Tourists flock to Morocco to drink in a culture built on spice. A key route for traders from ancient times, it is not just about the commodity so prized in the local cuisine. The country is, in itself, a spice treasure - rich, opulent and a haven of flavoursome culture. It has become synonymous with the vital and exotic imagery of bazaars, Middle-Eastern cuisine and the red dust of the Sahara.
There is no finer way to dig your heels in and truly capture the living essence of this culture than by using your feet on a walking holiday.
Explore the streets
The streets of Marrakech hum with frenetic colour, and walking in Morocco is the best way to unlock the secrets of its capital. While a tour in an air-conditioned bus may keep you from the summer heat and make you feel extra safe and protected, ultimately you will not be able to have the same sense of diving in headlong and discovering the culture firsthand. Divided into the historical city, Medina, and the European Gueliz, you'll have the chance to experience a heady blend of bazaars and malls, smoky dens and open cafes, bustling street-sellers and upmarket shops.
Enjoy the people
Many tourists who linger too long in the calm of their modern hotels or gaze a little too blithely on the touristic sites from the window of a tour bus miss out on engaging with the real culture. In contrast, when on a holiday walking in Morocco you have the opportunity to take your time with the real locals and engage with their culture. You can barter with a vendor at a market, ask a desert herder how he lives, and listen to the stories of a local matriarch in a bakery on the way to the Koutoubia Mosque.
Trek the trails
Most streets were originally made for strolling, and this is no less the case in cities such as Marrakech and Casablanca. The advantage of walking in Morocco (as opposed to spending most of your time in a bus, taxi, or jeep being shuttled from one tourist site to the next) is that you can create your own path. Discover the streets, find old trails, wander aimlessly and find some excitement - this is the pleasure of unravelling cities such as Casablanca or old Moorish towns on the edge of the Sahara on foot.
Taste the food
Food is the flagship of any culture, and walking in Morocco allows you to get up close and personal to the cuisine on offer. This is a nation that loves flavour, and you really need to get hands on and explore, invent and sample the idiosyncrasies of the little niche shops and hidden dishes. The Berber, Moor and Arab influences, the home-grown spices and the heritage of the royal kitchens of Fez and Rabat, have combined to produce delectable couscous, lamb, Tajine, Harira, kaab el ghzal, and green tea - just to name a few iconic dishes.