Luxury, history, energy and serenity. These are just four of the many joys to be found on holiday in sunny Morocco.
Add creativity, contemporary art and a thriving cultural scene to the mix, and you’ll see why the Kingdom of Light is fast becoming one of the world’s hottest holiday destinations.
All across Morocco, fabulous hotels and resorts sit by the sea, in the cities and up in the country’s amazing High Atlas mountains.
A once-in-a-lifetime experience; fly a hot-air balloons over the Sahara
Stay in one spot, and you can be pampered in a top-notch spa, enjoy magnificent Moroccan cuisine or go bargain-hunting amid the stalls of a very atmospheric souk.
Or you can travel around the country to see everything from Roman mosaics and amazing art museums to UNESCO World Heritage sites and palm-fringed, seaside promenades.
On holiday in Morocco you can stargaze after a lavish dinner in the desert. You can take to the sky in a hot-air balloon amid some of the world’s most stunning scenery. Or simply lose yourself in a friendly, light-filled country that’s full of flowers, colours, spices and new experiences.
Morocco is at once family-friendly and perfect for friends and solo travellers. It also makes a wonderfully romantic break for couples.
Recent visitors say they even found romance in the names of Moroccan cities – names that transported them back to the golden age of glamourous travel.
Shopping under the stars: the market stalls of Jemaa el-Fna Square at night
For example, there’s Casablanca, with its classy corniche where you can stroll between cafés along the relaxed and glorious promenade.
There’s Fez, where the warm stones of the ancient medina are one of the country’s many UNESCO World Heritage sites.
There are the equally exotic-sounding seaside towns of Tangier and Rabat. And, of course, there’s the historic city of Marrakesh.
Marrakesh is one of the world’s must-see cities. At night, the market stalls of Jemaa el-Fna Square are bathed in a unique white light. Strolling around is like stepping back in time.
Grab a sweet treat (baclava, Moroccan lemon cake and date-filled cookies are favourites), a freshly squeezed orange juice or a mint tea. Then head off to bargain-hunt amid a whirl of sounds, spices and scents.
Another great piece of news about a holiday in Morocco is that there are hotels to suit everyone. You can book with big-name holiday companies and check into seaside hotels with sparkling swimming pools, kids’ clubs, waterparks, fabulous food and endless entertainment. Or ask about a more unique holiday where you stay in a very luxurious riad.
Delicious! A Moroccan tagine made with chicken, lemon and olives
Riads are traditional Moroccan houses, kept cool by being built around shaded, internal courtyards. Today, many of them have been transformed into some of the world’s most exclusive boutique hotels. Stay in one and you’ll enter a five-star world of tranquillity, style and relaxed, friendly service. It’s an experience you can only have in Morocco.
Wherever you stay, excursions and day trips can take you to potteries and ancient tanneries. You can see the Roman ruins of Volubilis, where one perfectly preserved mosaic floor features nine dolphins, which are symbols of good fortune.
Pinks, blues, yellows, greens and violets will surround you as you stroll past colourfully painted houses in Morocco’s old towns. Rolling vineyards and huge wine cellars offer tastings in the countryside.
You can take a 4×4 ride on a golden sand dune in the desert, stopping for dinner in a tented camp under the stars. Or visit traditional Berber villages in the Atlas mountains. Up high, crossing vast mountain passes, you’ll be energised by the air, the views and the wonderfully slow pace of local life.
All across the country, holidaymakers are also inspired by Morocco’s artistic treasures.
A generation ago, designer Yves Saint Laurent started a trend when he bought and renovated the beautiful Jardin Majorelle in Marrakesh. Today, a visit to its a colourful, light-filled museum is a holiday highlight.
Mosaics at the Roman ruins of Volubilis featuring nine dolphins, which are symbols of good fortune
Elsewhere, contemporary art is booming, and at visitmorocco.com you can see videos, interviews and performances from visual artist Mohamed Melehi, painter and graffiti artist Samy Snoussi and stylist Artsi Ifrach. On the same website, performances by Steph H’s dance collective and a troupe of Gnaoua dancers reveal a modern, dynamic Morocco that’s attracting a new generation of first-time visitors.
So head to Morocco, whether you want to relax on a beach, visit a historic kasbah, see creativity in action – or all three.
For more information on where to go and things to do in Morocco, go to visitmorocco.com.