Morocco for families
As your children get older, chances are you'll want to do more than just take them to a beach resort for a family holiday in the sun. Morocco is a brilliant choice of destination for families, as it's not too far to travel to from the UK, boasts excellent weather and is home to an eclectic array of historical and cultural attractions.
One of the biggest draws is that while being geographically close, it feels so different to what you'd find in Europe - vast deserts, narrow, winding streets in the souks and amazing landmarks of Islamic culture. This really is a wonderful place to come to if you want to immerse your youngsters in a new environment that's unlike anything they'll have experienced in the UK.
There are various attractions here that will captivate younger travellers, while also teaching them about Moroccan culture, as well as stunning natural landscapes and cities that look like they could have come out of the pages of an Arabian Nights fairytale.
Just seeing the local culture, which is so different to what you'd find in the UK, is bound to be the main highlight for children and youngsteres. There are certainly places where this is particularly apparent though, such as in the Djemaa El Fna Square in Marrakech, where a host of street performers bring the area to life. Acrobats, fire eaters, snake charmers, storytellers and musicians all put on vibrant shows for the crowds that gather here every evening, wowing audiences with their unusual and fantastic feats.
The wilderness of the Sahara Desert is another place that's bound to captivate youngsters, with the rolling sand dunes stretching as far as the eye can see. One of the best things to do with children is to go on a camel trek to allow you to properly appreciate the landscape, as well as to gain a better understanding of how people transported goods from east to west for centuries.
If you book a twin centre holiday in Morocco, you can spend time in one of the country's amazing cities before heading to one of its beach resorts. Agadir and Essaouira are both excellent choices, each with long, sandy beaches where you can lounge by the sea, build sandcastles or go for a family walk. These are also great destinations for surfing, wind and kite surfing, so if you've got older youngsters who are looking for some adventure, these are the resorts to choose.
Discover local culture with your children
Wandering around the narrow alleys and streets of the medinas' souks - not only in Marrakech, but also in the likes of Fez and Rabat - is another wonderful way to bring this exotic and vibrant culture to life for your kids. They can see some of the local handicrafts, including leather goods, pottery, woodwork and a host of fragrant spices lined up in stalls and spilling out onto the streets.
While little ones may not be keen on spending day after day sightseeing, there are plenty of interesting landmarks that will grab their attention for at least an hour or two. The amazing and intricate architecture and decor of Morocco's medersas - Koranic schools - really stand out, as do ruins like the El Badi Palace in Marrakech.
As well as seeing what's on offer in Morocco's cities, you should also visit some of its rural villages. In the mountains, you can get to know Berber communities, who have lived in the harsh North African environment for centuries, while in the Sahara Desert you'll gain an insight into Bedouin culture - the nomadic tribes who have roamed this inhospitable wilderness for years and still continue to do so today.
Excellent family hotels in Morocco
Of course, you want to be comfortable on your family holiday - and Morocco won't let you down on this front, as the country is home to many brilliant family-friendly hotels and resorts, both in its cities and along its coast.
Many of the larger resorts boast large swimming pools and other leisure facilities that you can enjoy with your children.
In Marrakesh, hotels such as the Amine Hotel (the more affordable option) and the Four Seasons Resort Marrakech (the more expensive) offer daily activities for children and facilities such as playgrounds and kids' clubs – everything you and your family need to make your stay pleasant, comfortable and memorable.
In the beach resorts of Agadir and Essaouira, hotels like the Hotel Riu Palace Tikida Agadir and the Riad Baoussala have been highly acclaimed for their extraordinary child-friendly facilities and options for families.
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Es Saadi Marrakech hotel in Morocco has opened brand new facilities and services at its Palace Spa. The 3,000-square-metre spa spans over three floors, and has a new Spa Suite, gut and hydrotherapy treatments, slow food philosophy services, and new Yoga Retreats that work alongside Le Tigre Yoga Club. Guests can also use the marbled Moroccan Hammam, saunas, and hydrotherapy pool.
Royal Air Maroc has announced that it will launch a new flight between Manchester and Casablanca in Morocco in March. The new non-stop route will operate three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays between Manchester Airport and Mohammed V International Airport, and will be run on the Boeing 737-800 aircraft, with business and economy class categories.
Iberostar Hotels & Resorts has announced that it will open another hotel in North Africa this year. The four-star Iberostar Club Palmeraie Marrakech in Morocco will launch in April, 2017, and it will have 318 guest rooms and suites with balconies, plus a range of upscale facilities including three swimming pools, restaurants, SPA Sensations wellness centre, and eight meeting rooms.