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
Thanks in part to the famous film of the same name, Casablanca features large in many people’s thoughts of Morocco and is home to the Hassan II Mosque.
Thanks in part to the famous film of the same name, Casablanca features large in many people’s thoughts of Morocco. In truth, none of the film was shot here and much of the city is like ports everywhere: quite crowded, industrial and full of thirsty sailors.
It is a major hub, however, for international flights and it is likely to feature somewhere on your itinerary.
While not offering much cause to linger, it is the home of the Hassan II Mosque. Built by the previous king using donations from the public, it is surpassed in size only by that of Mecca and contains a prayer hall three times the size of St Paul’s Cathedral.
11 days from £1,765pp
12 days from £1,875pp
15 days from £2,430pp
53 miles away
119 miles away
137 miles away
155 miles away
157 miles away
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