Country information (memo to tourists)

Country information (memo to tourists)

Before you go on a tour to Morocco, you must at least get an overview of this country. It is better to find out some of the nuances in advance so as not to get into a mess. We hope that our Moroccan Tourist Guide will help with this.

Facts about Morocco

Morocco is the first country to recognize the United States of America. This happened on December 20, 1777.

King Mohammed VI of Morocco is a direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammed. You need to love him. And he, by the way, deserves it.

The Kingdom of Morocco is located in northwest Africa. The country is washed by the Mediterranean Sea from the north, and the Atlantic Ocean from the west. Morocco is only 14 km away from Spain through the Strait of Gibraltar. Morocco on the map is divided by a horizontal border roughly in the middle of the country. The lower part is the territory of Western Sahara - a territory claiming independence. In recent years, tourism has been developing even here. Although, of course, the main places of tourist visits are concentrated in the upper half of the Morocco map.

Morocco or Morocco?

In Russian, the name of the country is "Morocco". The confusion is caused by the fact that in English it is written as "Morocco", so there is a temptation to write in Russian the same way - "Morocco". But “Morocco” will still be correct. And definitely not "Moroko" and not "Moroko".

Visa for Morocco

Russian citizens do not need a visa to enter Morocco. A visa to Morocco is issued in Moscow for citizens of Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Travel time (if you fly directly from Moscow to one of the cities of Morocco) - about 6 hours. Since spring 2011, Royal Air Maroc has been operating direct flights Casablanca - Moscow - Casablanca 3 times a week. Charter flights Moscow - Agadir - Moscow are organized by tour operators in Morocco during the summer season. More information about air travel to Morocco on the UT-TOUR website in the Air travel section.

Morocco has a population of over 27 million. More than 5 million live in the largest city of Morocco - Casablanca. The main ethnic composition is Arabs, Berbers, Jews.

Most of the population of Morocco is Muslim, but there are also representatives of other religions. The population is calm about the representatives of the Christian and Jewish faith. Addresses of Christian churches in Agadir: Catholics: St. Anne's Church - rue de Marrakesh, 80000, Agadir Protestants: Temple 2, Rue Chouhada, 80000, Agadir Synagogue in Agadir: Beth synagogue on avenue Moullay Abdellah - 80000, Agadir

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Video: Bio henna tattoo (mehendi) (February)

The decorative and attractive art of henna on the skin is a long-standing part of Moroccan culture. A tradition often associated with wedding rituals and other important celebrations, many tourists in the kingdom enjoy beautiful designs skillfully applied to other parts of their bodies. Read on to find out more about the traditions and methods associated with the use of henna in Morocco.

What is henna?

Henna is a plant that grows in the Mediterranean region. The leaves of the henna plant are crushed to form a fine powder, which is then mixed with water to create a thick, mud-like paste. Artists use a brush, stick, or thin plastic brush to apply the paste to the skin, creating intricate designs and designs on different parts of the body. It is common to melt a mixture of sugar and lemon or lime juice over the finished design to seal the pattern and enhance the color. Some people wrap plastic wrap around designs for several hours to stimulate longevity. The paste hardens and eventually cracks and peels off the skin, leaving a colorful pattern on the skin. Henna designs can last for several weeks. In Morocco, most often people decorate their hands and feet with henna.

Henna can also be used to color hair and nails. Muslim men can also dye their beards with henna.

Historical use of henna

Also known as mendhi, the use of henna to decorate the body is believed to have originated in North Africa, eventually spreading to the Arabian Gulf, India and Asia with the help of traveling traders. Written stories about the use of henna date back to the Bronze Age, and the peculiarities of henna are found in centuries-old mythological tales.

Henna designs in Morocco can be traced back to the early nomadic Berber communities that roamed the lands. Henna was used whenever possible, for almost any joyful occasion. Combat victories, childbirth, weddings and religious holidays were random occasions when people decorated themselves with henna.

Henna draws and symbolizes

While many visitors appreciate the art of henna for its visual beauty, many Moroccans place more value on the artwork. A stunning Berber belief, many Moroccans still see the henna tattoo as a symbol of good luck. Some people also strongly believe that henna can help protect against ill health and the evil eye, especially when hamsa, eye or diamond shapes are included in the designs. Other common henna designs include swirls and swirls, geometric shapes, floral patterns, and linear designs.

People doing manual work, such as working in the fields, traditionally used henna because they believed it would help strengthen their arms and legs. Other beliefs associated with the use of henna are that it can encourage bountiful harvests, ensure adequate rain, help prevent infertility and facilitate childbirth, take care of illness and misery, help families make a living, and promote harmonious relationships.

Typical henna designs can vary greatly around Morocco, with intricate and delicate floral patterns common in the northern regions and larger, bolder designs more popular in the southern regions.

Henna at weddings

Upon arrival in Morocco, you have a variety of accommodation options: from luxury hotels to country campgrounds and bivouacs, from budget hostels. All this in an atmosphere of hospitality, well-being and friendliness, for a perfect holiday on a sunny land.

