Morocco: North

North: Cities and Coastline

South: Atlas Mountains, Desert, and Oases

Morocco was a surprise to me in that it has so much to offer on a road trip in a rather compact space, and nicely close to my home in Europe. This part shows impressions of the first half of our journey on the northern side of the Atlas mountain range, which goes from north east to south west dividing Morocco. My personal favorite is the second part with its scarce but impressive landscape. But in the north, bustling medinas (old towns) and beautiful city gardens blew my mind as well.

Our trip started in Fes, being thrown into the bustling labyrinth of the old town, the medina. Shopping in the busy streets with their markets, wandering in the quiet streets. Rabat is the capital, with a more commercial flair, government buildings, the big king's palace, and the old and well restored fortress. Unfortunately work on a supposedly ugly hotel temple by the emirates has started which will ruin the view from the kasbah soon. Casablanca has mostly a gigantic mosque to show off to visitors, and grand development plans that will not save its lack of charm. El Jadida is a quiet little jewel on the coast, not visited much by international tourists. Essaouira seems attractive to tourists through its nice and long city beach. But really, beaches are nicer in between the cities, and key to Essaouira is its active port life. People are selling, repairing, eating, discussing, wandering about. Marrakech again is more of a hub, not a place to discover anything you wouldn't love more in other cities.

Click here to view as fullscreen slideshow

Stop-over in Lisbon: Santa Maria de Belém  

Stop-over in Lisbon: Coast at Santa Maria de Belém  

Stop-over in Lisbon: Coast at Santa Maria de Belém  

Stop-over in Lisbon: Coast at Santa Maria de Belém  

Fes: Fish market in old town ("medina")  

Fes: Old town shopping street  

Fes: Butcher in old town  

Fes: Old town shopping street  

Fes: Fish market in old town  

Fes: Painter's (work)shop in old town  

Fes: (Work) shop at bronze market in old town  

Fes: Bronze market in old town  

Fes: Tannerie  

Fes: Tannerie  

Fes: Tannerie  

Fes: Tannerie  

Fes mosque and University of Al Quaraouiyine (from 859, oldest in the world)  

Fes: Henna market along the "Big Way" in the old town  

Fes: "Big Way" in old town (there is also a "Small Way")  

Fes: Western gate "Bab Bou Jeloud" to the old town  

Fes: Ruins over old town, dryning tanned leather  

Riad (guest house) in Fes  

Side gate at Fes king's palace  

Fes: Jardin Jnan Sbil  

Fes: Jardin Jnan Sbil  

Fes: Jardin Jnan Sbil  

Fes architecture  

Fes musée Batha  

Fes bus station  

Fes Jewish quarter  

Fes Jewish quarter  

Fes: Courtyard in Jewish quarter  

Fes Jewish quarter  

Fes Jewish quarter  

Volubilis roman ruins near Meknés  

Rabat architecture  

Rabat: Guard at Mausolée Mohammed V  

Rabat: Ruin of old mosque in Chellah  

Rabat: Mosque in king's palace  

Rabat: Wall of kasbah (old fortress)  

Rabat kasbah  

Rabat kasbah  

Rabat old town  

Ferry to Rabat old town  

Fishing "Sar" along Rabat shoreline  

Fishing "Sar" along Rabat shoreline  

Casablanca: Entrance to mosque Hassan II  

El Jadida old town  

El Jadida old town  

El Jadida port: Pulling boat out of water  

El Jadida old town  

El Jadida: Around old town  

El Jadida old town  

El Jadida  

Beach in Sidi Bouzid  

Coast south of El Jadida  

Mrizika beach  

Mrizika beach  

Near Oualidia  

Oualidia  

Oualidia: Gutting a shark  

Oualidia  

Oualidia  

Essaouira old town  

Essaouira old town  

Essaouira old town  

Essaouira old town  

Essaouira old town  

Essaouira old town  

Essaouira port  

Essaouira port  

Essaouira port  

Essaouira port  

Essaouira port  

Essaouira port  

Essaouira port  

Essaouira port  

Essaouira port: Boxes to store fish  

Essaouira port  

Essaouira port  

Essaouira port  

Essaouira port  

Essaouira old town: Selling souvenirs  

Essaouira old town  

Essaouira old town  

Essaouira port  

Essaouira port