Last updated on February 24th, 2019
Facts about tourism and cuisine in Morocco
41. Morocco’s Mediterranean climate is moderate even in the summer. The mountain ranges experience several different kinds of climates. Southeastern Morocco is very hot.
42. Tourism is one of the country’s most important economic industries. As many as 10 million people visit Morocco each year. Morocco makes the coast, their culture, and their history the focus of tourism promotions.
43. Most of Morocco’s visitors are European. Its close proximity attracts vacationers to its beaches. Almost 20 percent of tourists are French Nationals and the Spanish also visit often, especially for long weekend trips.
44. The Moroccan government has launched its Vision 2020 which plans to make Morocco one of the world’s top 20 tourist destinations by the year 2020 to double the annual number of international visitors.
45. Morocco’s modern tourist industry focuses on its cultural history, and ancient historic and Islamic sites. Sixty percent of all visitors come for these reasons.
46. Agadir is a major coastal resort and the base for tours going to the Atlas Mountains. Casablanca is a major cruise point and its market is the best developed for tourists who are interested in shopping. Marrakech is also a popular tourist attraction.
47. Adventure tourism in the two mountains ranges is the fastest growing area of tourism in Morocco. There are great hikes here from late March to mid-November and the government is developing more. They are also competing with Tunisia to develop desert tourism.
48. Morocco has one the most diversified of the world’s cuisines due to its centuries of interaction with cultures from the larger world. It is heavily influenced by Berber-Moorish, Mediterranean and European cuisines.
49. Moroccan food dishes feature spices extensively. Saffron, mint, olives, oranges, and lemons are all grown locally. Chicken is the predominant meat. Pork is forbidden by religious dietary laws. Beef is also eaten. Lamb is more expensive and used for special occasions.
50. Tagines are names for the pot in which they are cooked. They are a medley of the national dish of couscous, vegetables and meat, usually chicken. They are cooked and served in a two piece pot. Harira is a soup that is a meal in itself, especially eaten during the month of Ramadan. Bread is a staple in the country and there are many bakeries.
The City of Agadir
51. Agadir is one of the major urban centers of Morocco and is located on the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the gateways to the nearby Atlas Mountains and close to the Sous River. It has a dense population. Agadir is actually a combination of four communities: the former town of Agadir city, the rural towns of Tikiwine and Ben Sergao, and the urban commune of Anza.
52. Agadir was destroyed by an earthquake in 1960 but has since been completely rebuilt to stringent and mandatory anti-quake standards of construction. It is now the largest of all Morocco’s seaside resorts. Agadir is home to the ancient and heavily restored Casbah (Kasbah), a historic walled fortress now mostly destroyed. Above the front door, the original inscription remains: “Fear God and Honor the King.”
53. Agadir has more than one port. It has its major trading port, two fishing ports, and a more recent marina port for leisure boats. One of the fishing ports is one of the world’s major premier sardine ports. There are canneries and many small restaurants adjacent to the ports’ fish market.
54. Souk El Had is Agadir’s largest regional market with around 6,000 small shops to explore. Surrounded by walls, it has several entrances. It is organized into sections by the types of products sold there. Look here for traditional decorations and all kinds of handicrafts.
55. Agadir is the site of many cultural festivals each year. Some of the most prominent include the Noiz Makerz Concert of Urban Music, Film Festival for Immigration, Concert for Tolerance (in November) and the International Festival of University Theatre plus the Festival of Laughter. The Timitar Festival of Amazigh and music from all over the world begin in 2004 and has been held in Agadir annually since. Other major events include the Breaking South National Break-Dancing Championship and the International Documentary Film Festival (FIDADOC) held in November.
Fun facts about Morocco
56. The national drink is a green tea with mint leaves and other ingredients known as “atai” that is important in the culture of the Moroccan people. Served all day long and at all meals, it is most definitely the drink served for hospitality and refusing it is considered extremely rude.
