Encircled by walls of golden stone and washed by the Atlantic waves, this sleepy, time-warped city is a pocket-sized delight, its cubist squares and whitewashed facades hinting at its European origins. Its chilled vibe, lively music scene and fabulous dining and shopping make it a group favourite.
Ringed by rust-coloured ramparts against the snow-capped peaks of the Atlas, Marrakech is a place of palaces, mystery and magic. Centrepiece is the great square of Jemaa el-Fnaa, a focus for Koran readers, acrobats, musicians, fortune tellers, dervishes and trance healers.
On the south side of the Atlas Mountains, among date palm oases and the giant copper dunes of the Sahara. Here we’ll board camels at dusk and ride off to spend a star-filled night in a luxurious camp with hot showers and flush toilets in your sheik’s tent.
In Morocco we stay in small hotels and riads, traditional townhouses built around a central courtyard surrounded by arcaded walkways with exquisite plasterwork. The hotels where we stay are very special. At the wonderful Bab Ourika you can swim against the snow-capped backdrop of the Atlas Mountains.
We’ll enjoy seafood fresh from the fishing fleet in Essaouira, dine at a modern-Australian restaurant that’s become the toast of Marrakech and a Moroccan fusion-food lunch at Scorpion House above the sacred town of Moulay Idriss Zerhoun.
Morocco is an Aladdin’s Cave of wonders. Ochre and indigo carpets in tribal zig-zags, beaded leather cushions, brass lamps cut like lacework, curly-toed slippers, stripey cotton blankets, glazed pots and plates and a thousand more treasures. Shopping in the souks is a journey for the senses