Morocco is a beautiful, intense country, brimming with sights, smells and experiences that fight for your attention.

You could be getting lost in the bustling medinas of Fez or Marrakech (which I say less as a recommendation and more as a warning - you really don't want to get too lost), or breathing in the sweeping, empty magnificence of the Sahara Desert.

Whichever path you take, Morocco is a feast for the senses.

A tagine is a traditional Moroccan dish named after the terracotta pot in which it is cooked. Photo / Supplied
A tagine is a traditional Moroccan dish named after the terracotta pot in which it is cooked. Photo / Supplied

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Eat

Familiarise yourself with Tagines - a traditional Moroccan dish named after the terracotta pot in which its cooked.

You can eat a number of variations of the dish, with delicious meatballs, lamb, or seasoned vegetables available. In Marrakech, we booked a table at Cafe Atay for sunset and feasted on beautiful tagines as the sun set over the city, with the stunning Atlas mountains looming in the distance.

In Fez, we had meatball tagines at the Restaurant Zohra - so delicious we returned a second night. They offered sweet mint tea as a palette cleanser at the end.

Sharing Moroccan mint tea is a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Photo / Supplied
Sharing Moroccan mint tea is a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Photo / Supplied

Drink

Alcohol is frowned upon in Morocco, so you'll struggle to find easily accessible beer or wine (though some supermarkets do sell it).

In the meantime, sharing Moroccan mint tea is a lovely way to spend an afternoon, and you'll find that virtually anywhere.

If you're looking for options, in Chefchaouen, Fez and Marrakech is Cafe Clock, a great chain that offers a mix of Moroccan and Western food. We shared tea, but it's also here that I found my first decent coffee in Morocco.

A trip to Morocco is not complete without a trip to the desert. Photo / Getty Images
A trip to Morocco is not complete without a trip to the desert. Photo / Getty Images

Walk

As suggested above, do not get lost in the medinas - there are plenty of people around looking to take advantage of tourists who don't know their way around. (A common thing you'll hear in Marrakech is men telling you the alley you're about to walk down is closed, and they'll show you the right way - don't listen, and don't follow them.)

However, the medinas are gorgeous labyrinths of ancient pathways, and it's worth hiring a guide to show you around, fend off unwanted attention and give you a background of the history of the cities.

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The medina in Fez, one of the largest car-free urban areas in the world, is full of hidden wonders. Fez is also home to the oldest university in the world, University of Al-Karaouine, which is well worth a visit.

Journey

A trip to Morocco is not complete without a trip to the desert. It's like nothing else I've ever seen in my life, and spending a night there was the kind of thing I'll remember forever.

There are a number of private tours that can drive you to Merzouga, the town closest to the dunes, from which you ride camels (yes, very gimmicky and touristy, but quite cool) into your camp for the night.

Dress appropriately depending on the time of year: in winter, the desert is freezing. If you're on a shoestring, you can bus to Merzouga and stay in a hostel or hotel there, and select your desert excursion from the town.