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Rabat, the capital of Morocco, is an intriguing city located on the edge of the Atlantic, at the mouth of the Bou Regreg River. It is packed with wide boulevards, gardens and beautiful remains from all periods of Moroccan history.
Placed significantly in the centre of town is the King’s palace. His personal mosque, located directly opposite, is a wonderful example of Islamic architecture. The old section of the city contains a number of historic buildings, including the 17th century fortress of Casbah des Oudaïa. Inside the Casbah are the spectacular Andulucian Gardens, as well as a broad terrace which gives magnificent views of the river and sea. A massive minaret, known as the Tour Hassan, is all that remains of the Merinide Mosque, begun in 1196.
Taking a leisurely walk through town allows an excellent opportunity for enjoying these structures and the trademark white houses with blue painted parapets.
Colourful Soukia Street in the Medina is dotted with many shops and traditional cafes. Curios, souvenirs and traditional Moroccan items such as copper work, leather, silk embroidery, sale mats and the famous Rabat carpets can be purchased on Consules Street. Leisure options include the beautiful Dar es Salam golf course, the Royal Clube Equestre riding school, waterskiing at the yacht club, windsurfing on the Atlantic and relaxing on the lovely shores.
Just outside the city lies fascinating Chellah, an old royal burial site where ancient Roman ruins were later discovered. Across the river lies the neighbouring town of Sale, an old Roman settlement. Temara, 13kms from Rabat, is the favorite weekend and holiday beach for locals, and the legendary city of Casablanca lies 80kms to the southwest.
Rabat can be reached from Morocco’s international airport, which serves a number of international destinations, or from Casablanca port. Road travel from the airport, situated 30kms from Casablanca, takes about 1.5 hours by road. Casablanca and Rabat are also connected by rail.