Morocco’s blend of diverse cultures and landscapes is as romantic as it is compelling. A gateway to Africa from Europe, it is where ancient Berber, Roman, Arab, Spanish and French history meet and mix to create something uniquely alluring.
The Mediterranean and Atlantic coastline is dotted with vibrant cosmopolitan port cities such as Casablanca, Tangier and the capital, Rabat, along with laid-back fishing towns such as bohemian Essaouira, Oualidia, Asilah and Agadir with their long beaches cooled by ocean winds.
Inland, find Marrakesh, whose medieval walls enclose legendary souks (reason enough to visit Morocco), sumptuous Moorish palaces and the peaceful courtyard gardens of luxurious riad hideaways. Fes, the country’s spiritual heart, has an even more labyrinthine medina which feels like stepping back in time. Nearby imperial Meknes has some grand old architecture, and the beautiful blue town of Chefchaouen can be found perfectly set in the Rif Mountains to the north.
More serious topography divides the country in two, the most dramatic section of which, the snowcapped High Atlas, provides a haven for hikers or those seeking to unwind in a place where Berber culture has remained almost untouched for centuries. Follow passes up and over to sand coloured oasis towns, palm groves and kasbah fortresses at their sun baked southern edge, old staging posts for the great camel trains trading gold for salt across the Sahara Desert whose dunes spill over the southern border. A night out under the stars here is a real privilege.