Morocco is a hot destination and I am not referring to the climate, but to the fact that people have realised that it the place to visit in 2014! But what makes it so popular? Here are our top 10 reasons...
1) Great value
You don’t always need to spend 10+ hours on a plane to reach an exotic destination. Morocco is only a few hours away but has the same feel as a long-haul destination. It also offers excellent value for money, whether you want to travel on a budget using simple accommodation and public transport, or treat yourself to a stay in traditional riads where you can relax in sumptuous palaces without breaking the bank. Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a bargain?
The “Red City” of Marrakech, so called after the ochre walls that surround the medina, as well as its sandstone buildings, never fails to fascinate its visitors. One of the busiest and most iconic cities in Africa, Marrakech boasts some legendary sites such as the atmospheric Djemma el Fna square, the intricate souks, the magnificent Bahia Palace and the Koutoubia Mosque, a distinctive landmark that can be seen from every corner of the city!
The most impressive feature or the “Mecca of the West” is its medina; a labyrinth of narrow alleyways with a myriad of stalls divided into retail areas - copper, leather, carpets, spices, pottery, jewellery, metalwork, fish, meat, dried fruit…you name it, it's there - which culminate in the sight of the oldest tanneries in the world.
Leaving behind the buzz of the cities, you can drive through snow-capped mountains and reach the desert in a matter of hours. A night camping under the stars and a camel ride on the golden sand dunes of the Sahara are an absolute must!
Valleys dotted with palm trees, gorges, and citadels characterise the area around Ouarzazate. Ait Ben Haddou, a fortified city built of mud bricks, is perhaps the most spectacular example of South Moroccan architecture. The site perfectly illustrates how the Berbers adapted their building techniques to the climate, living in harmony with the environment.
Essaouira has a laid back atmosphere and is known for its white washed walls and typical blue portals. Spend time walking around the old town and the harbour or get active and tackle the waves in this surfing paradise!
The Atlas Mountains dissect the country forming a barrier that results in a dramatic contrast in climate between North and South. Whether you only want to visit for a day and take a relaxed walk or whether you want to attempt climbing the majestic Jebel Toubkal (4167m), this is a stop not to be missed!
Apart from when they fast during Ramadan, Moroccan people make sure they dedicate to food the time it deserves. Homemade bread, fresh salads, tagines, couscous and delicious pastries are always on the table. Food will often be offered to welcome you as a guest wherever you visit and, before you know it, mint tea and biscuits will have become an indulgent habit!
Traditional Moroccan houses reflect the Roman villa with the typical internal courtyard featuring a fountain. This clever and traditional architecture, often decorated with mosaics, geometric patterns and calligraphy, has become increasingly popular in recent years and beautiful old buildings have been converted into impressive hotels and restaurants which provide an authentic Moroccan experience.
The Berbers are some of the friendliest and most hospitable people. In the remote villages of the south especially, people are very simple and genuine and will always try to make sure you feel welcome as a guest. Language may be a barrier, but smiles, gestures, food and, of course, that ubiquitous mint tea can make up for it!
Browse through our collection of adventure holidays in Morocco.