For years it has become one of the most visited countries by the tourists, due, precisely, the unusual variety of views and experiences offered to visitors, something very few countries can offer with generous abundance.
Its ancient cities, with wonderful buildings and artistic monuments and teeming streets of a pulsating life and multicolored, They offer the visitor a beautiful view of the north African world.
The character of the different natural regions of Morocco is evident across a vast territory stretching from wonderful coasts and beaches along the Atlantic and Mediterranean; balmy weather; oasis-like appearance located in the Saharan African borders , through cedar forests of the Middle Atlas and the snowy peaks of the High Atlas mountains. Because of the climatic and geographic variety, each of these regions becomes a tourist destination suitable for every season.
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Happiness projects Without Borders Association, currently they are taking place in the Province of Ifraín, more precisely Azrou and towns around (Side Addi - Tigrigra - Timhdit - Ben Semim, etc.).
in tifinagh : ⴰⵥⵕⵓ, in Arabic: أزرو is a town 89 Km in the south of Fez in the region of Meknes-Tafilalt. The city has 200 000 habitants, According to statistics 2010. Azrou, especially, It is recognized by the Berber school in the region ( currently, is Tarik Ibn Ziad Lyceum), which it was built by the French colonial authorities in order to form Moroccan agents to colonial administration. The Middle Atlas is a territory with an unusual charm and rich in fauna and flora biodiversity makes it a tourism-oriented area.
Berber origin populated by Zenayas, Pastoralists who moved from the peaks of the Atlas valleys summer to winter Meknés.
Grazing is in both the first economic resource. After independence school, to denominate Liceo de Tarik Ibn Ziad.
Azrou stands out for its natural environment, its mountains of volcanic origin, many peaks are extinct volcanoes. Wildlife abounds highlighting among mammals monkeys, boars, jinetas hares, among birds partridges, the autillo, the short-toed eagle, common crossbill, herrerillos, wrens, etc.
The colonial city some buildings are, in general, poorly conserved, as the Church and Cemetery. In recent years, the city has had a spectacular growth by building new neighborhoods.
Nowadays, the city has become a tourist destination, evidenced by the large number of tourists visiting the city, which has four or five hotels.
Azrou, It is nestled in a beautiful mountainous natural environment, despite the high temperatures in summer, It allows it to be an ideal place for the proper development of the programs of the Association. The city has many shops, banks, markets, pharmacies, coffee shops, restaurants, taxis, health care facilities, volunteers providing all necessary facilities for their expertise. The area is safe and has a lot of movement of people throughout the day.
Azrou is an ancient and heroic city, but it has the status of a province and its neighboring city, Ifrane. This city is known for its cedar, its fruit, its cherry and apple trees as well as the Barbary Apes and cedar forests, including the giant cedar "Gouraud".
DESCRIPTION OF THE SITES THAT MAY BE VISITING IN AZROU:
The square surrounded by craft shops and cafe next to it a small medina of houses with tiled doors and windows green, where there is a carpet souk, wooden objects and spices and the remains of a seventeenth-century Kasba.
Front of the plaza is the Hassan II Mosque, characterized by cedar roof, and in front of her peculiar rock, which gives its name to the city, place is frequented by young people in the area and offers incredible panoramic place.
Has an important cottage industry of cedar wood and carpets if you have interest visit the craft center.
Summer festival is organized Itguel Azrou (cedar Amazigh °, to rehabilitate the local cultural heritage and promote the natural heritage of the region).
To eat get close to the main square and its surroundings where small restaurants abound.
The Belle Vue Bilal and cafes are popular in Azrou.
Tigrigra area is located in the heart of the Middle Atlas, It belongs to a large forest area next to the largest urban center in the province of Ifrane, Azrou. From Tigrigra takes an hour to get the imperial cities, Fez and Meknes; the nearest airport is Fes-Saïss.
Tigrigra borders are:
- NORTH: Town of Dire (Province of El Hajeb)
- SURE: Joint Timahdite (Province of Ifrane)
- IS: Ben common SMIME (Province of Ifrane)
- WEST: Municipality Sidi El Mekhfi (Province of Ifrane)
The municipal territory is mainly inhabited Tigrigra two sociocultural groups that are Amazigh and Arab TAFILALET, who settled in Tigrigra.
According to the results of the population census 2014, the population reaches 11031 habitants.
Tigrigra region belonged to the city of Irklaouen in the last administrative division 1992. It covers an area of 442 square kilometers and has 4 three principals:
- Yahya Ait Alla o
- Ait Ameur Ou Ali
- Ait Hmou Bouhou
- Ait Alla.
