Empire in the Maghreb

Morocco is the bridge between Europe and the Arabic world. In the north the country borders southern Spain at the Straits of Gibraltar. In this region there is a strong Mediterranean and Arabian influence on the culture of the people. The region around Marrakesh and to the south of the High Atlas is dominated by the cultures of the Berbers and the desert nomads.
Morocco has come nowhere near exhausting its potential as a tourist destination. The endless and largely undeveloped Atlantic coast invites visitors to swim and surf. The unspoilt valleys of the Atlas are perfect for trekking and even ski tours. The glittering imperial cities of Fes, Meknes, Rabat and Marrakesh are all well worth a visit.

Marrakesh probably represents the European dream of the Orient like no other place. Particularly worth a visit, however, is the region south of the High Atlas towards the Sahara. There are several river oases and a few exceptionally interesting villages around the regional centre of Ourrzazate.

Some of these have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The country in north-west Africa is a constitutional monarchy. Nonetheless, the political powers of the parliament are strictly controlled. The young King Mohammed VI of the Alawite dynasty has ruled the country since 1999. One of the Alawites chief claims to power is their direct descendancy from the Prophet Mohammed. The country offers legal and investment security and Moroccan society is stable. The crime rate is relatively low and negligible in the countryside in particular.