Pictures of MOrocoo is of a hot sand pit which starts at the overcrowded beaches of agadir and extends to the dunes of the Sahar desret A truer and more honest picture would include a description of the Northern half of Morocco which is made up of vast expanses of fertile agricultural lands, forests, productive vineyards and lush, green grazing meadows. Other surprises include outstanding snow - skiing near Marrakech; superb Golf courses and a summer climat that is similar to most Mediterranean resorts.
Morocco brims over with contrast, colour and mystery and all you can do is simply catch your breath in wonder. It has a timeless quality that no longer exists in the modern world, a sense that the past with all its glory and savagery still lives on, threading in and out of the present, informing with its every word and gesture. On arrival you are plunged into a culture, a religion and a lifestyle utterly unlike anything that you have ever experienced before; a mystery tour of a land of endless surprises, enchantment and enduring fascination.
The first reaction of most visitors to the flood of new impressions is to draw a long, deep breath and sigh; the odours of mint and blossom mingling with the acrid smell of the tanners' yard, the unearthly wail of the Muezzin and muleteers "balek! balek!", the subtle intricacies of an art that had reached its apogee and a daily rhythm that seems barely to have changed since the coming of islam.
For some, it begins with a glimpse of the cloud-veiled Rif, the first of three giant ranges that slice sideways across the mountain and culminate in the High Atlas, a wonderfully impressive barricade of snow-clad peaks that tower above a mystic city, dark ravines and hidden valleys. Beyond the oases of extraordinary fertility, planted with pomegranite and palm and the only bulwarks against the advances of the sterile desert. Here the air is luminous, the silence almost deafening and one understands instinctively the burning desire for purity which has fueled every Moroccan dynasty.
The Almohads, Merinids and Almoravids came from the dunes but their genius erupted further north in a spectacular flowering of mosques, minarets and palaces that is everyones vision of life in the Orient. The monuments of Fes and Marakech defy heaven in their own opulence but, at the heart of even the most sumptuous, there is the modest, desert dream of a life of quiet contemplation passed amid ripening fruit and the gurgling of fountains.
For some, the countries main appeal lies in the quality of its beaches. Morocco has always been a crossroads, the place where the East collides with the West and Africa shakes hands with Europe across the narrow straits of Gibraltar. It also marks the merger of the Mediterranean with the Atlantic and this gives Morocco two strikingly different coasts.
You may like to combine a few days on one of the beaches together with exploring the kasbahs and oases of the pre-Sahara where the only waves are those shaped by the receding dunes. You could disappear into the medieval world of Morocco's ancient cities and souks or go skiing in Oukaimeden or treking in food or on horseback in the high Atlas or play golf on some of the finest courses in the world.
Moroccans are friendly, polite, competitive and intensely curious about the outside world. Islam is a thriving faith but Morocco's version is also extremely moderate, open minded and tolerant. You can go a long way into the heart of their culture just by feeling independent enough to accept their hospitality which pours forth from rich and poor alike whether in the city or the countryside. Such gestures of friendship are what transforms a good holiday into a great experience, for then you are no longer just visiting but really living.
The accommodation in Morocco ranges from the luxury aman chain , through grand botique hotels hotels the traditional riads in the medinas of Marakech fes Essouira , ... and onto the ideosyncratic and the atlas mountins The large hotels also offer a wide range of facilities with good value.
Our staff know and have visited all the places and hotels And riads featured on this WEbsit and we are probably the best qualified and most knowledgeable team to help you select the most suitable to match your personal interests and requirements. Most other holiday companies deal in the "masses" - we deal in individuals.
Morocco is an exciting country. We have no need to make idle promises and exaggerations. It is all there for you to experience, but we will help you create an itinerary that involves as little inconvenience as possible and steer you away from the places that may be of little or no interest to you.
"The GuestHouse" is run by us -Brahim and FAti. We offer six attractive luxury bedrooms for guests, with the best views of Bran castle.
As we are also installers of central heating systems, we guarantee plenty of hot water, and warm rooms in winter!
We serve traditional Romanian and Transylvanian cuisine, using our own, or locally sourced, fresh produce as much as possible. We can cater for all diets and special requests, and can accommodate people of any age!
