Morocco is certainly unlike any other place in the world. A strong Muslim nation but so far from many other Islamic countries and so close to westernized Europe, Morocco has a unique and interesting flavour.
The combination of languages spoken here gives an insight into the country’s past – many of the indigenous Berbers who’ve inhabited Morocco since at least 8000 BC still speak their indigenous language; the main language is Arabic after the introduction of Islam into the country around 670 AD; and the second language is French as a result of the time Morocco spent under French control until becoming independent in 1956.
Today, Morocco is a reasonably conservative Muslim nation that is well known for its amazing cuisine and welcoming locals. Tourism is a growth industry here with many people from around the world keen to experience its unique and interesting culture.
Don’t pass up a chance to visit a local market where you can experience the rich smells and colours and meet some of the locals. Remember to haggle, as it’s the custom. The food is influenced by the indigenous Berbers as well as the Arabs – well-know dishes include couscous and tagine but there are many other strings to Morocco’s food bow.
For you, a trip to Morocco will be a bit of a culture shock. Embrace the differences and respect the locals and you’ll have a safe and interesting trip.
It’s safe for women to travel alone – tourists are very common here now. Locals are prohibited from drinking but tourists aren’t – there are plenty of places that can serve you a beer around Agadir. While not required, it is respectful to avoid eating, drinking or smoking in public during the month of Ramadan when Muslims fast during the day, only eating at night.
While most restaurants will be closed for lunch, the tourist ones will remain open so it’s okay to eat there (non-Muslims are excused from the fast).
At the end of Ramadan is a public holiday, Eid al Fitr, when nearly everything closes (for up to a week) as people travel back home to their village.