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With almost year-round sunshine, it is no wonder that Morocco is a popular tourist destination during the winter months.

Start your exploration in Morocco’s oldest city, Fez, at the tourist information office where visitors can get a guide to help them navigate the city’s winding streets. Explore the 14th-century Jewish quarter, or mellah, to see the Jewish cemetery, one of the oldest in Morocco. The cemetery’s elderly guardian can show you around the 18,000 whitewashed tombs and surrounding garden.

Next, visit the Dar Batha Museum, which contains a collection of Moroccan arts and crafts including examples of woodcarving, stucco, embroidery, Berber carpets and textiles. Don’t miss the museum’s famous blue-and-white ceramic collection and exhibit of astronomical instruments. Also worth a visit is the Belghazi Museum housed in a 17th-century palace, which contains private collections of arts and crafts with many of the display items available for sale.

Spend the evening in Fez enjoying traditional Moroccan cuisine at one of the many restaurants that have outdoor gardens and patios.

Next, make your way to Agadir, which is southern Morocco’s most visited city, according to

Spend the day basking in the sun on the 5½ miles of crescent-shaped white sand beaches. Sun umbrellas can be rented from the many cafes, bars and hotels lining the boulevard alongside the shoreline.

Adventure enthusiasts can rent jet skis, quad bikes or beach buggies. There also are plenty of places to rent surfing and windsurfing equipment. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to explore the beach atop a horse or camel.

If you need souvenirs, visit the walled Souk al Had for handcrafted ceramics, leather garments, carved figurines, ornate metalwork lanterns and more. Or make a trip to the Souk des Bijoutiers or jewelry market in Tiznit for fine quality silver, antique Berber and modern jewelry.

Fans of the 1943 movie "Casablanca" may be a bit disappointed to see that this cosmopolitan city is lacking the romantic, oriental look portrayed in the movie. However, Casablanca has plenty to offer both the history buff and the beach enthusiast.

For a bit of American history, visit the Church of St. John the Evangelist, where many Americans still attend services. During World War II’s Operation Torch, the church was filled with American troops including Gen. George Patton, who gave the church the current oak pulpit, "in memory of the men of all nations who fell in the fighting around Casablanca."

If time allows, visit the city of Marrakech to explore the Museum of Dar si Said, a 19th-century palace displaying artifacts from private collections of former sultans and viziers, and the royal palace of Marrakech, Dar el Makhzen, which houses an extensive collection of art from the 17th century.

— Compiled by Heather Klinglesmith from travel Web sites.


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