An exotic fusion of Southern Mediterranean, Arabic and African influences, Morocco is an enticing combination of ancient cities and Roman ruins, sweeping deserts and centuries-old medinas, mosques and minarets, winding alleyways and vibrant markets, gorgeous beaches and rugged mountains. The Imperial Cities of Fes, Marrakech, Meknes and Rabat have all had a stint as the national capital and are liberally studded with attractions, including a plethora of ancient architecture, museums and souks (markets). The coastal city of Casablanca boasts one of the largest mosques in the world, while Tangier, on the Mediterranean coast, features some beautiful bays and sandy coves. Visitors can look forward to sampling exotic Berber cuisine, sipping on a fresh cup of coffee or a mint tea at a streetside cafe, hike Toubkal - North Africa’s highest peak or enjoy camel trekking in the desert.
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Situated to the north of the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and fringing the famed Sahara, the bustling UNESCO-listed city of Marrakesh is an enchanting travel destination. Marrakesh is also home to the largest traditional Berber market in Morocco and one of the busiest squares in the world, known as Djemaa el Fna. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this square in the evening as it transforms into an enormous, open-air restaurant, and browse through exquisite carpets, spices and a myriad of other items. Art, design and architecture enthusiasts flock to the city to see its incredible artisan achievements, so beautifully expressed at the glorious Bahia Palace, Dar Si Said and Saadian Tombs, as well as at several museums. The other-worldly Jardin Majorelle is also unmissable.
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At the intersection of the Dades and Draa Valley lies the relaxed Moroccan town of Ouarzazate. Surrounded by some unbelievably picturesque terrain, the town is characterised by the red-glowing kasbah at Ait Ben Haddou, the snowcapped High Atlas Mountains, and the spectacular Sahara Desert with its rolling dunes, vast canyons and deep gorges. These exotic backdrops have served as the location for a slew of Hollywood movies which have turned this once sleepy town into Morocco’s version of Hollywood. The town is a popular stopover point for tourists on their way to the Sahara. Its palm-fringed boulevards are lined with grand palaces, bustling souks, old adobe buildings and film studios. Its an ideal location for hanging out at one of the many charming cafés, sampling some delicious local Moroccan cuisine and perhaps even spotting one of the many celebrities who frequent this fascinating North African city.
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Boumalne Dades is located in southeast Morocco’s Tinghur Province, at 1500 metres above sea level in the High Atlas Mountains. It is a spellbinding destination - a city of terracotta buildings set between rugged red cliffs, palm oases and fields of crimson wildflowers. The city’s scenic beauty is matched by its cultural intrigue - it has a rich heritage that includes its traditional art, music and adobe architecture - some of which has remained virtually intact over several centuries. A hiking trail leads between the Dades Gorge and the Rose Valley and is a wonderful way to experience the area’s ancient palaces and forts, Berber villages and spectacular scenery.
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Situated on the edge of the Sahara Desert, close to the Algerian border, the small Moroccan village of Merzouga serves as the gateway to the Erg Chebbi, an expanse of impressive dune fields. Merzouga is a Moroccan desert dream destination for visitors who come here to explore the sensational surrounding landscape. This remote village provides an excellent base for visitors to explore the Erg Chebbi, which stretches twenty-eight kilometres from north to south and seven kilometres across. The area offers a fantastic selection of activities including: taking a camel safari through the desert; watching a magical sunrise of sunset over the rolling dunes; immersing yourself in traditional Moroccan culture in the heart of the village on a village tour; or visiting the seasonal salt lake of Dayet Srji, home to an array of desert and migratory birds. Don’t miss the golden 150-metre-tall Grande Dune de Merzouga, known to be the tallest dune of the Erg Chebbi.
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Favourably situated on a vast sweeping bay on the southwest coast of Morocco with long stretches of glorious, golden-sand beaches, the historical town of Essaouira is one of the country’s premier tourist attractions. The town is set against a picturesque backdrop of lush, wooded hills and a patchwork of small fields which become covered in a kaleidoscope of colourful wildflowers in springtime. Known for its bustling fishing harbour dotted quaint white and blue houses and its lovely, souk-filled medina, there is plenty to keep you blissfully engaged in this popular seaside town. The strong Atlantic wind provides perfect conditions for kitesurfing and windsurfing. With good winds for most days of the year, Essaouira is a watersport enthusiasts paradise. Despite its popularity, the town has managed to retain its old-world charm and is an ideal place to embrace the laid-back lifestyle of the locals and escape the hustle and bustle of city life in a remarkably beautiful setting.
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Resting in the foothills of the Anti-Atlas Mountains, on the southern coast of Morocco, the city of Agadir serves as the capital of the Agadir-Ida Ou Tanane Province and a gateway to the Sahara Desert. This modern city is famous for its sun-soaked sandy beach, featuring a seaside promenade fringed by an array of popular cafes, restaurants and bars. The beach stretches for 10 kilometres across the crescent-shaped bay and boasts fine-grain sand and clear, calm waters which are ideal for swimming. Agadir attracts large numbers of all-inclusive holidaymakers, who flock to the city to enjoy the contemporary Moroccan culture and the many outdoor activities on offer. These include, among others: scuba diving, surfing, tennis, jet skiing, golfing, and horse riding down the beach.