Morocco offers hugely varied travel experiences. The names of its cities – Casablanca, Fes, Marrakech – hint at spice and the exotic. Whether you are looking for a superb beach, a rich cultural experience or an adventure in the Atlas Mountains, expect the sunniest of welcomes from both Morocco and its people.
In Morocco, you get to travel back in time to wander through the souk of medieval Fes, negotiating overloaded donkeys and listening to the clack of backgammon as you walk past coffee houses. Marakech is modern and upbeat, and yet holds enough of the past to tempt one into trying to discover it. Djemaa-el-Fnaa in Marrakech is like a medieval playground, a seething frenzy of entertainment, a cacophony of sights and sounds.
Such timeless scenes can be enjoyed with the comforts of the 21st century: a chic sophistication has emerged in the form of luxury riads – old merchants’ houses refurbished to create exquisite small hotels.
Your Morocco holiday could take you to the coast for a few nights in Essaouira on the Atlantic Coast, a combination of ocean views, curving sandy beaches, historic architecture and cultural treasures, making it one of Morocco’s most beautiful and best-loved towns.
Out of town, your journey can take you through the ages – from ancient ruins of the Greek and Roman empires to a far older world; the timeless environment of desert nomads tracking in the south of the country, in the Sahara Desert, on chains of camels, or subsistence Berber farmers of the Atlas Mountains, herding their goats in some of the most beautiful landscapes ever imagined.
Nature is never far away in Morocco. Desert, mountains, valleys and sea – the country has plenty to offer fans of the outdoors! Hikers of all levels will love walking the Moroccan mountains. The lakes are packed with trout waiting for amateur fishermen. The more sporty will want to tackle the challenges of the Middle and Upper Atlas mountains on foot, by mountain bike or in a paraglider, or to practice mountain climbing, canyoning or pot-holing. Its summits can reach 4000m high. Ifrane, may come as a pleasant surprise with its summer coolness, winter snow and traditional “mule-ski” trails.
Head to Ouarzazate to discover its immensity and colours as you stay at the edge of the desert. At night, opt for an encampment in the desert, a chalet in the mountains and, wherever you are, bed and breakfast with the locals for an unforgettable and authentic experience. These are at the heart of the Moroccan identity, like palmtrees, argan oil and the honey from its lavender.
BEST TIME TO BE THERE
Morocco is warm and sunny year round. The best time to visit is mid-February to June and September to December. Coastal Morocco is cooled by sea breezes.