Tangier, Casablanca, Marrakech... - from one of these names already blows as the dry hot wind of the desert bringing aromas of spices and the remote sounds of east tunes. About Morocco many myths and legends as it appears, not incidentally as it is the country with the history full of gloss and great feats, absolutely special culture and unique art are put. Rest in Morocco - the ideal beginning for those who intend to go to a travel across Africa and to investigate its beauty.
Morocco - the amazing country of contrasts. Here the nature connected the brightest paints: golden beaches, azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the mountain with the snow-covered tops sparkling to the sun, the sandy hills of the Sahara and the prompt rivers at the bottom of mountain gorges, silvery falls, the cedar woods and groves with orange trees. It is the amazing world from fairy tales "Thousands and One Night" where the cool breeze from the ocean mixes salty sea smells with aroma of flowers and exotic greens.
Only in Morocco it is possible to see the old cities of times of the empire - Marrakech, Rabat, Meknes and Fes. Only here it is possible to visit open markets with a set of magnificent carpets, products from skin and a tree and bright east jewelry and to walk on narrow small streets behind which high white walls magnificent palaces, shady gardens and parks sometimes are.
The kingdom of Morocco is located in a northwest part of Africa, between the Sahara Desert and the Atlantic Ocean. From Spain Morocco separates the Strait of Gibraltar which width in some places no more than 14-44 km. The territory of Morocco makes 445,5 thousand sq.km.
In the north of Morocco borders on Spain, in the southeast - on Algeria, in the South and the southeast - on Mauritania and Western Sahara. From the North the kingdom is washed by the Mediterranean Sea, from the West - the Atlantic Ocean. On the Mediterranean coast of Morocco there are Ceuta and Melilla belonging to Spain.
Between the coast and the desert mountains the Atlas which tops for all year are covered with snow stretch. The highest point - the mountain Jebel Toubkal - 4167 m. The largest lake in Morocco is the lake to Bine el Ouidane. Mountains consist of four massifs: Rifsky Atlas, Average Atlas, High Atlas and Anti-Atlas.
Arabs call the country Al Maghreb, or Al-Maghreb-Al-Aqsa that means "the Distant West", and Europeans - Morocco, by name one of its ancient capitals - Marrakech that means "fine".
Time lags behind in Morocco from Moscow in the summer for 4 hours, in the winter - for 3 hours.
The capital of Morocco - Rabat. On the form of government the Kingdom of Morocco - constitutional monarchy. Under the Constitution, the king is the head of state, the Supreme Commander and the spiritual master devout (Amir-al-muminin).
Climate in Morocco Mediterranean, the hot dry summer and warm damp winter is characteristic of it. In the summer temperature reaches + 30-35C, and in the winter + 15-20C. On the coast of the Mediterranean Sea climate subtropical, further on the South - continental. The northwest part of the country is under the influence of the Atlantic Ocean therefore also climate here softer, and affects the southeast proximity of the Sahara Desert.
Weather on the coast favors to rest in Morocco for all year though in the winter in the north of the country it can be cool. In the winter quite often snow drops out, here even the mountain skiing is developed. Snow cover at the height more than 2000-2500 meters can keep within two months and longer, and its thickness can reach six meters. The number of frosty days in a year - about 120. The ski season usually lasts from December to March, for fans of pedestrian tours it is better to choose time from June to September.
The optimum for rest period in Morocco lasts from October to April, it is most popular among visitors. At this time there is pleasant heat, temperature rises not higher than 30C in the afternoon, and at night temperature falls to 15C.
The hottest climate in Marrakech in summer months temperature there usually increases to 38-40C day, and falls to 24C at night.
Wonderful beaches on the Mediterranean coast, snow tops of mountains of the High Atlas, the picturesque nature, numerous monuments of culture and architecture, patriotic observances and festivals - all this does Morocco by the unique vacation spot. Here along with modern resorts it is possible to see ruins of the Roman cities and Berber settlements, palm trees, camels, bedouins and oases in the desert; here it is possible to find ancient minarets, magnificent palaces and gardens with fountains in each city, tombs of sultans, basilicas and ancient ruins keeping secrets of the last centuries. You will be struck by masterpieces of the museum of Art of Morocco in Tangier, the Roman mosaic in the Archaeological museum in Tetuan, the Mosque of Gold Apples and the fine museum Gift of Dzhamay (Dar Jamai) in Meknes. The archaeological museum in Rabat, the museum Oudaia, Yusuf Bin Tashfin's mausoleum and the museum SI Gift Said in Marrakech. In many museums of Morocco it is possible to see uncountable treasures of kings of different eras.