57. Speaking of rude, if you are offered meat by your Moroccan host, it is important to their hospitality. And you must again say “yes” or be unspeakably rude.
58. Street dancers, monkey charmers, and snake charmers expect to be paid if you take their photograph. They also will charge you for giving directions, so be prepared.
59. Taxis are plentiful, cheap and seldom use their meters. You would be wise to have the driver name his price before entering for a ride, or you might get a big shock at the end of the ride.
60. Thanks to the red walls and buildings Marrakech is known as the Red City, and is popular with tourists. They should wear sun protection, light clothing like cotton or linen and head protection all year long.
Interesting Morocco facts for Kids
61. The national Moroccan sport is football or soccer, known as Koura. The national team’s name is The Lions of Atlas. They were the first team from an African and Arab country to make it to the second round of the World Cup ever. Kickboxing is also popular with Moroccans.
62. The flag of Morocco is red. Centered on it is a green five-pointed linear star known as a pentacle (also known as Solomon’s or Sulayman’s seal). Green and red are traditional colors for Arab flags. The pentacle represents the five different pillars of Islam. It also signifies the relationship between the nation and God. It was designed in 1912.
63. Traditionally, the heart is not the symbol of love for the Moroccan people. The liver is.
64. The national animal, Barbary Lions, as well as elephants and bears used to wander through Morocco. They are all extinct now. Those lions were believed to be the heaviest and largest lions in the world when they existed. Today you will see reptiles like snakes, chameleons, and geckos as well as goats, sheep, various antelopes, and camels. Barbary macaques and wild boar also roam freely across the country.
65. A Moroccan woman won the 400-meter hurdles and became the first woman from any Arab or Islamic country to win an Olympic Gold Medal. Her name is Nawal EL Moutawakel and she is a council woman today.
Morocco today is the sum of all its historic and cultural influences as well as a land of beautiful geography and climate. Share your thoughts about Morocco in the comments section below.
Morocco – country at a glance
|Independence||2 March 1956 (from France)|
|Area||total: 446,550 sq km|
land: 446,300 sq km
water: 250 sq km
|Population||35,561,654 (July 2020 est.)|
|Suffrage||18 years of age; universal|
|Official Language||Arabic and Berber|
|National Anthem||"Hymne Cherifien" (Hymn of the Sharif)|
|Borders||Algeria, Western Sahara and Spain|
|Life Expectancy at birth||73.3 years (2020)|
|Birth rate||17.9 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)|
|Death rate||6.6 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)|
|Sex ratio||0.99 male(s)/female (2020 est.)|
|GDP - per capita (PPP)||$8,600 (2017 est.)|
|Drives on the||Right|
|National symbol||pentacle symbol, lion|
|National colors||red, green|
|Government type||parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|Prime Minister||Saadeddine Othmani|
|Natural resources||phosphates, iron ore, manganese, lead, zinc, fish, salt|
|Terrain||mountainous northern coast (Rif Mountains) and interior (Atlas Mountains) bordered by large plateaus with intermontane valleys, and fertile coastal plains|
|Mean elevation||909 m|
|Lowest point||Sebkha Tah -59 m|
|Highest point||Jebel Toubkal 4,165 m|
|Currency||Moroccan dirham (MAD)|
|Industries||automotive parts, phosphate mining and processing, aerospace, food processing, leather goods, textiles, construction, energy, tourism|
|Exports||$21.48 billion (2017 est.)|
clothing and textiles, automobiles, electric components, inorganic chemicals, transistors, crude minerals, fertilizers (including phosphates), petroleum products, citrus fruits, vegetables, fish
|Imports||$39.64 billion (2017 est.)|
crude petroleum, textile fabric, telecommunications equipment, wheat, gas and electricity, transistors, plastics
|Internet country code||.ma|
|Time Zone||WET (UTC+0)|
Summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1)
|Table last updated||March 30, 2020|