In Morocco you can enjoy a good scrubbing local hammam style, sip on a hearty harira soup after sunset and discover the fishing town and windswept beaches that inspired the guitar legend himself, Jimi Hendrix…

In Morocco you can enjoy a good scrubbing local hammam style, sip on a hearty harira soup after sunset and discover the fishing town and windswept beaches that inspired the guitar legend himself, Jimi Hendrix.

Opposites certainly attract in Morocco as travelers are helplessly drawn towards every aspect of this colorful country. What can I tell you about this amazing country where the scenery changes from one hour driving to the next?

The wonderful and crazy Marrakesh, or ‘Marra’ as the locals call it, is always a hive of activity and it’s non-stop in the Djeema el-fna. Here you will find snake charmers, teeth pullers and acrobats. You can purchase ancient remedies to cure almost anything and protective potions to ward off sickness.

Then when night arrives hundreds more stalls appear from nowhere and as darkness approaches your senses awaken. You can eat absolutely everything, from garlic snails served in little bowls, freshly squeezed orange juice, sheep head cut in two, tagine, cous cous, grilled vegetables and all varieties of seafood. A favorite is harira soup served with sweet cakes and dates, as this is the traditional meal eaten during Ramadan to break the fasting day.

Stall holders speak every language to grab your attention and invite you to eat their delicacies for just few dirhams. Then you get a Moroccan whiskey thrown in at the end of your meal!

Within 2 hours driving south from hot and sunny Marrakesh you reach the highest mountain of North Africa, at over 4000 meters high (13,000 feet). Herds of sheep, goats and a few donkeys are the only traffic you can expect in these High Atlas Mountains as you walk through lush green terrace gardens, enjoying the fresh cool air and perfect tranquility.

You are welcomed by friendly locals and panoramic views in the remote village of Armed, where we overnight in a place beyond reach of the modern world. The men have a chance to enjoy a hammam, or local style bath, while the girls in our group can have their hands and feet painted in traditional henna decoration before the evening bursts into a Berger feast and singing under the stars.

Heading 3 hours west of Marrakesh you arrive at the distinctly different Atlantic Coast and the picture-perfect ancient Portuguese town of Essaouira. An opposing experience to that of the mountains, here you can enjoy an espresso or delicious ice cream while strolling along the long sandy beach. It’s believed that it was this town that inspired Jimi Hendrix during the 1960s and the charm of this once busy fishing town still seduces all who take the time to appreciate its whitewashed houses, wood workshops, art galleries and the people who call Essaouira home.

Morocco is a spicy blend of merchants and fortune tellers, cobblestone streets and grid-locked cities, and vast deserts and fertile fields. This Berber-Arab-Spanish-Portuguese-French cultural melting post must be experienced to be believed and we can’t wait to share Intrepid Morocco with you!

Link: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/destinations/Morocco/intheknowtraveler