Morocco Holiday Guide | AREA MAP

From medinas and minarets to deserts, beaches and mountains, Morocco's appeal lies in its wonderful diversity. For culture vultures, there are the Imperial Cities of Fes, Marrakech and Rabat - with their bustling souks - to explore. Beach fans should head to Agadir or Essaouira.

Activity-lovers can go hiking amid Berber villages in the snow-capped Atlas Mountains in summer or ski in winter, enjoy jeep safaris and camel rides in the rippling Sahara or tee off on some of the world's best golf courses.

With ambitious plans to develop six new beach resorts, Morocco's appeal is likely to grow. Visit now before the crowds do.

  • Getting There and Around Morocco

    The main international airports are at Marrakesh, Tangier, Agadir, Casablanca and Fez. Scheduled carriers as well as low-cost airline easyJet offer flights, and there are numerous ferries and jetfoils linking Tangier to Spain's Algeciras and Ceuta.

    There are internal flights but the trains are fast and efficient and excellent for travelling between the major cities. The bus network is also good. Within cities, there are petits taxis and horse-drawn carriage (caleche) rides in Marrakesh. Driving is fairly hassle-free, but you should be careful when driving at night.

    In the future, getting around will be easier, thanks to plans to build a tunnel - linking Spain and Morocco - under the sea, in addition to 1,000 kilometres of new roads and a high-speed rail network.

  • Beaches in Morocco

    Agadir is probably one of the best known package holiday resorts on the Atlantic coast. Its sandy beaches, sunshine and hotels are ideal for families and couples all year around. Watersports include swimming, jet skiing and surfing.

    Essaouira is also popular and can be combined with a trip to Marrakech. Its white-washed medina and ochre-coloured ramparts means it offers more of an authentic Moroccan atmosphere compared to Agadir. Other Atlantic coast resorts include Mohammedia, El Jadida, Oualidia and Safi.

    Six new beach resorts are planned over the next few years. They will focus on Saidia, Tangier and Tetouan as well as Agadir and Essaouira and are likely to include marinas, hotels, spas and golf courses.

  • Sightseeing in Morocco

    City and history lovers on holiday in Morocco should explore the great Imperial cities. Fes – the ancient capital – has a maze of stunning medieval buildings in its old town, while Marrakech is home to Djemma El-Fna square, an extraordinary place packed with snake charmers, fortune tellers, musicians, fire-eaters and food stalls. Casablanca is less remarkable although Rabat, the capital, reflects modern Morocco's French influence.

    The country also boasts some excellent fairways, with golf courses available in most of the major city areas. If you're looking for more action, enjoy camel safaris, quad biking, hiking or mountain biking.

    A 4WD tour is the best way to appreciate the spectacular 300 metre deep Todra Gorge, the giant sand dunes of Merzouga and the Berber region of Ouarzazate. Remote Chefchaouen is also the gateway to the green, unspoilt mountains of Rif.

    It's easy to book day trips from Marrakesh to the Atlas Mountains for a glimpse of Berber villages, snaking valleys and hiking trails.

    From Agadir, there's a nearby nature park where flamingos, cranes and bald ibises can be spotted.

    Day-trippers from Fes can journey to nearby Meknes, a less spectacular but hassle-free Imperial City, which is also close to several wineries, a legacy of French rule.

    From Ouarzazate, check out the UNESCO Site of Ait Ben Haddou comprised of numerous kasbahs and ochre-red ramparts where the Hollywood film Lawrence of Arabia was filmed.

  • Eating and Nightlife in Morocco

    Saffron, cumin and coriander are popularly used in Moroccan food. Tagines, a meat, vegetarian or fish stew served in a terracotta pot, is served everywhere, while pastille, a sweet/savoury chicken concoction encased in flaky pastry, is also traditional.

    Couscous, harira soups, flat breads, humous and seafood are excellent. Moroccan pastries accompanied by sweet mint tea are more-ish.

    One of the best places to eat out in Marrakech is the touristy Dar Moha, featuring attentive staff, well presented food and musical entertainment. Dar Yacout's is located within a riad - traditional Moroccan building based around a central courtyard - and offers set meals. Vegetarians are well catered for.

    Don’t worry about drinking whilst on holiday in Morocco, despite being an Islamic country, there is a relaxed attitude to alcohol although drinking is not permitted in the old towns.

    There are modern nightclubs in all the cities and resorts around the country. Marrakech now boasts a renowned branch of Pacha nightclubs, reflecting its cosmopolitan status. There are also casinos in Marrakech, Tangier and Agadir as well as traditional entertainment, from folk music to belly dancing, in every town.

    In Agadir, most of the action can be found on Boulevard du 20 aout. The resort has everything from open-air clubs to cabaret shows.

  • Shopping and Family Attractions

    Haggling in the warren-like souks that are an intrinsic part of life in most of the major cities and towns is one of the highlights of a Moroccan holiday. It's best to hire a guide to lead you through the labyrinthine alleys, each one specialising in specific wares such as spices, jewellery, furniture or brasswork.

    Marrakech's souks are touristy and arguably pricier compared to elsewhere but look out for cotton, silver, silk and cotton clothes and carpets. Fes is renowned for its leather goods, while Tangier's Grand Socco has rich pickings.

    Morocco is well geared up for children, with specialist and adventure operators offering packages throughout the country. Toubkal area, an hour's drive from Marrakech, is popular with trekkers who set their sights on scaling Jebel Toubkal, 4,167 metres high. Whitewater rafting is also possible on the rivers in the High and Middle Atlas ranges – particularly the Oum er Rbia.

    Desert safaris are popular. Enjoy typical Berber meals and a camel expedition from Todra Gorge to see the vast Erg Chebi sand dunes. Car-free Essaouira is also typically offered as part of family tours.

Deal of the Day
Marrakech, Morocco, Africa

7 nights, Room Only, 
Dep: 22 Apr 2014,  from Stansted
Marrakech, Morocco
7 nights, Room Only, Dep: 22 Apr 2014, from Stansted
Marrakech, Morocco
7 nights, Room Only, Dep: 22 Apr 2014, from Stansted
Marrakech, Morocco
7 nights, Room Only, Dep: 22 Apr 2014, from Stansted

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