Morocco is a country steeped in myths and legend and offers travelers the opportunity to experience a rich history and culture that continues to strongly influence daily life. Morocco offers visitors the chance to cross the desert atop a camel, sleep in a hotel made of sand and haggle with aggressive spice and rug traders in marketplaces that look and feel like they are from another time in history. In many towns and cities former homes have been transformed into guest lodgings, called riads, that often offer a more welcoming atmosphere for travelers on a gay vacation and provide the opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and daily life of Morocco. While there is no visible scene in this conservative Muslim country, there are still abundant reasons for Morocco to be part of your gay travel, including ancient ruins and architecture, exceptional beaches, desert landscapes that stretch as far as the eye can see and open air souks (markets) that wind through village streets offering exotic wares.
Any travel experience in Morocco must include exploring the distinct quarters of the Fes medina, taking in the art deco architecture of Casablanca, breathing in the ocean air while watching a spectacular sunrise or sunset in Tangier, and visiting the Dar Si Said Museum in Marrakech. With breathtaking Muslim mosques, snake charmers, street performers, ancient Roman ruins and so much more, a vacation to Morocco gives travelers the opportunity to immerse themselves in the colors, sounds, sights and smells of this unique country.
American and European socialites, writers and composers involved in the jet set scene once flocked to Morocco as a preferred vacation destination; however, while Morocco was once known as a liberal playground welcoming gay men and lesbians from around the world for vacations, a push by recent Muslim leadership to move the country back towards the strict moral code of Islam has caused this welcoming atmosphere to change. Although the law is not commonly enforced, homosexuality was deemed a criminal offence in 1962 and remains so today. Same-sex conduct is punishable by fines and between six months to three years in prison.
The government released a statement in early 2009 stating that homosexuality would not be tolerated and that increased efforts to repress same-sex conduct would be established. This may mean increased enforcement of this 1962 law. This is not uncommon in primarily Muslim countries and does not mean that Morocco should be avoided when planning travel.
However it does mean that caution and discretion are advised while visiting this conservative country and that travelers may want to consider visiting Morocco as part of an organized gay travel group or working with a gay vacations agency that is knowledgeable about the safest locations and lodgings for Morocco vacations.
Article written by Howie Holben. This gay tours tips article focuses on Morocco. Howiee owns Spirit Journeys, a gay travel and retreats organization. Spirit Journeys presents gay tours that can change your life. You can learn more about Howie and spiritual gay travel at www.SpiritJourneys.com.