Fascinating, lively Morocco is a traveler’s gateway between Europe and Africa. Its cities are bursts of color and activity, while the striking landscapes of mountains and deserts invite passionate exploring. You’ll be captivated by Morocco’s rich local culture of markets found in the maze-like medinas and labyrinth winding alleyways filled with lamps, jewelry, exotic textiles, and even sheep carcasses. It’s a sensory onslaught.

There’s deep history throughout the country, and an authenticity that the encroaching world has not yet shaken loose. In Marrakech, you’ll hear the call to prayer echoing through the narrow lanes on your way to explore a mosque, museum, minaret, or bustling souk. You’ll pass musicians, fortune tellers, acrobats and more, soaking up the magic of this pulsating ancient capital.

Casablanca – a name so evocative you may doubt the place really exists. Yet a visit to this handsome city of Moorish, Moroccan, and French Colonial structures will solidify its reality. This former 15th-century haven for pirates is now becoming a center of international trade. Casablanca may be Morocco’s link to the future, but you can easily slow down time here as well, relaxing with a mint tea at one of its outdoor cafes and people watch as the young, the elderly and the very modern stream past.

Care to dive deeper into Morocco’s sensory street life? Come to Fez, formerly a city of philosophers, mathematicians, and astronomers but today a humming hive of blind alleys, donkey carts, fragrant food stands, and artists. The energy of this medieval city may look and feel like chaos to you but to its residents, it’s all quite normal.

And that is perhaps Morocco’s secret: ancient impulses mixing with modern aspirations, the traditional and the new, its Arab and Berber people merging to form a unified identity. In short, it is a canvas that’s perfect for the traveler wishing to touch Morocco’s centuries of history, culture, and hooded mystery.