With its sparking coast, exotic cities and desert dunes, Morocco is a diverse and exciting country that feels a world away from Europe. Low cost airlines have transformed it into an easily accessible destination and the journey to Marrakech takes only three and a half hours. Morocco is consequently one of the best holiday destinations outside of Europe, providing a far-from-home feeling and plenty of adventure without breaking the bank.
One of Morocco’s most appealing qualities is its magical city life, horses and carts still common in the streets, minarets and domes decorating the skyline. Most flights arrive in Marrakech, where visitors should stay at least a couple of days to experience this enchanting city, parts of which have changed little over hundreds of years. Exploring the markets is a treat not to be missed. Mountains of multi-coloured spices are sold between silversmiths and treasure-trove antique stalls.
Leather goods, jewellery and handmade musical instruments are also abundant, and haggling for souvenirs is a fun part of the Moroccan shopping experience. At night, the main square is filled with snake charmers, story tellers and acrobats. Moroccan dining is world class, tagines of couscous, steaming vegetables and fresh fish served in lantern-lit restaurants around the square. Restaurant interiors add to the magic, terracotta, tile work and silver upholding traditional Arabic design. The Medieval city of Fes is also a highlight, as is the charming city of Chefchaouen, where the traditional hillside houses are all painted white.
A trip to the Sahara is an experience of a lifetime and guided tours on camel back are offered throughout the capital. On a two day trip, groups are led into the desert where large tents and a campfire are set up for the night. No matter what you are told about the clearness of the night sky in the Sahara, you will still be humbled and astounded when the stars come out, so many and so bright that they light up the desert. Sleeping on the sand is magical, guides pointing out constellations and shooting stars after supper. The stars are rivalled only by the morning sun, rising like a golden orb over the rolling dunes.
Morocco’s coastal destinations are the perfect place to relax and soak up the sun. Bohemian Essaouira is a famed location amongst musicians and artists, past residents including Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley. Cobbled streets are alive with colour, North African rhythms and art pouring from cavernous shops. Surfing is a popular pursuit and the town has a laid-back vibe to match. For a classic beach experience Agadir is the destination of choice. A sun-seekers paradise, pristine sandy beaches hem the turquoise waters of the Atlantic. Resorts offer first class accommodation and family friendly activities including water sports and sightseeing.
With breath-taking hiking trails in the high Atlas Mountains and world class skiing to boot, Morocco has all the components to make it one of the best holiday destinations in the world.
Many thanks for this guest post from Tom Volpe from Heading There, a guide written by travellers, for travellers
More holiday ideas in North Africa
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