Designer Journeys’s Grace Homer gives a rundown of Morocco’s most magnificent destinations outside of the usual suspects.
The red mud-baked city of Marrakech draws intrigued travellers in with its winding maze of alleyways, which lead to colourful souks that fill your nostrils with their fragrant spices.
In Marrakech, you’ll find yourself enjoying a traditional bath in a hammam, bantering with the multi-lingual snake charmers and absorbing the vibrant history of this 1,000-year-old city.
Marrakech can lure you to the point where it’s hard to imagine a better Morocco exists. However, these five places will ignite your Moroccan wanderlust and show you that you are just scratching the surface of Morocco with Marrakech.
Meknes and Rabat are two of Morocco’s four imperial cities, alongside Fes and Marrakech. Perched on a hilltop, Meknes is often overlooked as a top destination in Morocco but found just 30 minutes from the popular city of Fes. So there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get lost in Meknes’ stunning Medina and its historic architecture. Inside its 15-metre high walls, you’ll find this gorgeous medieval city is home to an abundance of magnificent mosques, royal palaces and Hammams, where you can enjoy a Turkish bath experience.
Known as the door to the desert, this city was once a small crossing point for African traders on their way to Europe. Nowadays, Ouarzazate is the backdrop for many blockbuster films and TV shows including The Mummy, Gladiator and Game of Thrones. Ouarzazate is also the gateway to Ait Ben Haddou, a fortified village and UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to some of the finest examples of Moroccan earthen clay architecture and mazes of Kasbahs. Once you lay eyes on this city, you’ll see why it is such an awesome secret.
The High Atlas Mountains
The Atlas Mountains form a stunning barrier between the arid desert and the cool coastal climate of Morocco. Hiking through a small village, wrapped in blankets and surrounded by snow-capped peaks is different from the typical Morocco you imagine. These vast mountains are home to some of the most rewarding hikes, lush green landscapes and remote villages. The Berber people, also known as the free people, are the original inhabitants of these villages and have been for over 8,000 years. You’ll find their free spirit infectious and their traditional way of living inspiring.
Sitting on the outer fringes of the Sahara desert, Merzouga offers the perfect opportunity to explore the towering sand dunes and absorb the stunning desert landscape. Let a double-humped friend lead you into the depths of the desert at sunset and deliver you to your luxurious desert camp for the night. Merzouga offers you several once in a lifetime experiences and is definitely one for the list.
Popular among local holidaymakers but rarely visited by foreign travellers, El Jadida is a coastal gem home to stretches of white sand beaches, historical fortresses and stunning religious architecture. Once a Portuguese colony, El Jadida is best explored by wandering along the canon-lined fortress walls, admiring the views of the seaside town and enjoying the feeling of being transported back in time.
Crafting a trip that covers all of these destinations in a smooth, yet exciting, trip can be a difficult task when you are so far off the beaten track. Luckily, Designer Journeys has a team of local in-destination experts that only specialise in these kinds of trips. Plan your perfect trip down to the very last detail with someone who knows everything there is to know about these destinations.
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