Top tip: Hot tea for Berber nights
Morocco is based on the western tip of north Africa and is bordered by Mauritania to the south east and Algeria to the east. The 97,344 sq. miles of the disputed western Sahara lies to the south.
The Middle Atlas Mountains run up the centre of the country, covered in pine, oak and cedar woods, they rise to over 3,000m. Towards the Atlantic coast, the hillsides flatten out into fertile plains and sandy beaches. The Mediterranean coast, in the far north of the country, is made up of creeks, bays and beaches that are ideal for swimming and fishing and as a result, a number of resorts have recently been established in the area.
Coastal regions benefit from a Mediterranean climate with summer temperatures of about 30 degrees and winter lows of 10 degrees, but as you go inland the climate tends to get hotter and drier increasing in temperature towards the Sahara desert in the south. The altitude of the Atlas Mountains offers cooler temperatures. Marrakech and Agadir enjoy an average temperature of 21°C (70ºF) in the winter.
Facts and Figures
|Area||710,850 sq km (274,461 sq miles).|
|Population||36,200,000 (2006 estimate).|
|Capital||Rabat – population 1,655,000 (2010).|
|Language||The official language is Arabic, but Berber is spoken by a large minority. French is widely spoken throughout the country, except in the northern regions where Spanish is more predominant. English is also understood, particularly in the north and the main tourist areas.|
|Religion||Predominantly Muslim with Jewish and Christian minorities. Morocco’s population and culture stems from a cross-section of origins including Berbers, Arabs, Moors and Jews.|
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