Morocco sits on the North West African coast, meaning that is has coastline on both the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It's a fairly arid country that's rich in natural beauty, and it becomes pretty lush when you reach higher altitudes in the Atlas Mountains. There are miles upon miles of unspoilt beaches, as well as vibrant and bustling cities and more palaces, mosques and historical sights than you could shake a stick at.
The official languages are Arabic and Berber, but you will find that you can make yourself relatively well understood in French. Don't expect many people to speak English outside the most popular destinations of Marrakech, Fez and Essaouira. But dive on in and you'll soon discover unforgettable places, with hundreds of mosques, palaces and historical sites that are fascinating and intriguing to explore, as well as miles and miles of unspoilt beaches.
Going on a holiday to Morocco used to be the preserve of adventurous types and a few sturdy backpackers, but it's becoming more and more tourist friendly. It's still a good plan to make sure you have some travel buddies with you on your Moroccan holiday, and make sure you check the Foreign Office Travel Advice before you head off.
You can get on a flights to Morocco from a variety of airports across the UK, although you will generally find cheaper flights from the major airports in London and the North, so be sure to shop around. Flight times are around four hours from the UK, depending on your start and end points.
One of the easiest and cheapest airports to get to is Mohammed V International Airport (CMD) in Nouasseur, which lies approximately 25km from Casablanca, but Marrakesh and Agadir are also readily available, although seasonal changes in flight frequency may occur.
Expect to hire a car or jump in a taxi on arrival. These are the easiest ways to get your holiday to Morocco started, and you'll find that the prices really aren't that steep, especially if you're sharing. Remember to agree a taxi fare in advance though!
Aside from the usual hotels, of which there are plenty in the big cities, including some excellent five-star offerings, there are plenty of other places to stay in Morocco on your holiday if you're looking to save money or get a little taste of the culture.
A Riad is a small guesthouse in a Medina (old town), converted from a house into separate sleeping areas. Look for one with a shared roof terrace or other luxuries like cooking classes or plunge pools to add a touch of glamour without breaking the bank.
The countryside version of a Riad is an Auberge, usually a converted farmhouse or similar building and often offering meals. Expect basic facilities and remember to take your own bottled water! Water here is fine for cooking but not for drinking.
Gîtes d'étape offer even fewer home comforts and are usually all about a bed to lay your head, often is a shared room. Expect a shower but don't expect it to be hot - that's for if you're lucky. These are usually found in the mountain regions and rural backpacker hotspots. Desert bivouacs are similar, although they come in the form of carpeted or wool tents and are usually only found in the desert regions.
There are also plenty of camp sites that offer super cheap nightly rates, with a toilet and shower block of wildly varying quality. It's essential to take your own toilet roll but it's always worth asking if you can pay extra to get a hot shower. You never know until you ask! These are usually best stayed in in your own campervan (or hired campervan) as they can be in fairly remote locations with minimal to no facilities to get a tasty meal nearby. Expect to pay extra for an electricity hookup.
Morocco holidays are becoming increasingly popular with us Brits, reflecting a general trend which has made this country is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Africa. From surfing the Atlantic coast to in Ouka'meden to camel trekking in Zagora there is plenty to keep you busy. If you need inspiration try our Morocco Guide. And here are our top places to go to on a holiday to Morocco.
Chefchaouen - is a powder blue wonderland of houses, offering handmade crafts you can't get anywhere else. This mountain town is also known for goats cheese and hash.
Fes el Bali - one of the two Medinas in Fes, this is a virtually intact Medieval city complete with high walls. Look for a restaurant with a roof terrace to see the views, which are particularly sought-after for sunset.
Djemaa el Fna - the main square in Marrakech is a bustling hive with goods, shops, souks, restaurants, and much, much more all happening day and night.
Essaouira - boasting a big beach it's the closest coast to Marrakech, known for its windsurfing and kitesurfing. The town has plenty of small souks, specialising in cabinet making and wood carving.
High Atlas Mountains - Berber villages, dramatic landscapes, snow-capped peaks and more await in this area of Morocco that seems so unlike all the others.
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