There are 2375 Households are grouped and form 10 urban agglomerations which are:
1- Yahya Ait Alla o
2- Ait Ameur Ou Ali
3- Ait Ben Attou
4- Ait Badou
7- Ait Tizi
8- Ait Omar
9- Ain Aghbal
10- Ait Haddou the Kassou
Tigrigra climate is temperate - Mediterranean, where two bioclimatic corresponding plants both geomorfológico jbel Town (mountain Town: high part), winter is cold and wet and southern Azaghar (bottom) semiarid climate is markedly.
The average annual temperature is 22 ° C and reaches 38 ° C maximum in the summer period (July and August) and in winter the temperature drops to the -4 ° C , and snow reaches between 0.2 Y 1 m depending on the altitude. The high summer temperatures are often maintained by heat waves coming from the east wind (Chergui).
The population density of Tigrigra is stable due to low population growth and migration to cities young people with great employment opportunities, especially they go to the city of Tangier.
The main sources of income in this area are agriculture, grazing and look of extracting:
Wood: on average 429 m3 / He has.
Firewood: on average 28 m3 / He has.
Lichen: for the manufacture of cosmetics and other beauty products.
Leisure and fun factor
The diversity of vegetation, wildlife and landscape are attractive reasons for all lovers of hunting and hiking.
Timhdit is a city that is 33 km from Azrou a unos y 240 km from Rabat, located near the region of Tafilalet. It is the second largest oil deposit in Morocco.
The Association aims to develop a social project for the benefit of the villagers Ait Aissa, belonging to the city Timhdit. It is small and poor village inhabited by Berber population, It is 12 km the Timhdit. The main source of income for the local population is grazing.
Excursions organized by the Association are optional activities, in general, are activities that we can organize on the weekends or in the afternoons. The goal is to help the volunteer to get more out of your experience knowing elsewhere in the country.
On this tour we visit one of the local area attractions Azrou, the cedar forest, with its large cedar ancient "cedar Gouraud", It is considered the largest in the region, a little later on the dirt track macaque monkeys are wild, They say it is the same species that colonized Gibraltar. When we are with monkeys, as general advice is that these are wild animals and their reactions can not always be understood so to behave with great caution and patience, you always have to keep the forms on the hierarchy of the herd and we will avoid many problems.
Leaving the forest we headed Ifrane, which it is 17km from Azrou, It is a small town in alpine style, at the top of the Middle Atlas Mountains, created in 1930 nice European style in all seasons, ideal for lovers of fresh air and tranquility. In this city we visited Ifrane National Park, considered the jewel of the Middle Atlas. We spent all afternoon and on 21:00 back to accommodation.
To reach the desert, we cross several places and cities on the way, starting Midelt is famous for apples and mineral wealth, there we make a rest stop 30 minutes. The next stop is the city Errachidia, which is 266 km the Azrou, at the foot of the Atlas, formerly it called Kasr Esouk, which it was the basis for the French Foreign region during the protectorate, built in the early twentieth century military style with straight streets and well urbanized. It has a small airport, specializing in domestic flights (Molay Ali Charif), thus being basis for the departure city and desert tourism, towards the dunes of Merzouga, Erfoud, Rissani, routes of Ksbas. In this city we stop 45 minutes.
Leaving Errachidia arrived at Gran Oasis of Ziz, a 30 km of Errachidia has given its name to the whole valley and the province of Errachidia, It is the largest palm grove in the world, with some 800.000 palmeras datileras.
Road went through Erfoud, where there is an important market for fossil, In this area, abundant fish teeth and bones, crocodiles, sauropods and other dinosaurs, being common to find minerals such as desert rose. Every year in October is celebrated the Festival of Dátiles, with numerous events full of color and Berber tradition.
The next stop on our itinerary is Rissane, a 17 The Km Erfoud, It is the birthplace of the present Alaouite dynasty, the tomb of its founder Moulay Ali Cherif venerates.
At the entrance of the city are the ruins of the old adobe Sijilmassa, founded in the seventh century, It was part of the caravan routes to Mali, Niger y Ghana, Mouley reconstructed by Ismail and then was destroyed by Ait Atta.
We eat in this city one of the most typical dishes of Morocco "Madfouna" kind of berber pizza stuffed with meat, onions and spices, There is also the vegetarian version with carrot.
A 45 Kms Rissani, 50 Kms the Erfoud, 130 Kms of Errachidia and 450 Km from Azou, along the paved road N-13 is this impressive set of dunes "Merzouga Desert". It is one of the most important tourist spots in Morocco for Saharan tourism and adventure with a huge selection of hotels, hostels and quality riades.
To reach the desert we went to Hotel Ali El Cojo, We took the afternoon at the hotel pool and 19:00 out our dromedaries caravan into the desert dunes, Khaima slept overnight in nomads' traditional Bivouac ", We spent the night in the sand with typical dinner and Berber music.
The next day we awoke to sunrise, a spectacular view of the sunrise, back at the hotel for breakfast and 10:00 we headed for Khamlia, a nation of former slaves in the shadow of the dunes of Erg Chebbi. It stands out for the hospitality of its people and the music of Gnawa. At this stop we had tea and discovered his music.
