Casablanca - the world's largest minaret, a climate to be envied and gorgeous beaches!

The city of Casablanca may have entered the collective imagination chiefly due to the 1942 film of the same name, but Casablanca, Morocco's largest city and economic capital, has its own distinctive identity.

Its Atlantic coast location has endowed the city with an extremely mild climate with no extremes of heat or cold, little rain and a great deal of sunshine. A 15 hour flight takes you into Mohammed V International Airport 30 km south of the city.

The local currency is the Moroccan Dirham and the local time is either one hour or two hours behind South African time, depending on the time of year.

If you've bought your airplane ticket to see the locations for the famous Hollywood blockbuster, 'Casablanca', you'll be disappointed - the film was largely shot in the Warner Brothers studios. However, the city boasts plenty of sights to keep you occupied during your stay here.

Chief amongst these is the King Hassan II mosque. This enormous edifice is the largest mosque in Africa and the third largest in the world - and features the world's tallest minaret (210 metres). The building juts out into the sea and in fact you can see the seabed through the glass floor of the main hall.

Casablanca's proximity to the sea is one of its main attractions, and the beaches at Ain Diab and the Corniche district both offer different ways of enjoying the majestic Atlantic Ocean, from gentle strolls to dinner at elegant beachfront hotels.

Casablanca - an architect's dream city and a heavenly holiday for pastry-lovers!

Casablanca's new town was created during the French colonial period. City architects experimented with the latest trends of the time - Hispano-Mauresque, Neo-Mauresque, Art Deco, Cubist and others, combining to make Casablanca one of the most interesting cities in the world for fans of 20th century architecture and well worth the journey from this point of view alone. You could also contrast the very differing styles exemplified by the Old and New Medinas.
Morocco has been home to large Jewish and Christian populations in the past, and their presence can be seen in Casablanca too. The museum of Moroccan Judaism paints a fascinating picture of a community that has now largely disappeared from Moroccan life, whilst Notre Dame de Lourdes, still an active church, is renowned for its strikingly beautiful stained glass windows.
Eating out in Casablanca will give you the chance to sample top-quality North African cuisine - and even to enjoy a meal in 'Rick's Café', a recreation of the 'gin joint' in which much of the action in the film Casablanca was set. Classic Moroccan dishes include beef or chicken Tajine, Pastilla (pigeon or chicken pie), Harira (soup made from tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, onions, herbs, spices and meat) and of course pastries featuring ingredients like almond paste, honey and sesame seeds.
Before you set off on your holiday to Casablanca, it's definitely worth having a look at the Air France travel regulations section and the chapter on vaccinations to ensure you maximum peace of mind before you fly.

Top tips for your Casablanca holiday start here!

These websites will help get your trip to Casablanca off on the right foot.