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Come to Morocco for its elusive magic and exotic mystery and you will probably leave with more prosaic, yet intimate, human memories: kids playing football in a dusty square, a blind man selling bunches of fresh mint, or some good-natured banter with a babouche seller in the local souk. The romantic image is real enough, but this is also a viscerally lived-in place, a seething mass of humanity, of sounds and colour and pungent smells.
Morocco is rewarding and remarkably good value as a destination for walking and exploring. But whatever you’re doing here, it’s the nature of the place itself that gets deepest into the pores of your skin. So close to Europe, yet so very different, it has dark, dank alleys as well as magnificent desert sand dunes, dirty tanneries as well as soaring mountains and secret valleys.Read more
Out on the coast, whitewashed and wind-whipped Essouaira, designed by a Frenchman, has been home to Roman dyers and Portuguese soldiers and English civil servants. To the south, Berber villages continue their mountain existence much as they have done for centuries, only with satellite dishes on their roofs. And beyond, where the Atlas snows melt into the Saharan heat, the descendants of African warlords and camel traders harvest rose petals around their slowly crumbling kasbahs.
The depth of the experience in the detail is part of the extraordinary attraction of the country. Once you leave the sumptuous luxury and the dazzling intricacy of your riad behind, no guidebook can ever tell you about the mass of life around every medina corner, or the views from every bend in the road. And the near impossibility of knowing it all just adds to the seduction of trying. Just make sure you allow enough time to sip mint tea and watch the sun set.
Places of interest in Morocco
Marrakech, the so-called Red City, is actually many shades of dusty terracotta, a complex crossroads of a place...
Almost all travellers will pass through Ouarzazate, where the Tizi-n-Tichka route over the mountains from Marrakech...
In easy day-trip distance of Marrakech, the Toubkal National Park, named after Jebel Toubkal, the highest peak in...
Fès is a fascinating city. It’s a spectacular place, but not as immediately attractive as its historical rival,...