From this town we reverse traveling all the way back to the starting point. And of course, we rest stops.
Moroccan culture is a mix of African culture, European and Muslim.
- Moroccan culture is an ancient culture, but influenced by some aspects of our day. The woman does not have many freedoms in Muslim culture, but little by little, the influence of the West, all that is changing.
- This is a totally different culture that anyone can find in Europe. Anyway, people are not very close.
- If you are invited to eat at home, one thing you have to do before entering a Moroccan house is take your shoes. Also bring a gift is a typical custom in Morocco.
- In the city, people often carry a kind of cakes or sweets as a gift, while in the field, they often bring a live chicken as a gift.
- Being invited to eat at a Moroccan home is the best step you can take to make your kitchen.
- In Morocco, they often eat with their hands, It is normal here. If you eat with your hands, You do it with the right and the left is used in the bathroom.
- Unfortunately, Most visitors are banned from entering mosques, a sacred place for Muslims where Muslims can only enter. In other parts of the world, entering a mosque is not a problem, here yes.
- Apart from the mosques, Most sights can be visited by tourists, and input can be free.
- The original inhabitants of Morocco are from Europe and Asia, hence the lighter color of their skin.
- Go to Morocco and meeting people can be very positive, especially, in undertaking more visits and explore more of their culture.
- The Moroccans are a mixture of Arabs and Berbers, most of them are Muslims, and Islam is the religion of most of the country, but you may also find small Christian and Jewish minorities.
- The official language is Arabic, French is the language in which they do business and marketings. English is also widely spoken language here and Spanish is a language widely spoken in the north of country.
- In places where we work, both beneficiaries and their families, are near volunteers, showing great affection, respect and appreciation for the activities developed.
- Morocco has a moderate subtropical climate. This climate is influenced by the confluence of the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea.
- Inside, move temperatures at the ends, very cold in winter and extremely hot in summer.
- In mountainous areas, as the Atlas, temperatures can drop below freezing, why the mountains are snow for much of the year.
- Northern Morocco is very humid and rainy in winter, while in the Sahara, the south, the weather is dry and cold.
- Morocco has no law regulating the dress, you can dress as you like in Morocco, although usually much teaching is frowned upon. In men, wear little clothing is little style, while in women, wear little clothing shows a lack of decency.
- Moroccans in rural areas are generally less tolerant of modern clothes or to teach.
- In Morocco, You wear clothes that comes to reflect the social status.
- First of all, do not forget the passport, and to check its validity. Visitors from some countries require only a passport, although there are others that can take up a visa. Consult your nearest Moroccan consulate before going. Normally, as a tourist, you can visit the country for three months or less.
- Currently the Ministry of Health, Social Services and Equality, It requires no vaccination for Spanish citizens traveling to Morocco. But nevertheless, It is convenient to have updated the official immunization schedule. Other vaccines may be recommended. To view these recommendations, we leave the link below: http://www.msssi.gob.es/sanitarios/consejos/datosViajero/iniciar.do
- If you have any questions regarding vaccination, go to your family doctor or the International Vaccine Centre nearest, because if you need any vaccinations, It should be given the necessary time in advance.
- Better to have a good travel insurance to cover us needed medical care. Take in account, that you visit a new country, that despite being safe, manipulating their food, and eating habits are different. Drink bottled water or eat uncooked food, They are general recommendations.
- But nevertheless, if you follow the necessary precautions, you can fall ill, so if you need medical attention, is better having a good travel insurance we cover the necessary medical care.
- When choosing a travel insurance, You must be clear about your coverage, their terms of contract, and compare prices between different companies.
Since Happiness Without Borders, Y without exist any kind from relationship betweenboth sides, IATI recomendamos insurances (https://www.iatisafes.com/),very used by Travellers in all he world.
- If you want to take pictures of people in Morocco, it is better to ask for permission in advance. If you do not, that picture can be taken as an offense, especially, remember this, in rural areas. Sometimes, They can ask money, if you're taking a picture of a tree or else you have near you.
- On the other hand, if you know the person, or have befriended, It is not a problem. They can even take a spectacular locations, and can reach a photograph to ask themselves. This is normal and will not ask money for it.
- Be careful, Moroccans love to talk, and review, you can see wrapped in a discussion both football, como de couscous, or the new international situation with Islam. Advice: not discuss Middle East, Sahara situation or Islam.
- As important advice, in the early days in the project, Do not drink tap water. Drink bottled water (5The only 10 Ie DH 1 euro). Dehydration and discomfort are the possible consequences of ingesting tap water.
- Bottled water for meals Association is included in the participation fee.
- Although there are many sources in Azrou where the local population collects water, volunteers to drink bottled water is recommended.