. . . an exciting and worldly experience
Morocco may only be the other side of the Mediterranean from Europe but culturally this Islamic country is very different. Despite many years of French and Spanish colonial rule Morocco is very much an Arab country. Morocco is located on the tip of North Africa bordering Algeria to the East, Mauritania to the South, the Atlantic Ocean to the West and the Mediterranean to the North. The country has a mixed terrain crossed by several mountain ranges. The Atlas Mountains run across the middle of the country to the Atlantic coast, the Middles Atlas Mountains rise from the South and the Rif Mountains run along the North cost.
Morocco holidays give a taste of Moroccan culture that can be an exciting and worldly experience - the world of medinas and minarets, desert and mountain. The people are friendly and the place is colourful. Souks are a way of life in Morocco and you usually will not have to go far to find one. You can often get good bargains here - when it comes to haggling the Moroccans are experts! Morocco is a very diverse country for the visitor. There are miles of sun drenched beaches whilst inland is the fascinating Berber country. Beyond the Atlas are the fringes of the Sahara, where the caravans once stopped on their way south to trade in spice and ivory.
The cuisine of Morocco has been influenced by the native Berber cuisine, the Arabic Andalusian cuisine, brought by Moors when they left Spain, the Turkish cuisine from Turkish occupied Algeria and the Middle Eastern cuisines brought by the Arabs. The history of Morocco is reflected in its cuisine. In the Middle Ages refugees from Baghdad settled in Morocco, bringing with them traditional recipes that are now common in Morocco but forgotten in the Middle East. The same thing happened when many Muslims were expelled from Spain during the Spanish inquisition, this is why Moroccan cuisine is so rich. The main Moroccan dish most people are familiar with is couscous which is very old and probably of Berber origin. One of the main methods of cooking in Morocco is using the tagine which is an earthenware dish with a conical shaped lid. The dishes described as tagines (because they are cooked in one) are Moroccan slow-cooked meat, fruit and vegetable dishes which are almost invariably made with mutton.