For more detail about the weather and climate in Morocco we recommend the BBC Weather Morocco guide.
In the second half of the 1980s and the early 1990s, between 1 and 1.5 million Europeans visited Morocco. Most of these visitors were French or Spanish, with about 100,000 each from Britain, Germany, and the Netherlands. Tourists mostly visited large beach resorts along the Atlantic coast, particularly Agadir. About 20,000 people from Saudi Arabia visited, some of whom bought holiday homes. Receipts from tourism fell by 16.5% in 1990, the year the Gulf War began. In 1994, Algeria closed its border with Morocco after being falsely accused of the Marrakech attack, this caused the number of Algerian visitors to fall considerably; there were 70,000 visitors in 1994 and 13,000 in 1995, compared to 1.66 million in 1992 and 1.28 million in 1993. In 2008 there were 8 million tourist arrivals, compared with about 7.4 million in 2007 i.e. a 7% growth compared to 2007 30% of the tourists in 2008 were one of the 3.8 million Moroccans living abroad. Most of the visitors to Morocco continue to be European, with French nationals making up almost 20% of all visitors. Most Europeans visit in April and the autumn, apart from the Spanish, who mostly visit in June and August.
Tourist receipts in 2007 totalled US$7,55 billion. Tourism is the second largest foreign exchange earner in Morocco, after the phosphate industry.The Moroccan government is heavily investing in tourism development. A new tourism strategy called Vision 2010 was developed after the accession of King Mohammed VI in 1999. The government has targeted that Morocco will have 10 million visitors by 2010, with the hope that tourism will then have risen to 20% of GDP. A large government sponsored marketing campaigns to attract tourists advertised Morocco as a cheap and exotic, yet safe, place for European tourists.
Morocco's relatively high amount of tourists has been aided by its location, tourist attractions, and relatively low price. Cruise ships visit the ports of Casablanca and Tangier. Morocco is close to Europe and attracts visitors to its beaches. Because of its proximity to Spain, tourists in southern Spain's coastal areas take one- to three-day trips to Morocco. Air services between Morocco and Algeria have been established, many Algerians have gone to Morocco to shop and visit family and friends. Morocco is relatively inexpensive because of the devaluation of the dirham and the increase of hotel prices in Spain. Morocco has an excellent road and rail infrastructure that links the major cities and tourist destinations with ports and cities with international airports. Low-cost airlines offer cheap flights to the country.
The "Plan Azur", is a large scale project initiated by king Mohammed VI, is meant to internationalise Morocco. The plan provides for creating six coastal resorts for holiday-home owners and tourists (five on the Atlantic coast and one on the Mediterranean), the daily telegraph noted. The plan also includes other large-scale development projects such as upgrading regional airports to attract budget airlines, and building new train and road links. Thus, the country achieved an 11% cent rise in tourism in the first five months of 2008 compared with the same period last year, it said, adding that French visitors topped the list with 927,000 followed by Spaniards (587,000) and Britons (141,000). Morocco, which is close to Europe, has a mix of culture and the exotic that makes it popular with Europeans buying holiday homes.
Tangier is a Moroccan port city located near the Strait of Gibraltar. It was originally an ancient Phoenician trading post, and later became a Carthaginian and then a Roman settlement. After five centuries of Roman rule, it was captured successively by the Vandals, Byzantines, and Arabs.
At the cross-roads of Europe and Africa, of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, Tangier opens the door onto Morocco. There is still an air of mystery about the city, going back to the time when Tangier was an international zone. Since Tingis was founded in the IVth century BC, Carthaginians, Romans, Phoenicians, Vandals, Arabs, Spaniards, Portuguese and the English have jealously fought for the right to control it. No African city is closer to Europe, no other Orient is more dearly loved by European or American artists - painters, musicians or authors. Delacroix, Saint-Sains, Matisse, Van Dongen, Tenesse Williams, Jean Genet, Joseph Kessel, William Burroughs and Paul Bowles, to name but a few, have all lived in Tangier.
Date taken= 23-03-2006 Author= Aires dos Santos
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