Reasons to Visit
The Berbers are the indigenous people of Morocco. During the Arab conquest they retreated into their mountain strongholds and took refuge in the inhospitable deserts of the south. This is where their culture persists, based around fortified dwellings; a strong sense of community and an ability to cope with almost any hardship.
The Sahara washes into Morocco at its western extremities, and the Erg Chebbi sand sea is the best place to see this. Passing first through dramatic ridges of blackened rock, the going becomes sandier and sandier, until you're eventually confronted with towering dunes and the best sunsets in Morocco.
A kasbah is a fortified village, made from traditional pisé, or mud brick. Their distinctive towers, with ornate windows, are a dominant feature of the Moroccan landscape, none more so than along the Dades and Draa Valleys in the south: some have been converted into hotels, so you can even spend the night in your very own kasbah.
At the heart of any old Moroccan city will be the medina, the vital core encircled by walls punctuated by ornamental gates. It's in the medina that you'll nearly always find the souqs, and there will probably be a number of old palaces too: some of these are now hotels, some are museums, while others are abandoned and decaying gracefully.
The High Atlas are home to Jebel Toubkal, at over 4,100m the highest mountain in north Africa and a challenging climb. But the Atlas mountains also offer gentler hikes, perfect just to appreciate the scenery, the cool, clean air, and to enjoy Berber hospitality in remote villages.
The souqs of Marrakesh are the most famous in the country, but almost every town has its souq. Those of Fez seem endless and labyrinthine, whilst those in Taroudant are much more compact and sell the simple goods that the local, rural population need. It's unlikely you'll escape from Morocco without doing a bit of shopping at some point!
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North Africa & the Middle East
With Audley, where you stay is very much part of the experience. Wherever possible we try to track down characterful accommodation. We regularly inspect the accommodation we use, updating our knowledge on existing properties and researching new alternatives
Here we feature some of our most interesting properties, although we recommend and use many others to suit all budgets and tastes.
The Dar Ahlam is an amazingly opulent hotel in the heart of the Palmeraie. With a fantastic pool and great service it's a real treat.
Nestling behind the famous ramparts of Essaouira, Dar Loulema enjoys an enviable location and its roof-top terrace offers wonderful views over the ramparts and Atlantic Ocean.
Dar Manara is a lovely, bright riad featuring five small but comfortable rooms with en suite bathrooms.
The Riad Dar Maya offers excellent value for money and is situated in the heart of Essaouira's old medina, just a short walk from the souqs, ramparts and beach.
Situated just outside Marrakesh in the Palmeraie region of the city, Dar Zemora is a spacious, country house-style hotel full of Moroccan character and some chic contemporary features.
A great value hotel with a lot of character, Dar Zitoune is a good place to relax near Taroudant in the High Atlas.
A short walk from the Medina, Dar Zouhour is the ideal riad for those looking for traditional accommodation close to the Souq.
The Atlas Mountains
Surrounded by the peaks of the High Atlas Mountains and bordering Toubkal National Park, Domaine Malika offers a luxury boutique hotel experience.
Start planning your tailor-made holiday to Morocco by contacting one of our specialists...
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Further reading:Tours in MoroccoWhen to GoHighlightsItinerary IdeasPlaces to GoThings to DoAbout MoroccoCountry Guides
Other countries in North Africa & the Middle East:EgyptIranJordanLebanonLibyaOmanSyriaTunisia
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