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7 locations in Morocco to avoid the crowds of tourists

Marrakesh? Check. The Fez souks? I’ve already purchased that. Toubkal Mountain? twice climbed it. What else is there to see in Morocco once you’ve seen all the major attractions? Keith Drew chooses seven locations that are apart from the bustling people, and he says there are many of them. 5 days desert tour from marrakech.

1. Discover the Lixus Roman remains.
When you think of Roman sites in Morocco, you usually imagine the mosaic-floored homes of Volubilis, which is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Everyone complies. So instead, go to Lixus’ ruins, which are located 5 kilometers up the coast from Larache.

One of Morocco’s earliest settlements was formerly home to the Phoenicians, the Carthaginians, and, according to tradition, Hercules, who is claimed to have stolen the Golden Apples for his final task here.

Although there is no signage, for example, the site is not as visitor-friendly as Volubilis, and that is part of the appeal. It is much simpler to imagine Lixus’ Roman resident’s packaging salt at its decaying factories, worshiping in its abandoned temple sanctuaries, or baying for blood at the Upper Town’s amphitheater when there are no modern-day markers marring the scenery and few other people around. 4 days tour from Marrakech to desert.

2. Cross the Jebel Saghro on foot
The Toubkal Massif, a hiking hotspot in the High Atlas mountains south of Marrakesh, is where the most organized trekking takes place in Morocco. So you should head east, to the Jebel Saghro, if you wish to (literally) veer off the usual path.

This is a vastly different environment with a very distinct setup, such as arid river valleys and harsh volcanic spires instead of snow-capped summits. Although there are several trailhead settlements where you can hire a guide, the Saghro region is far less developed as a tourist destination.

You’ll be hiking the suggested three-day traverse past strangely eroded granite formations and across a desolate terrain studded with the black nets of nearby nomad tribes.

3. Tour the revered city of Moulay Idriss
Foreign visitors to this sacred hamlet near Meknes are still in short supply more than a decade after non-Muslims were granted permission to even spend the night there.

With its sugar-cube-shaped homes that appear to be stacked on top of one another, Moulay Idriss, perched on the forested slopes of Jebel Zerhoune, is like a miniature Arabic version of an Andalusian White Town.

Your best bet is to head to the hillside neighborhood of Khiber, which has the name of the founder of Morocco’s first independent kingdom and a descendent of the Prophet Muhammad, for views of the mausoleum of Moulay Idriss, the city’s founder and a descendent of the Prophet. After you’ve seen the mausoleum, take some time to roam; this is a quiet area more suited for leisurely strolling than checking off specific sights.

4. Travel the N2 in an awe-inspiring style.
Fewer people climb around the High Atlas than the forgotten mountains of Morocco, the Rif range. The range is more distant and lacks the accessibility offered by a large town base like Marrakesh, which is largely to blame for this. Additionally, the area is edgier overall since it has historically existed just outside of governmental jurisdiction and is currently supported locally by the production of cannabis, or kif.

Aside from this, it is also pretty lovely and may be safely explored by car with a little common sense. Driving along the scenic N2 between Chefchaouen and Al Hoceima, you’ll weave in and out of olive groves, cork oaks, and cedar forests as you follow the slope of the mountains as they trace the Mediterranean for more than 200 km. Additionally, you’ll get breathtaking views of the coastline.

Before descending to the enticing waters of the Med, the path ascends to the summit of Bab Besen, a 1600m-high mountain, and passes through a few unassuming kif settlements (there’s no need to stop).

5. Explore Sidi Ifni’s Art Deco architecture
The former Spanish outpost of Sidi Ifni, which is located farther from Marrakesh than the Canary Islands, is a prime example of why traveling to Morocco’s remote regions is typically a surefire way to avoid the crowds.

Due to its remote location in the deep south of the country, Sidi Ifni’s charming colonial buildings, which are similar to Casablanca’s in that they are both characterized by Art Deco architecture, are seen by far fewer tourists. These buildings are decorated with pastel-blue stripes and floral motifs and have been bleached a pale cream color by the sun.

After appreciating the varied design—even the mosque is Art Deco—you can either head to Legzira Beach, which is 10 kilometers up the coast and is bordered by stunning burnt orange rock arches, or you can grab some fried squid at one of the seafood shops next to the market.

6. Travel through time in Figuig
Figuig is about as far from the main tourist routes as you can get. This remote oasis village is located in a barren region of the country on a border with Algeria that has been closed since 1994, more than 380 kilometers from the nearest starting locations of Er Rachidia and Oujda.

However, if you travel the eight-hour distance through a harsh yet stunningly barren terrain of red mountains and stony desert, you’ll discover a location where it seems as though time has stopped. Explore the arid, mud-brick alleyways, find shade behind swaying palms, and simply disappear.

7. Chat with welcoming locals in the community of Bhalil
The majority of foreign visitors view the Middle Atlas from a bus window when traveling from Fez to Marrakesh in a day. This suggests that you will likely have the overlooked village of Bhalil to yourself.

A number of tiny cave homes, frigid and frequently claustrophobic yet the homes of local Berber families for as long as anybody around here can remember, are scattered among the jumble of cockeyed pink and yellow buildings that wobble up its slope.

Anyone visiting these troglodyte homes will soon be seated in the “lounge,” wrapped in blankets and enjoying boiling hot mint tea with Msammen pancakes thanks to the famed hospitality of the Berber people.

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