Hotels, riads, pensions, campgrounds, cottages and private residences accounted for almost 251 2016 beds in 2017. The Moroccan Ministry of Tourism makes this destination a priority, as it is a decisive factor when it comes to choosing a destination.

Check out the best in living: Bogs, guesthouses, hotels and resorts!

Guest houses

In the medina or surrounded by the beauty of nature, you will experience well-being and unique hospitality in guest houses. Immerse yourself in the magnetic atmosphere during your stay and experience Moroccan culture and traditions. The city boasts not only price tags, but also the traditional culture of its inhabitants.

Hotels & Luxury Resorts

Over the past few years, the number of hotels has increased in major cities, including world-renowned hotel chains. Mamunia was named Best Hotel in the World and Africa in 2018 by Conde Nast Traveler, the world's largest luxury lifestyle magazine, and then the second best hotel in Africa after Le Royal Mansour, which was named by the same magazine. first in its category "2019 Readers' Choice Winners".

Riads

Riad, the epitome of Moroccan hospitality. It lets you immerse yourself in a long cultural tradition that combines comfort, luxury, wellness and quality service.

Make the most of your stay in one of the most upscale Riads that offer you a wonderful view of its stunning interior garden.

Morocco serves as a guide to the mysterious and alluring world of the East. Tourists are greeted by aromas of spices, rich villas and beautiful palaces, mosques. But apart from architectural monuments, this country has natural beauty. In this article, you will read about holidays in Morocco: sights, natural monuments and the most visited cities.

El Badi Palace

This historical monument is located in Marrakech. Its construction lasted from 1578 to 1603, and it became "a miracle of miracles". The name of the palace translates as "incomparable". Its construction was dedicated to the victory of Sultan Ahmad al Mansur over the Portuguese.

The decoration and decoration of the palace was luxurious, made of precious stones and rare wood species. The best Andalusian and Catalan craftsmen were invited for the construction. Despite the fact that construction was carried out in the 16th century, a central heating system was installed in the palace.

But by order of the new sultan, the palace was dismantled and all the riches were transferred to the Alawite palace. Now only ruins and majestic walls remind of the former splendor of El Badi. Walking along its territory, you can see a small part of the environment that has survived there. From the observation deck, you can look at the entire territory of the palace complex and other attractions.

Hassan II Mosque

The peculiarity of this mosque is that it successfully combines both Islamic traditions and modern technologies. Its roof can be pulled apart in sunny weather. Heated floors in the prayer hall. And the building was designed taking into account earthquake resistance.

Bahia Palace

Another main Moroccan attraction located in Marrakech is the Bahia Palace, built in 1880. Its name literally translates as “the palace of the beauty”. The complex was erected by order of the grand vizier for one of his four wives. This attraction is a must-see, seeing which you will be able to touch one of the main Moroccan pearls.

Due to the whims of the vizier, the architect was forced to add new elements. Therefore, its corridors resemble a labyrinth. Bahia Palace was built in accordance with the Arab philosophy that all the most valuable should be kept away from prying eyes. This is also the case with this attraction. The facade is unremarkable, but the interior design is striking in its luxury and beauty.

Traditional mosaics are intertwined with paintings on ceilings and walls, wood and stone carvings. But its luxurious decoration has not survived. Bahia Palace turned out to be so beautiful and exquisite that the sultan himself envied the grand vizier. And after the death of the vizier, by order of the ruler, this pearl was plundered.

Now only the first floor is open for guests. But this is also a great opportunity to plunge into the life of the rich and influential Moroccans several centuries ago.

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“Three prime suspects confessed to beheading two young travelers, Luisa Vesterager Jespersen of Denmark and Marena Ueland of Norway, in December 2018 on behalf of Islamic State * while the girls were in a tent in Atlas Mountains near the village of Imlil, ”the article says.

“The court announced the verdict less than seven months after the events, after two and a half months of hearings. This swift trial is intended to serve as an example and remind that Morocco is reaffirming its identity as a country of moderate Islam as a “state religion” under the leadership of King Mohammed VI, “Commander of the Believers” who oversees the fate of 35 million people, most of whom are Muslims. ", - the article says.

“(…) These sentences show that the Moroccan state is making decisions that are consistent with reality. People who adhere to this extremist ideology imported from Saudi Arabia and Syria should know that they will be severely punished, ”said Khalid El-Fataoui, a lawyer for the Danish family.

“Such harsh punishments are also aimed at reassuring European and international partners, as Morocco is a popular tourist destination and uses its image of an open and tolerant country, especially in the Marrakech region,” the author of the article points out.

“Professionals initially feared that this would affect tourism. But on the contrary, there are more tourists in this region. All people condemned the attack, which created a positive image of Moroccans abroad, "says Omar Arbib, a member of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights in Marrakech.

“However, according to Aziz Hlaua, a sociologist specializing in religious policy in Morocco, this security policy lacks preventive support,” the newspaper reports.

“The roots of terrorism can be seen elsewhere, in schools and school textbooks despite their reform, in mosques, prisons, local Salafi associations and even at the university. Radical discourse is widely represented in the kingdom, it is associated with social issues and instability, and the Moroccan state is tolerant of it, ”he analyzes.

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