Travel News

Best places to visit in Morocco 2024

Simon Calder’s Travel

With the Atlas Mountains and sections of the sprawling Sahara Desert, natural beauty dominates Morocco’s map. Yet, it’s also the atmospheric alleys, snake charmer squares and tiled riads of this North African country’s ports and towns that beg to be explored.

Infused with blends of tradition and art, cities in this land of coastlines, festivals – religious and musical – and full-flavoured cuisine are both diverse and enchanting. And it’s not just the charms of up-and-coming capital Rabat or the palm and parasol-fringed beaches of Agadir that deserve to draw in tourists.

From the lively Marrakech medina to the medieval mosques of Fes and the Atlantic breeze-swept coastlines of Essaouira and Taghazout, there’s shopping, surfing and ancient crafts to be discovered.

As the country enters another sizzling spring, here are six of the best holiday hotspots and where to stay – all less than a four-hour flight from the UK.

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Marrakech is rich in colour, culture and cuisine (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Marrakech is a vision of dusky terracotta buildings in the shadow of the towering Koutoubia Mosque and the Atlas Mountains. A web of alleys, riads and spice-scented souks lie inside the medina walls, and the vibrant atmosphere that buzzes from dawn to dusk doesn’t dull until you reach the palm grove oasis and luxury holiday resorts of Palmeraie to the north of the city. Enjoy a charcoal-cooked merguez sausage in the central square Jemaa el Fna, wander around the Bahia Palace, or immerse yourself in Moroccan history at the Maison de la Photographie, before relaxing with a sweet mint tea at one rooftop cafes or hidden gardens.

Where to stay

There’s a cool minimalism to Riad UP’s six relaxing rooms amid the Medina’s splashes of colour. Complete with a patio, plunge pool and roof terrace studded with sun loungers, wrap up in a Berber blanket for nights spent overlooking the city.