In Meknes it is possible to visit the castle of the king which is called "the Moroccan Versailles", to see Yaqub Al-Mansour's mosques XII and Mulay-Idris, the fortress of Kazba in Medina - an old part of the city, - and also national parks Toubkal and Tezzek. It is worth visiting Jem El-Fn Square which is nazvat the area of music, dance, theater and circus art. Here it is possible to hear stories from "Thousands and one night", national legends and legends, to learn the future from the fortuneteller and to look at speeches of acrobats, jugglers, to see snake charmers, sellers various "the medicines and elixirs curing all diseases" and vagrant poets - troubadours.
Here, in the state of five capitals, the certain city in itself can be a sight. Marrakech - a symbol of the Moroccan East, its center is Medina. Mosques, magnificent gardens, fortresses and palaces, narrow small streets and the well-known market bough where choose brides, the main square where in the evenings jugglers, acrobats and snake charmers act, - all this can be seen in the heart of "the pink city".
In the administrative capital of Morocco Rabat there are remains of the ancient city Sal founded by Phoenicians more than one thousand years ago. In the 7-8th centuries it was known as a nest of the corsairs keeping all Europe in awe.
Fes is the center of cultural tourism, and also the last medieval city of the world which is under protection of UNESCO now.
Agadir - the capital of modern tourism. Here it is possible to find all types of entertainments: to try sea fishing or to drive on camels, in the city there is great variety of bars, restaurants, night clubs and discos, and sandy beaches of Agadir are recognized as the most beautiful in Morocco. Essueyr it is known as the city of pirates, it long since involved poets and artists that is later made it the center of modern Moroccan art.
In the Moroccan cuisine which incorporated all the best of east kitchen well-known around the world fruit and vegetables, a set of rare aromatic spices, fish delicacies and juicy meat are generally used.
Traditional Arab dishes - kebabs, couscous and coffee with cardamom, but true pleasure - fresh-caught and freshly cooked fish: sardines, perch, tuna, besides, shrimps, lobsters and crayfish. At any small restaurant they will be fried right there on a grill with a lemon or tangerine.
Couscous (couscous). This traditional family dish is usually given for breakfast on Friday, however at restaurants it can be tried every day.
"Meshu" (mechoui): the meat of a lamb made in an oven or fried, fried on a spit or entirely baked in the clay furnace. Meat so gentle that literally melts in the mouth.
Bstella - flat pie from sweet puff pastry under which top layer there is a chicken meat, pigeons or fish stuffing seasoned with almonds, raisin and spices. Salty and sharp it is combined with sweet here that gives a peculiar charm to this dish.
Tazhin (tajine) in translation means "both". This lamb stew, hens, or pigeons with olives and almonds, prunes, or a lemon and is obligatory with spices.
During Ramadan after sunset the ban on food stops, and absolutely special dishes prepare. It is, first of all, unsweetened lentil and east peas harira soup (chick-pea), small pancakes of "beghrir" with melted butter and honey, and also "shebbakia" - the pies fried in oil and also poured by honey.
The traditional Moroccan tea drinking finishes any meal. Moroccans have sweet green tea with mint at any time. Wine is on sale everywhere, however it is forbidden to be sold after 8 o'clock in the evening.Population, language, religion
The population of Morocco makes 31 million people of whom 55% are made by Arabs, 44% - berbers and only 0,7% - foreigners.
Official language in Morocco - Arab. The main part of the country talks on its Moroccan dialect. French, and in the north near Tangier - Spanish is widespread. Berbers who make a considerable part of the population know also Berber language. Also in Morocco talk in Castilian and English languages.
Official religion - Islam. In Morocco 98% of Sunni Muslims, 1% of Christians and 1% of Jews. The capital - Rabat (1,293,000chelovek).
The visa in Morocco is not necessary.