It’s only a short hop from Europe, but Morocco holidays make one heck of a trip. Here you can kick back on vast sunny beaches, sip mint tea in ancient medinas and explore the hills and valleys of North Africa’s highest mountains.
Historic Marrakech stars in many holidays to Morocco, and with good reason. You could spend your whole visit just wandering through its vast main square, the Djemaa El Fna, and the old walled town (medina) around it. Here you’ll hear snake charmers’ flutes, pass stalls selling everything from rugs and lanterns to pastries, and smell the sharp richness of bubbling tagines. If lolling in the sunshine is more your style, Agadir, to the southwest, makes a great base, offering sandy beaches, a lovely promenade and countless bars and restaurants. Nearby you’ll find the easy-going surfing village of Taghazout, and Essaouira, a beautiful city where you can stroll around boutiques and galleries or try windsurfing. Inland stand the High Atlas Mountains – 1000 kilometres of jagged peaks that separate the Mediterranean coast from the desert. Here are highland meadows, deep gorges, dramatic ridges and lush forests.
Distinctive mud-built Berber villages are often stunningly located, and are a great place to stop off. Elsewhere in the country you can visit everything from the vast medina of Fez, the great deserts and lush oases of the south, and bustling, modern Casablanca. Wherever you go, you’ll find great food, and an intriguing mix of cultures – Berber, Arab and European. The variety means you can seek out the experience that suits you best, whether it’s the quickfire patter of market traders or the laid-back hospitality of a street-corner café, the scorching heat of the midday sun or the cool of a tiled courtyard.
A great time to visit. It’s cooler, and most places are quieter than in summer, when Moroccans hit the beach, and spring, when most international visitors come.
Morocco has some impressive music festivals, including the annual Gnaoua World Music Festival in Essaouira. It showcases the rhythmic, spiritual music of the Gnaoua people in various venues.
December to April
This is when several High Atlas resorts open their pistes. Yes, you can ski in Africa – a unique experience that you can combine with a trip to nearby Marrakech.
Lose yourself in a medina
The sounds, sights and smells of Morocco’s medinas are something else. Watch musicians, eat local food, haggle for handicrafts or just stroll through the hubbub.
Bring on the beach fun
Morocco’s 2000 kilometres of coastline means there’s a huge variety of beaches to choose from, whether you want to laze on a sunlounger, splash in a lagoon or get active.
Hike the High Atlas
Towering peaks, forested hills, picturesque orchards and rushing gorges can all be seen in this iconic mountain range, which tops out at a cloud-busting 4167 metres and is accessible from Marrakech.