refined products (the rest is grain, chemical industry and engineering products). Russia imports mainly Moroccan citrus fruits, to a lesser extent tomatoes, fish and canned fish. In 2014, a little over 32,000 Russian tourists visited Morocco.



Rail transport in Morocco is operated by the national operator ONCF (Fr. Office National des Chemins de Fer du Maroc).

Of the total length of 2,120 km of railway lines in 2014, 1,022 km were electrified with direct current (3 kV). Track width 1435 mm. The locomotive fleet includes diesel locomotives and electric locomotives. For 2012, the sections of Marrakech - Casablanca - Rabat - Kenitra - Meknes - Fes are double-tracked and electrified throughout.

There are plans to create high-speed rail lines in Morocco - the first of which Kenitra - Tangier (180 km) should be opened in 2018.

Morocco has a developed road network, one of the best in Africa - the total length of roads in 2015 was over 58,000 km, of which 41,000 km were paved roads and over 1,500 km were high-speed toll roads.

Roads that are part of the Trans-African Highway Network pass through Morocco.

Morocco has a well-developed intercity bus service, represented by numerous carriers (CTM, Supratours, Satan, etc.).

Morocco has oil and gas pipelines of local and regional (from Algeria to Spain) significance.

Morocco has 31 airports with paved runways and 33 airports with unpaved runways. 10 airports have international status.

Several major airlines operate in Morocco: Royal Air Maroc (national carrier), Atlas Blue (ceased operations in 2009), low-cost airline Air Arabia Maroc and regional airline Royal Air Maroc Express.

Several ferry lines link Morocco with Spain, France and Italy. The main passenger port is the port of Tanger-Mediterane (Tanger-Méd) in the north of the country.

Morocco has two major trading ports, Casablanca and Tanger-Méd (which is one of the largest in the region, and 46 in the world (Total tonnage 39 Mt + 3 million TEU (Twenty Foot Equivalent) in container traffic (2015).


Мass media

The state television and radio company - SNRT (Société nationale de radiodiffusion et de télévision - "National Corporation for Broadcasting and Television"), includes radio stations Radio Marocaine (launched on February 15, 1928), Radio Amazigh (a radio station for Berbers in Berber languages), Casa FM ( launched 1984), Radio Mohammed VI du Saint Coran (launched 16 October 2004), Chaîne Inter (launched 23 March 2009, broadcasting in Arabic, French, English and Spanish), regional radio stations, Al Aoula TV channels (launched 3 March 1962 as TVM, current name since 2007), Laayoune TV (launched November 6, 2004, broadcasts in Western Sahara), Al maghribia (launched November 18, 2004, broadcasts in Arabic, Berber, French and Spanish), Assadissa (launched November 3, 2005, religious TV channel, broadcasts in Arabic, French and one of the Berber languages), Arryadia (launched September 16, 2006), Aflam TV (launched May 31, 2008, broadcast broadcast in Arabic, Berber and French), Tamazight TV (launched 6 January 2010, broadcast in one of the Berber languages). Created February 15, 1928 as Radio Maroc, from October 22, 1966 as Radiodiffusion Marocaine. Terrestrial television operator - Tdm (Télédiffusion Multimedia Du Maroc). Media laws are enforced by the Higher Council for Audiovisual Communication (Conseil supérieur de la communication audiovisuelle) (until 2012, the High Authority for Audiovisual Communication (Haute Autorité de la communication audiovisuelle)), appointed by the King, the Prime Minister, the President of the Chamber of Deputies and the President Chamber of Councilors.

International classification
In 2002, the international organization Reporters Without Borders ranked Morocco 119th out of 167 in its press freedom index.
The Economist's Quality of Life Index ranks Morocco's standard of living 65th out of 111 countries in 2005.