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Friday, 4 July 2014 12:00 AM

Morocco Holiday - A Step out of the West

Morocco is such a short step away from Europe but feels a million miles away and for many holiday makers a holiday in Morocco is a step outside of the known – their own comfort zone – which can be rather daunting or even off putting.

Morocco is an Islamic country, it is Arabic with strong Berber traditions, it touches the Saharan desert and essentially every aspect of life is different from what we are used to in the west – everything from the dress code and the language to the way of shopping and eating.

But although it is fundamentally different it is a wonderful introduction into lives away from the western world.

Riads and Accommodation

Over the past couple of decades in particular accommodation has come risen in standard in leaps and bounds and now has a great selection of accommodation much of which has a local slant.

Riads are traditional Moroccan family houses, most specifically found in the medinas of cities and towns, many of which have been in recent years converted into boutique accommodation (typically 3-8 bedroom hotels). They are part of the history of Morocco and a wonderful way to immerse yourself in something different.

Equally there are a range of other types of accommodation, much of which is of a relatively good standard – although power cuts, interruptions to water supply and lack of hot water at times will remind you that you are in a different country.

Moroccans and Your Welcome

Morocco has several significant major holiday destinations (Marrakech being the most obvious) but whether you are visiting those or somewhere quite remote almost invariably you will find Moroccans very welcoming.

Yes you are likely to be a non-Muslim and perceived to have relative significant wealth, and that can affect local attitudes – many people may want to make a little money out of you, be it enticing you into their shop or helping you to find your way when lost – but Moroccans are very friendly, warm and generous as a whole and their faith is not fundamental (the call to prayer is generally the most obvious sign of the national belief).

As in any country there are rogues and people out to make a fast buck. Just be sensible. A shop keeper will try to get you into their shop to sell you something and local kids may try to help you if you look lost, just be polite early on if you are not interested.

Summary – Morocco is Different but Wonderful

Morocco is different from Western countries  but Moroccans are warm and welcoming and accommodation unique and of a good standard, albeit with a little local flavour.