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Lonely Planet Morocco: Perfect for exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled (Travel Guide)

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Expect to pay anything from Dh270 to Dh7500 per day, including unlimited mileage. All the major rental agencies, such as Budget, Hertz and Avis, are at Casablanca’s Mohammed V Airport and also have branches in most major cities. Make sure you record any existing damage and get comprehensive insurance. Keep your papers to hand for any dealings with the police. There’s no legal drunk-driving limit, so drivers should strictly abstain. Make your first stop on the scenic R203 (the A3 is a newer, faster, and tamer route to the Souss Valley and Agadir) in the pretty Ouirgane Valley, where you could while away a few days hiking and cycling, or just relax at Ouirgane Ecolodge. Then follow the sinuous road to the architectural wonder of the 12th-century Tin Mal Mosque, 18km (11 miles) from Mouldikht and the start of the pass.

Casablanca’s most iconic landmark is the Hassan II Mosque, one of the world’s largest mosques, open to non-Muslims on guided tours. The monumental prayer hall can hold 25,000 worshippers – another 80,000 can fit in the courtyards outside – and it showcases the finest Moroccan crafts, with hand-carved stucco, painted wood, and stunning zellige (mosaic tilework). The Rif (reef) is the greenest and most northerly of Morocco's mountain chains. It's an excellent place to explore, especially on foot. There are plenty of good hikes, particularly in Talassemtane National Park. You might also like: Whether you come for the sun, the surf, the wind sports, the outdoors, local festivals or the rich culture, here's a guide to the best times to travel to Morocco. Detour: From Ouarzazate, follow the N9 southeast through the remote oasis outposts of the Draa Valley to M’Hamid on the fringes of the Sahara, where you can climb aboard a camel – or drive – to a desert camp among the dunes of Erg Chigaga. Tips for driving in MoroccoIf you want to get off the beaten path and explore Morocco at your own pace, you can rent everything from a compact Fiat to a 4WD, which is useful for navigating the Atlas Mountains and desert roads. Toolkit - all of the planning tools for solo travellers, LGBTQIA+ travellers, family travellers and accessible travel The Moroccan dirham is a closed currency, which means you cannot use or get it outside the country. Morocco’s rural areas still operate on a cash economy, but cards are widely accepted in towns and cities. 7. Learn some of the lingo

You can find these authors and more in the historic bookstore Librarie des Colonnes, which opened its doors in 1949 and was frequented by the likes of Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote. 12. Ride the rails on Africa’s first high-speed train With great fish and seafood – the town is renowned for its oysters – and a range of accommodation options, it's a popular weekend and summer retreat for Marrakshis and Casablancais, and the perfect destination for those in need of a break from the city hubbub. Combine your time in the city with a trip to Hercules Caves and Cape Spartel’s lighthouse and rugged coastline. You could also use Tangier as a base for a road trip to the famously blue city of Chefchaouen and Spanish-infused Asilah. Hop on Al Boraq, the high-speed train, and you’ll be in the capital city of Rabat in an hour and a half.A mixture of French, Arabic, Amazigh and English is spoken in Morocco, depending on where you are in the country. Don't expect everyone to speak English. Apps like Google Translate can be useful, but learning some basic Arabic phrases will reward you with feeling more connected and engaged with people you meet. 8. Respect the motto of ‘God, king and country’

Only a handful of top-end hotels have accessibly designed rooms. Booking ground-floor rooms is essential as few hotels have elevators, but accommodation in Gueliz is more likely to have them. Vision- or hearing-impaired travellers are poorly catered for. Hearing loops, Braille signs and talking pedestrian crossings are nonexistent.

Detour: Stay atop the hill overlooking Plage Sfiha at Casa Paca, a friendly bed-and-breakfast run by the half-Spanish, half-Moroccan owner, Joaquin, and his wife, Nabila. Dinners here are delicious. Open June to October. 6. M’Diq The ferry between Spain and Tangier takes just one hour, and seeing Spain from Africa's coastline brings to light Morocco’s proximity to Europe. The 'white city,' so-named for its whitewashed buildings, has a buzzing art scene, tapas restaurants and cafe culture – Cafe Hafa has some of the best ocean views. Spanish is still widely spoken, adding to the Euro-Afro vibe, and open plazas such as Grand Socco and beautiful Mediterranean beaches make it a smooth entry point for travelers to Morocco. Eating and drinking get the most out of your gastronomic experience as we reveal the regional dishes and drinks you have to try September: Dance your way to the Into the Wild boutique festival on September 23 and 24 in Dakhla. The festival is an offshoot of the Oasis Festival in Marrakesh and features electronic, house and techno music, and wellness activities like yoga on the beach. In Morocco, you drive on the right side of the road and seatbelts are mandatory, even though some taxis don't have them. Car horns are used often - not in an aggressive way, but as a means of communication.

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