The Kingdom of Morocco
Morocco, officially the Kingdom of Morocco, is a country located in North Africa. I usually say that if you go to Morocco, you are not travelling to Africa. There are so many influences from Arabic world and France in Morocco that as a European you may feel not that different as at home. Moreover, Moroccan hospitality may ensure that you may even feel better than at home.
Morocco is, or at least was until the COVID lockdown started in march 2020, one of the top holiday destinations of Europeans, especially French, Spanish, British, German and Dutch tourists; every year somewhere between 1 and 1.5 million tourists arrive to Morocco from Europe. Most visited cities in Morocco are Marrakech, Fez, Ouarzazate, Meknes and Rabat, followed by Essaouira and Agadir.
You may know that Moors who came from Morocco, spread across Spain and lived there for quite a long period of time, introducing many things, which are common in Europe even today. There is a good documentary on YouTube telling and explaining details related to that period of time.
The Kingdom of Morocco is unitary parliamentary semi-constitutional monarchy. So, Moroccans have their own King Mohammed VI who also is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The King is the secular political leader of the country and a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed. Population of the country is 36.4 million people as of 2019 data, 99% of which are Sunni Muslims; total area, not including the territory of West Sahara, around 466 thousand square kilometres. The area of Morocco is slightly bigger than Iraq and a bit smaller than Spain. In terms of population, number of people living in Morocco is somewhere between Saudi Arabia and Canada.
Most widely used language in Morocco is Moroccan Arabic; French does not have an official language status, however it is very often used by the Government and businesses. Other languages spoken in the country are Berber and Hassaniya, although many people, especially in touristic areas, may communicate in English pretty well.
Moroccan currency is dirham (MAD), however many guesthouses are happy to accept euros as a payment means. ATMs are located in many cities and smaller towns, however not all ATMs in more remote locations would accept all payment cards; most probably, because those are owned by smaller local African banks.
Western boarder of Morocco is Atlantic Ocean but in the north lies Mediterranean Sea. Large part of the country is covered by Atlas mountains; the highest peak, 4167 metres above the sea level, is Toubkal, which is the highest peak in Northwest Africa. In High Atlas mountains there are many ski resorts.
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