Where We've Been: Morocco


Tucked between the southern coast of Spain and the vast expanse of the Sahara desert, Morocco's long history as a cultural and geographic crossroads makes it a uniquely beautiful destination. An adventurous duo of terrain travelers, Danielle P. and Melissa M., recently visited the North African nation for a trip from Marrakesh to Fes, with a stopover in the desert. The journey began in Marrakesh, where they stayed in a traditional riad, a B&B-style hotel surrounding an open-air courtyard and fountain. Their visit also included a trip to the medina, a marketplace filled with shops during the day and food carts at night. "The hustle of the medina was a little intimidating initially, since it was our first experience in Morocco," they said, "but there was so much to see and explore."

The next stage of their trip took them through the Dades Valley and Atlas Mountains, unexpectedly diverse landscapes filled with lush fields, rocky slopes, and an open desert of sand dunes that they traversed by camel. After a night camped fireside in the desert, their travels concluded in Fes, which both agreed was the highlight of the trip. "The medina in Fes was amazing," Danielle told us. "It's known for leather goods, textiles, lanterns, and ceramics, and scattered with beautiful, tiled fountains." Designed hundreds of years ago to prevent invasion, Fes is constructed as a maze of tiny, narrow streets that invite exploration-- the perfect place, Melissa says, "to get lost on purpose."

Images: 1,4,7,8,10: Fes; 2,11: Dades Valley; 3,5,6,9: Marrakesh; 12,13: Sahara

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