A 30.000 pies por viajeros para viajeros


Phare D’El Hank

The Atlantic Ocean in one side and a beatiful view of the city of Casablanca in the other, everything after doing some exercise climbing 260 steps. The white tower of Phare D’El Hank is away from the tourist area, but worth a visit as part of your trip to the Moroccan city.

Also known as Casablanca Lighthouse, the tower stands 39 meters high and was designed by French architect Albert Laprade, starting in 1916 and officially opened on August 1, 1920.

Picture by Remi Jouan

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City of Movies

Play it again, Sam. These are the words that come to mind when you hear the name of Casablanca, the legendary Michael Curtiz film, but the truth is that neither Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and put their feet in the city for its construction, which was shot entirely in studios at Hollywood. It is true that there is aRick’s Cafe , but is due only to attempting to take advantage from the film’s success.

Casablanca is the closest thing to a modern Western metropolis. During the colonial period, the French came up with a program of urban development that provided the city with of broad avenues and parks and real gems of modernist and art deco architecture. This French colonial style blends elements of traditional Moroccan architecture.

The great pride of the city is the huge Hassan II Mosque, a wonder of modern religious architecture and one of the largest mosques in the world, which has the advantage of being one of the few Islamic buildings that can be visited by tourists not Muslims. Its construction was completed in 1993 and its minaret is the tallest in the world with an altitude of 200 meters.

Apart from this must-see, the most interesting of Casablanca is walking their neighborhoods. You will find that is a rather chaotic city but also therein lies part of their decadent charm. The medina, the oldest part, is just north of the city and is rather small in proportion to the large size of the city. It is accessed from Place des Nations Unies. Once crossed the walls, we passed the clock tower and the mosque of Chleuh to find a labyrinth of tiny streets where it is nice to wander between the characteristic smells of perfumes, spices and mint tea, which is drunk at all hours .

To get a typical souvenir and traditional handicraft, it’s best to come to the Nouvelle Medina, in the Quartier Habous, near the Royal Palace. Here the prices are lower and the tourist is not as pressed as in other souks in some other cities.

Getting lost in the park of the Arab League, in the heart of Casablanca, is a good choice to relax. Another good option is to get close to any of the resorts in the city, such as Bouznika, where you will find magnificent beaches such as Dar Bouazza, very close to Tamaris, a water park that opened recently.

You can arrive by foot to another must see, the shrine Sidi Bou Abderrahmane. It is an island near the El Hank lighthouse, where there were already human settlements during prehistoric times. By late afternoon, in this area, you can enjoy wonderful sunsets.

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Picture by Othmanlah

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Rabat Getaway

Rabat is a little known destination and one not much frequented by tourists heading to Morocco. This is precisely one of its major attractions – the chance to enjoy its monuments and spots full of atmosphere, minus the stress associated with other cities like Marrakech, Casablanca or Fez.

The city lies on the mouth of the river Bou Regreg, on the Atlantic seaboard, and is a curious blend of the old and new. The old medina and the city walls contrast with the new city, home to the country’s administrative facilities. It is not overly big, so you can see it all in a couple of days. Following is a selection we have made of the essential sights to see when visiting Rabat.

The Hassan Tower – Splendour Cut Short

The Hassan Tower is one of Rabat’s major landmarks, the unfinished fruit of the city’s greatest age of splendour. In the 12th century, Sultan Yaqoub al-Mansour decided to build the largest mosque in the West, to which end he commissioned the same architect who had designed the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech, and La Giralda of Seville. Unfortunately, the sultan died before the mosque had been completed, and construction work came to a halt. The most striking architectural feature is the minaret with its geometric designs. It was scheduled to be 86 metres high, but only 44 metres were eventually completed. The rest of the complex comprises the columns built to support 21 naves.

Alongside this ancient mosque stands the Mausoleum of Muhammad V, where the remains of the Alawite monarchs, Muhammad V and Hassan II, were laid to rest. Built between 1961 and 1971, it is a commendable example of contemporary Moroccan architecture. The project was assigned to the Vietnamese, Vo Toan, who successfully captured the essence of the country’s architectural and decorative tradition.

In Search of Origins – the Chellah Necropolis

The Chellah is a fortified precinct located some 2 kilometres from Rabat. Its interior houses, among other things, remains of the Roman city – after the Phoenicians and Carthaginians, they were the first to settle the area. Preserved in this early urban nucleus are the remains of the forum and temple of Jupiter. There are also vestiges of the early Islamic era. In the 15th century the precinct was reconverted by the Arabs into a necropolis, and features remains of tombs and a mosque.

The Kasbah of the Udayas – Rabat’s Magical Corner

Rabat is well worth visiting, if only for a tour of this walled quarter, made up of labyrinthine streets full of houses painted blue and white. The Kasbah was built in the 17th century by the Udayas on a cliff sited on the south bank of the river mouth to defend the coastline from a possible Spanish invasion. This is evident in its fortress-like character, with numerous battlements and lookouts, which now make excellent viewpoints for sightseers. In addition to wandering through the streets, soaking up the atmosphere in all its corners, you should take the chance to visit the Museum of the Udayas, located in the Andalusian Gardens, which boasts one of the finest jewellery collections in Morocco.

City of Gardens

Rabat is also known as the “city of gardens”, so make sure you stroll leisurely through and relax in one of them. Most noteworthy are the Nouzzah Hassan Gardens, located opposite the city walls, designed by the French general, Lyautey; the Jardins d'Essais Botanical Gardens, with exotic fruit, ornamental and Mediterranean trees, and Rabat Zoo, for those who fancy seeing animals, apart from plants.

Shopping in the Souq

The word souq, associated with tranquility, might sound like science fiction to the traveller in Morocco, but this is true of the bazaar in Rabat. With hardly any hustling by street vendors, you can tour the Souq in search of food, spices, craftwork, garments, carpets and a host of other goods.

You’ve noted everything you can see in Rabat, right? Take out a Vueling and enjoy a visit to this city.


Text by ISABELYLUIS Comunicación

Images by Jacopo Romei, SnippyHolloW, Fr Maxim Massalitin, Mustapha Ennaimi, Julia Chapple, Shawn Allen




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Morocco, a world of senses

Looking for an affordable break this Easter? How about Morocco? Forget about jet lag and those flights that last more than eight hours and include interminable stopovers at airports in the middle of the desert. With just a two-hour flight you can be in a completely different world.

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