Introducing holidays to Morocco
Famed for its iconic decorated rugs, buzzing souk markets and mouth watering dishes, Morocco is a heady mixture of sights and sounds that form a holiday destination like no other. Whether it’s cooling down beside the ocean plains or sizzling amongst the shifting sands of the Sahara, we’re sure you’ll have found your ideal location for 2017 deep within the magnificent Maghreb region. Haggle yourself a bargain in the hectic marketplaces, traverse the dramatic terrain of the Atlas Mountains or simply soak up some Arabian Nights – a holiday to Morocco is a feast for all the senses. With a vast landscape that encompasses staggering mountains; tempting cities and gorgeous stretches of coast, a trip here can be as fast or slow paced as you wish. Gorgeous golden crescents abound, while the adventurous types will head for the Rif and Atlas Mountains. Cultural types or those who just want to brush shoulders with the locals and soak up the atmosphere flock each year to ancient cities like Fez and Marrakech.
While many will immediately think of bustling cities and throngs of people all trying to score a bargain when they think of Morocco; in actual fact it’s chock full of peaceful landscapes for you to enjoy or maybe even try a spot of yoga. The country’s tourism sector is beginning to realise this and its becoming increasingly full of yoga retreats full of travellers all trying to reach a higher plain or simply just relax. With some of the most idyllic locations on the planet to lay your yoga mat, you’ll be in heaven if you’re a fan of the craze. Another popular activity you could partake in is visiting one of the local hammams; traditional steamed baths that are quite similar to Turkish baths. Drift away and forget the worries of modern life as you discover the meaning of true comfort...if only for a while. If you really want a taste of the high life on your travels, you could also opt for a massage or scrub, for that extra sense of rejuvenation.
Wine and Dine
Moroccan chefs prepare their artisan dishes in unique ways and consider their ingredients carefully, so it’s little wonder that the food here is considered some of the finest in the world. With Moroccan cuisine having taken off hugely in the West over the past decade, there’s plenty to tempt your taste buds. A veritable smorgasbord of smells and colour, the cuisine here takes cues from Morocco’s rich cultural heritage and dealings with other Arab and Berber nations; and so the cuisine effortlessly reflects these nods from the past. Morocco’s bustling main cities like Marrakech and Fez are kitted out in the top local and international restaurants, with Marrakech especially suited for foreign visitors with diverse palettes.
Among its winding backstreets you’ll find everything from French fusion to traditional hearty Maghrebi tagines to authentic street food. Those craving something sweeter should dip into any of the souk markets, where cutesy cafes serve up deliciously fresh mint tea with an assortment of delightful cakes and treats. Elsewhere in Fez, within the Medina you’ll find all sorts of delicious street treats at low prices; perfect for refuelling before a spot of shopping.
Morocco is incredibly diverse so we’re sure you’ll find enough to keep kids and bigger kids alike busy for the duration of your stay. A veritable natural playground of dense forests and jaw dropping landscapes in the Agafay Desert, it’s a country that’s as stunningly beautiful as it is culturally significant. Some of the world’s best winds blow all year round onto the bay of Essaouira and its surrounding beaches, so its little wonder it is a firm favourite with kite surfers and kite flyers alike. Flying a kite is something the Moroccan’s take very seriously, so don’t be surprised if you’re exhausted and covered in sweat after showing your little ones the ropes! Elsewhere, you could also treat them to an impossibly fun ride on a camel’s back from the vibrant capital of Marrakech to the quaint oasis of La Pause. They’ll feel like they’ve gone back in time when they hop up on their trusty desert steed!
Action and Adventure
Morocco has no shortage of adventure activities to get your pulse racing on your trip away. You could always tackle the triple threat of the Atlas Mountains with a daring trek, or take a more leisurely stroll alongside the perimeter and admire this iconic rugged landscape. During the winter months, skiing and snowboarding are also immensely popular here, so definitely consider some winter sports if here during the off season. You could even get off the beaten track and tackle the fearsome slopes of the Toubkal Massif if you’re feeling really brave! If you prefer to set a more leisurely pace, you could enjoy a desert trek on the back of a camel, or veer out into the countryside on horseback. Water sports fanatics will want to seek out the Ahansal River which jets down the mountainous gorge and is simply perfect for some white knuckle white water rafting. Elsewhere, along the country’s beautiful coast a number of water sports can be enjoyed including wind surfing, paragliding and water skiing.
