Casablanca, Morocco: what to see and do

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Morocco is a kingdom of wonders that has so much to offer you – four different mountain ranges march across the land, while long golden beaches line a coast that borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. In the south of the kingdom you’ll find Morocco’s most famous feature – the spectacular, mesmerising, beguiling Sahara Desert. And throughout the land you’ll find lush oases, cascading rivers, and rich vineyards, it’s truly a kingdom that rewards the curious.

Morocco has plenty to see when it comes to urban adventures too – visit desert towns like Merzouga and Ouarzazate (Hollywood’s destination of choice when it comes to filming desert epics), historic Imperial Cities such as Meknes and Rabat, and world famous Tangier, Casablanca and Marrakech, recently named as one of the best the world’s tourist destination.

The city, then known as Anfa, was founded and settled by Amazigh (Berber) in the 10th century BC, it was used as a trading port by the Phoenicians, and later run for some times by the Romans. The port town was destroyed by the Portuguese in 1468, the Portuguese returned to the area in 1515, and built a new town called Casa Branca (“White House”), maybe because the site would have been a convenient watering stop for the new Portuguese India armadas, dispatched on an annual basis from Portugal to India. Anfa was abandoned in 1755 after a devastating earthquake. The old Medina was fully rebuilt in 1757 by Mohammed ben Abdallah, then Sultan of Morocco. Today Casablanca is Moroccos largest city and the industrial, economic and financial center of the country. The Port of Casablanca is the largest port of North Africa and one of the largest artificial ports in the world. The city has a very mild Mediterranean climate with an Oceanic influence.
When you visit Morocco you’ll be coming to a kingdom that has a long and varied past. People from three different continents have had a great influence on the way the Moroccan people are today, and they are understandably proud of the resulting culture.

To celebrate this rich heritage, Morocco holds a wide variety of festivals; in the bigger cities these can be vast events that carry on for several days, attracting artists and performers from across the country. Traditional music weaves around more modern styles, fire-eaters perform alongside traditional storytellers, and the men of Morocco keep the traditions of horsemanship alive in Fantasias, spectacular displays of riding and control that take place outside city walls.

Also known as Casa or Dar el Baida, Casablanca is essentially the capital of Morocco. Any European citizen or traveler will feel immediately at home here and will have an almost instinctive understanding of the life here. There are plenty of hotels in and around Casablanca. Regardless of the size of your budget, you can find a superb place to enjoy a meal in this vibrant city. Entertain your wildest holiday fantasies in Casablanca!
There are plenty of hotels in and around Casa. Problem is they’re almost always full, so last minute bookings are out of the question. Go to hotels, luxury hotels, self-catering, villas and apartments & studios for further accommodation information. Petits Taxis are everywhere and you shouldn’t have difficulty in catching one. The bus services are quite efficient too. If you’re hiring a car in Casa, remember that the traffic can often be a nightmare and it doesn’t take much to reach gridlock. Avoid driving if at all possible.

With a coastline that stretches from the Mediterranean to the Western Sahara, Morocco is blessed with numerous beaches – whether you’re a sun seeker, surfer or nature buff, there is a place for you. Along Morocco’s Atlantic coast is a chain of seaside towns, great places to stay when you want to enjoy a beach holiday. Some places, such as Taghazout and Mazagan are great for surfers, and Essaouira is a popular kite-surf resort. Agadir is a tourist hotspot: people are drawn from all over the world to enjoy its excellent sandy beaches. Further south is Plage-Blanche, an isolated beach in the middle of an ecological park, ideal for getting away from everything and spotting some Moroccan wildlife.

The Mediterranean coast has everything you’d expect – white sands, crystal clear waters and lovely warm weather. Whichever part of Morocco ‘s coastline you stay in, you’re bound to find a brilliant beach.
Morocco’s deserts are an intense and glorious landscape that reward exploration. The dunes of the Sahara, the world’s largest hot desert, offer a harsh and beautiful landscape in which civilisation and nature have bloomed, and the best way to explore this remarkable landscape is by embarking upon a trek, often by camel, and with the option to sleep under the vast starry skies. Whether it’s exploring the deserted white sands of Plage Blanche or gazing upon the tallest dunes in the world in Erg Chebbi, there is an adventure waiting for everyone. The Sahara desert covers 3.6 million miles, has dunes up to four hundred feet high, and over twelve hundred different species of plants. It’s a fascinating place to explore and one of the best places to do this is from Dakhla.
You can trek into the western portion of the desert on foot, camel, or rather more quickly on quad bike or air-conditioned 4X4. You’ll be in the area where the desert meets the ocean, so when you find the heat of the Sahara too much to bear it’s only a short trip back to the coast where the temperatures are far more comfortable.
Casablanca is unlikely to provide North American or European travellers with any headaches. Despite being a major population center and seat of commerce, the majority of the town is less than 50 years old and could easily be mistaken for Los Angeles or Madrid. Food is as European as it gets in Morocco, with pizzas and hamburgers as frequent as tajines and couscous. In some areas, such as the Maarif and Gironde neighborhoods, seeing a man in a djellaba or a donkey pulling a cart of vegetables are rarities. If even the trappings of Moroccan culture such as these are too much for you, any hotel bar or restaurant is going to be just like home for a few hours.