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Morocco Travel

Moroco's warm climate, sandy beaches, and stunning mountain scenery make it a popular destination for vacationers. Tourism, along with agriculture and phosphate production, is vital to the country's economy. In 1956, Morocco gained ils independence from the French, who had governed it since 1912. It is one of the few Arab countries to be ruled by a king. The main issues facing Morocco today are Islande fundamentalism and the undecided fate of the Western Sahara region in the south.

BERBERSMorocco berber

Since the Arab invasions of the 11thcentury, the local Berber people have lived in villages high up in the Atlas Mountains. Most Berbers converted to Islam, butkept their own culture and way of life. They call themselves Imazighen, or "people of the land." Today, about a third of Moroccans are Berber-speaking, altough most also speak Arabic and French.

AN ISLAMIC CITY

The ancient Moroccan city of Fez is a good example of a traditional Islamic town. Each part has been designed with a purpose, as set out in the Koran, the Muslim holy book. The streets are narrow to provide shade, but wide enough to let a pair of fully laden camels pass through. Houses have small, high Windows on street walls to guard their owners' privacy. In the city center Riad Fesstands the largest mosque, surrounded by the souks,or markets.

ARTS AND CRAFTS

Millions of tourists visit Morocco each year to relax on the beaches along the Atlantic coast or to explore the historical cities of Fez and Marrakesh. The cities' colorfulsouks, or markets, are a treasure chest of traditional goods and handicrafts, such as Moroccan leather, silve jewelry, and handwoven carpets.


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