Overview of Rabat
Although not its largest city, Rabat is Morocco's capital and 'Royal City'. Known nowadays as the 'Washington' of North Africa, because of its parks, boulevards, monuments, embassies and government buildings, Rabat is also the seat of the Royal Family. Not surprisingly, therefore, it is home to a great many bewitching palaces, mosques and parks-all in the sensual North African style that evokes visions of a thousand and one nights.
Situated on the estuary of a river, this white city faces the Atlantic Ocean. This part of Morocco's coastline is marked by endless stretches of white sandy beaches, where the cold water and powerful tides make swimming hazardous, but make its waters abound with sardines, mackerel, anchovy, tuna and shellfish. In fact, the fishing town of Safi has the largest sardine port in the world. Sardine vendors can be seen all over Morocco, whilst every corner shop stocks canned sardines in a mildly spiced tomato sauce, a delicious Moroccan speciality.
Things To See
The Royal Palace, official residence of King Hassan II of Morocco, is a sumptuous building constructed upon the ruins of an 18th century palace.
Mohammed V Mausoleum
Construction on this royal mausoleum, dedicated to Sultan Mohammed V-the man who led Morocco to independence-started in 1962. The imposing structure of white marble was completed in 1967, providing a tangible icon of post-independence Morocco.
Situated on the expansive square opposite the Mausoleum of Sultan Mohammed V, the 44-metre tall Hassan Tower, which stretches out above Rabat, is one of the country's national symbols.
Kasbah of the Oudayas
Still the old heart of Rabat, this ancient Kasbah is named after the tribe who were sent here by Sultan Moulay Ishmail to defend the city against Andalusian attacks.
Ruins meet nature in this 14th century necropolis overrun by trees, plants and animals. A park and archaeological site at once, the Chellah Necropolis occupies the site of the ancient Roman town of Sala.
Here, within short distance to Rabat, 134,000 hectares of cork-oak forest, pine groves, wild pear trees and eucalyptus offer an oasis of peace where only the call of birds disturbs the tranquillity.
A favourite with visitors, this is a real, living village dedicated entirely to this age-old art. Ask for anything and the master craftsmen will produce it with amazing speed and precision.
A long strip of white sandy beach extends between Rabat and Casablanca, interrupted only by little settlements and affluent resort towns.