Sightseeing in Morocco
Morocco is home to some incredible cities that each boast a range of fascinating and beautiful landmarks, museums and other attractions that are a real delight to explore. There are too many places of interest to mention them all individually, but the following are a few highlights from some of the main cities.
Marrakech is among the most popular destinations in Morocco, with its wonderful combination of a thriving, old city and a modern French-inspired district. Lose yourself in the colourful and bustling souk, marvel at the architecture of the Ben Youssef Medersa and the Saadian Tombs, and enjoy some peace and quiet in the stunning Majorelle Gardens.
Made famous by the Hollywood film of the same name, Casablanca is rightly one of Morocco's gems and a beautiful city to explore. The Hassan II Mosque - one of the largest Muslim places of worship in the world - is a stunning sight, as too is the Sidi Bou Abderrahmane Mausoleum. The contrast between old and new is striking in Casablanca, with its high-rise, chic modern district feeling very different to the old medina.
Fez is a popular day trip for those on holiday in Morocco, with this city home to an amazing array of medersas - Koranic schools. In fact, one of the world's oldest universities - Karaouiyine Mosque - is located here. Fez is also a wonderful place for shopping, as it's where many of the country's finest craftsmen live and work. Pick up beautiful pottery, striking woodwork and many other authentic items from the city's souk.
Things to do on the coast
What's great about holidays in Morocco is the variety they offer - you can go from wandering the narrow alleys of Marrakech's medina, to lounging on the sun-kissed beach of Agadir in a matter of a few days.
Because of this, it's well worth booking a twin centre break, rather than just restricting yourself to a single destination. Agadir is Morocco's premier beach resort, with this city having developed alongside a stunning sandy beach where the waves of the Atlantic Ocean roll in. As this location boasts 300 days of sunshine annually, it's a brilliant place to visit if you're keen to top up your tan in a picturesque coastal location.
Essaouira, also on the country's Atlantic coast, is another popular seaside retreat where you can enjoy wonderful weather, golden beaches and a splash of culture too.
Both of these destinations are known for more than just their beaches, though, with surfing, wind and kite surfing being all popular pastimes. It's generally possible to try these water sports at most times of the year, so if you fancy having a go at something new during your holiday in Morocco, these are all excellent options.
Morocco's diversity doesn't end with its cities and coastline, as it also boasts stunning mountain ranges and a beautiful desert. The High Atlas Mountains have long been a popular destination among hikers, many of whom come to tackle the challenge of Mount Toubkal - North Africa's highest peak.
If you have the time, heading into the Sahara Desert on an overnight excursion is well worth it - you will be astounded by the sight of the rolling dunes stretching as far as the eye can see, while the chance to visit a traditional oasis, surrounded by palms, is not to be missed.
You can go on a camel trek for an authentic Saharan experience, or head out to explore the dunes in 4x4 vehicles for something a little faster paced. Round off your day in the desert with a tranquil stay in a traditional Bedouin tent - don't forget to spend some time stargazing, as the night sky is truly stunning in this wilderness area.
Rest and relaxation in Morocco
Your holiday in Morocco doesn't have to be all about getting active and moving from place to place, as there are plenty of opportunities for a bit of downtime in an exotic setting. In many of Morocco's cities, including Marrakech and Casablanca, there are outstanding spas where you can be thoroughly pampered with a range of treatments.
Many of the best resorts in Morocco have their own spa onsite, so you won't need to travel far in search of indulgent therapies and relaxing surroundings if you stay in one of these for even just a small part of your trip. The small riads - traditional Moroccan guesthouses - often also have excellent facilities and these are real havens away from the bustling streets of the cities in which you find them. Expect pretty courtyards, elegant and classic Arabian decor and sometimes small swimming pools in these charming boutique hotels.
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Flight Network has listed the Royal Mansour hotel in Marrakech as the ninth best luxury hotel in the world. The Canadian online travel agency handed over the judging to a panel of travel and tourism industry experts, and the luxury hotel in Morocco was recognised for its high standards in service, accommodation and facilities. Owned by King Mohammed VI of Morocco, the hotel has traditional Moroccan Riad accommodation, gourmet restaurants, and a lavish spa.
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.