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Morocco: imperial cities, mountains and deserts

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Morocco (Al-Mamlaka al-Maghribiyya), is a kingdom of northwestern Africa, located at the western end of the Mediterranean Sea and overlooking a long coast on the Atlantic Ocean. The country is separated from the European continent by the Strait of Gibraltar, the famous Pillars of Hercules from antiquity.

Morocco also controls the former Spanish Sahara (Western Sahara), a territory still in dispute with the independenceists of the Polisario Front. The country borders Algeria to the east, Mauritania to the southeast and south, and the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta, Melilla and Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera to the north. The capital is Rabat, but the largest city is Casablanca. Other major cities are Marrakesh, Tetouan, Tangier, Salé, Fes, Agadir, and Meknes.


The territory of Morocco extends from the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea to the mountain ranges of the Rif, the Middle Atlas, the High Atlas and the Anti-Atlas up to the Sahara desert. A good part of the country is mountainous. In the far north, in front of the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, located from west to east, there is the Rif mountain range, which reaches heights of over two thousand meters, the highest mountain in the chain is Tidighin (2,455 meters).

South of the Rif and north of the Middle Atlas chain there is an area of plateaus that slope down towards the Atlantic ocean forming vast densely inhabited plains. To the north, lies the plain of the Rharb, crossed by the Sebou river. While further south are the plains of Souss, Oum-er-Rbia and Tennsift.

In the center of the country, arranged from south-west to north-east, are the chains of the Middle Atlas and the High Atlas. The Middle Atlas is the northernmost of the two and exceeds three thousand meters in height, the highest peak being the Jbel Bou Naceur (3,340 meters).

The High Atlas extends for about 700 km and is the largest and most important chain in the country, here is the highest mountain in Morocco, the Jbel Toubkal (4,167 meters). The High Atlas represents the limit between the areas of permanent agriculture and the Sahara desert. South of the High Atlas are the Anti-Atlas mountains where the Jebel Siroua volcanic massif is located (3,304 m). Much of the southern and eastern areas are occupied by the arid expanses of the Sahara desert.


Morocco’s economy is largely based on agriculture. Cereals, olive trees, vines, fruit, vegetables and cotton are grown there. Other important sectors of the economy are breeding, fishing and the exploitation of mineral resources. In particular of the phosphates of which the country is the largest exporter in the world.

The industry is relevant, in particular the sectors dedicated to the transformation of raw materials. Among these, the most important are the food, textile and chemical sectors. Tourism is very important, thanks to good quality facilities and the countless historical and natural attractions of the country. In Morocco there are ancient Roman cities and important centers of Arab art.

The climate of Morocco.

Site of the Ministry of Culture and Information of Morocco.

  • Surface: 458,730 sq km (710,850 sq km if the former Spanish Sahara is also included). (Arative 20%, Meadows and Pastures 47%, Forests and Woods 20%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 13%)
  • Population: 36,000,000 (update 2018) Arab-Berber 99%, others 1%.
  • Capital: Rabat.
  • Languages: Arabic is the official language, French is widespread.
  • Religion: Muslim 99%
  • Currency: Dirham (MAD).
  • Time zone: UTC +0 hours; Summer: UTC +1 hour

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