Koutoubia Mosque - Women Best Travel

Morocco – a Gateway to Africa

In the western north of Africa, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea, lies a nation of epic mountain ranges, rich history, colorful cities, and vast deserts. Morocco – a gateway to Africa. I have seen the country in various shows on television and online, but I got Morocco’s real essence after interacting with a local citizen. Though it is a popular tourist destination for people from western countries, back home (in India), it is still a mystery. We are not much aware of the beauty of this colorful country. I requested my Instagram friend (yes, it’s a thing), Fadoua Atif, to tell us why Morocco is a must-visit for every travel enthusiast. She is a local travel expert and runs a travel agency of her own. Here’s what she has to say.

For how long have you been living in Morocco, and what inspired you to share your travel with the world?

I was born and raised in a small town in the Atlas Mountains, and after high school, I left my hometown to pursue University in Marrakech. While I was in university, I tried Couchsurfing. It is a service I offered to travelers and hosted countless female travelers for years. I used to show them around my city and spend time with them. Sometimes I even traveled with them to other cities. It was at that time when I found my passion for travel. It still excites me, and visiting a new place makes me feel so alive.

What do you love the most about Morocco? 

The thing I love the most about Morocco is its diversity as a destination. Traveling to Morocco is an experience that encompasses adventure, culture, history, and wilderness. Its cities pulse with energy, from the spice bazaars of Fez to the endless souks of Marrakech, where cumin meets clove meets chilli powder amidst the pungent stalls. You’ll discover elegant riad (traditional Moroccan homes with courtyards) everywhere and vast kasbahs, all adorned with intricate Islamic filigrees and beautiful arabesque motifs. There are spicy foods packed with cinnamon, and dried fruits, combined with mint tea served everywhere. The food is packed with flavors; there is intricate detailing on the architecture.

Did you know Morocco is one of the few places in the world where you can go sandboarding and snowboarding on the same day? Isn’t it amazing? Plus, you get majestic beach landscapes and dazzling mountain hikes.

And it’s not just about visual beauty; we are a country with a fascinating Arabic-Berber-European mix of culture, more unique than anything you’ve ever seen or experienced. Isn’t it exciting?

Which is your favorite place or city?

My favorite place in Morocco is the Sahara Desert. I think Sleeping in a tent, in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by nothing but the desert, is a once in a lifetime experience. 

Tell us ONE thing that every tourist should do while in this gorgeous country. 

I think every tourist MUST visit a traditional Berber village. The Berbers are a people ethnically indigenous to North Africa, west of the Nile Valley.

The Berber’s rich cultural history dates back to prehistoric times, over 4000 years ago!

Today, it is still possible to still find many traditional Berber settlements in the mountains of Morocco. A real authentic experience to see their lifestyle.

Apart from the main cities of attraction, what other places in Morocco should one visit?

There are some off the beaten path towns and villages that I would recommend, like Tafraoute. it is a trekker’s dream. Difficult to reach and with immediate access to the raw wilderness dotted with Berber tribe villages, make this the perfect base for exploring the Anti-Atlas region. 

With very few tourists, lovely small restaurants, and spectacular places for outdoor adventures, Tafraoute is the ideal destination for those seeking to enjoy a relaxing getaway or an adventurous time in nature.

From your perspective, how many days do you need to see the essentials in Morocco?

I think Two weeks is a generous amount of time in a country as compact as Morocco.

Two weeks in Morocco are more than enough to make you fall in love with the land of the free people!

Explore the imperial cities of Rabat, Meknes, Fes, and Casablanca. Venture into the desert a few days exploring kasbahs, caravan routes, and the Saharan dunes. Cross up and over the high Atlas Mountains, and even spend a couple of days hiking between small villages, spending the night with a local family. End your trip by relaxing in Essaouira before continuing along the coast back to Casablanca.

What inspired you to start planning private trips only for women?

I spent years working as a trip organizer and a tour leader for travelers in Morocco. It allowed me to meet many female travelers and help them organize and create their dream trips in my home country Morocco. And, one day, I decided to share this wonderful feeling with others. The result is Women Best Travel, a unique special tour for all the female travelers out there dreaming about Morocco.

Please tell us more about your travel site and tour packages.

Women Best Travel is an experience that brings women together, take them out of their comfort zones to the most magical attractions of Morocco. From historical sites of the medina of Fes and Marrakech, Atlas Mountains, Sahara Desert, to sharing experiences with local women.

I believe the best way to impact positively is by connecting and forming quality relationships.

I do my best as a local to create a sustainable change for women in my country. Doing so helps me develop experiences that will indeed be of value to everyone. I look forward to maintaining the genuine culture of local communities in Morocco. I hope to remind my intangible heritage through my sustainable journeys. If you need more information, contact me on Instagram. 

 

 

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We usually run behind places are that are popular and miss out on the beauty of other travel destinations that are equally stunning. 12 Months 12 Places is a series in which I will feature 1 unique travel destination each month. This will eventually become a list of amazing destinations that people can add to their travel list. Stay tuned for more.



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