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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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.
The Oberoi Group has announced that it is planning to open its first hotel in Marrakech in Morocco in 2017. Located on 25 acres of land surrounded by citrus orchards and olive groves, 20 minutes from the city centre, The Oberoi Marrakech will have 77 villas with private pools, and upscale facilities including a 2,000-square-metre Oberoi Spa on a private island, a fitness centre, three restaurants and a bar.
Marriott International has announced the opening of the new Fes Marriott Hotel Jnan Palace in Morocco. The property in Fez marks the Marriott Hotel brand's entry into the country, and the hotel group's entry into the city, and it will have 244 guest rooms and suites, three restaurants, four bars and 1,390 square-metres of flexible meeting space and a convention centre.