Life's a Beach
Bordered on one side by the shimmering Atlantic Ocean to the West and the warm waters of the Mediterranean to the North, Morocco has an abundance of beaches for you to explore. The entire country is incredibly popular during the summer with many locals that live abroad also returning home to hit the beach. For this reason, it can be tough to secure accommodation during the summer (never mind a spot on the beach); so you might be better off exploring this sandy sun-blessed paradise during the off-season while many of the best beaches are untouched and ready to be discovered. Somewhat underrated when it comes to Moroccan beaches, the quaint town of Saidia sits perched alongside the Mediterranean coast and holds a plethora of sandy stretches for you to sink your teeth into. The town is somewhat popular with locals during the summer months but you’ll still find it’s quieter than many of the more popular beach resorts. With the iconic Kasbah also situated just behind the town’s main beach, you can also soak up some culture along with the sun’s rays!
Morocco has a vibrant nightlife that’s not to be sniffed at. With stunning streets that look beautiful under lantern light, a burgeoning live music scene and no shortage of discos to dance the night away in, you could have a wildly different night each night of your holiday. Whether you’re checking out Marrakech’s colourful Djemma el Fna square or Agadir’s heady cocktail of lounge bars and clubs, Morocco has some of the most diverse nightspots on the planet. As the sun begins to set, the Medina area in Marrakech bursts into life and is filled with crowds of rowdy locals and visitors. Popular with revellers, Djemma el Fna Square offers live music venues, street entertainment and acrobats galore creating a heady carnivalesque setting that you won’t forget. For the best bars Marrakech has to offer, you’ll want to take a stroll along Avenue Mohammed V and rub shoulders with local bar hoppers. One of our favourites is Le Churchill situated just inside La Mamounia; named after its most famous fan and quote machine Winston Churchill, it definitely offers something different with its chic jazz-bar vibe.
Alluring Morocco comes full of a unique heritage and cultural delights aplenty, so it’s the perfect spot to visit for couples looking to heat things up a bit, or simply get away from it all for a while. So if it’s lazing alongside the glittering coast you’re after, romantic meals gazing into each other’s eyes, or all manner of sightseeing opportunities and culture hotspots, Morocco is ideal for a romantic getaway for two in 2017. If you’re both feeling adventurous, why not day trip deep into the Moroccan desert to explore the natural wonders that await?
Tackle the dramatic terrain of the Atlas Mountains, or gaze off the towering Todra Gorge, or simply delve into the past at the Kasbahs of Ouarzazate; topped off by a night of utter peace as you camp out under the stars with your beau. If you’re more of a city break couple, fantastic Fez should be top of your list; with stirring architecture and romantic cobbled streets. Grab a bargain at one of the busy souks, or simply enjoy the aromas of all the various spices, which is sure to stir up some romance between you too. Top this off with an arm in arm stroll through the impressive Riad and there’s your romantic break sorted.
Jam-packed with history and stories, the ancient city of Marrakech has been called the ‘Red City’ for centuries. A former capital and once highly sought after trading post, it’s also home to some of the most precious artefacts in Morocco. As the symbolic and physical link between north and south, it’s also easily the finest place to sink your teeth into the true mélange of Moroccan cultural delights. Crafted by French artist Jacques Majorelle in 1924, the diverse botanical garden of the Musuem of Islamic Art houses all manner of exotic flora and fauna and a number of stunning fountains and walkways. Opened to the public in 1947, fashion fanatics will be tickled to learn that it has also been owned by Yves Saint Laurent since 1980! The garden is also home to the fantastic Museum of Islamic Art, in which you’ll find all sorts of authentic pottery, jewellery and metalwork, textiles and other art from Morocco and the surrounding regions of North Africa.