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Taking you from the bustling medina of Marrakech to the snow-capped Atlas Mountains via the vast Agafay Desert, our itinerary lets you experience Morocco at its best. We’ve got affiliate links to our experiential friends at Nemo Travel throughout this article in case you feel inspired to book your trip.
Morocco is a country of contrasts. Towering, snow-capped mountains and vast deserts give way to dynamic, heady cities brimming with ancient monuments and bustling souks. A perennially popular destination, the country dazzles as much as it intrigues, marrying European influences and African traditions. We want you to experience the country at its most spectacular, which is why we’ve ventured through Marrakech’s bustling medina, hiked the Atlas mountains and braved a camel ride through the Agafay desert to bring you this definitive Moroccan itinerary.
Experience Morocco’s Best Destinations
To truly get to grips with any country or culture, you have to be in the thick of it. That’s why we recommend kicking off your Moroccan trip in the Red City. Of its many riads, Le Farnatchi is a favourite. Hidden in the heart of the bustling Jemaa el Fna, its unmarked door opens onto a courtyard filled with hanging plants and a turquoise pool fed by a gently trickling fountain. This is the kind of place where you can expect to wake to the city’s call to prayer coming from the local mosque, as the sound echoes through Marrakech’s cobbled streets.
While the city has countless places of worship, Koutoubia Mosque – the largest in Marrakech – is arguably the most impressive. Be guided by its towering minaret to the entrance, then stroll beneath scalloped arches and pointed merlons. If that’s got your aesthete’s heart racing, visit the 16th-century Saadian Tombs – once abandoned, they’re now famed for beautiful carrara marble columns, colourful stucco and mosaiced walls.
A morning of culture is more than enough to work up an appetite. Follow your nose as pungent aromas draw you to the medina, where street-food tours through spice markets and down narrow alleys lead to sizzling stalls, and offer a comprehensive taste of the city.
Afternoons are best spent dipping your toe into Morocco’s modern side. Buried deep in the medina, La Maison de la Photographie its sand-hued courtyard is adorned with enchanting contemporary photographs of the city. Stop by Le Jardin, where Marrakech’s art crowd gather beneath banana leaves and pine trees for creative discussions and book talks.
Come evening, head to Nomad and savour traditional dishes – we’re ordering the tagine and pastilla – before watching the crowds slowly dissipate to the rooftop terrace. Wander back to Le Farnatchi where a candlelit courtyard beckons, and sink into a deep marble bathtub. Mind still buzzing from the day’s activities? Head to the riad’s hammam and unwind with traditional Moroccan treatments.
Just one hour’s drive away Morocco’s frenetic capital lies the infinite expanse of the golden Agafay Desert. Pitch up at Scarabeo Camp where billowing tents put a luxurious spin on a desert adventure with carefully curated antiques and Moroccan decor. Start your day with a morning yoga class (a few downward dogs are sure to dispel hectic energy of Marrakech) before exploring the sands on a buggy, zipping along dry river beds and rolling slopes, ending with lunch in desert surrounds.
As the sun moves towards the epic Atlas mountaintops, clamber atop a camel for a sunset ride through the rolling landscape. Little compares to stargazing here – spend hours spotting constellations in the unpolluted indigo sky as melts into a deep, sleep-inducing black.
After days spent gawking at the snow-dusted mountains, take your trip to new heights as you climb high into Morocco’s wilderness. Kasbah Tamadot makes the ideal base from which to hike through craggy surrounds and admire awesome views.
Take an excursion to the jaw-dropping Ourika Valley, a hazy, blooming oasis in the shadow of the Atlas peaks. While away hours meandering through endless almond and cherry orchards, ambling through fields of wildflowers and tentatively crossing flimsy rope bridges over bubbling streams.
Adventuring done, retreat to the hotel to soak in one of two pools overlooking the mountains, kick back in the spa or sip Moroccan mint tea on your room’s balcony. Surrender to sleep and dream of the country of contrasting medinas, vast sandy deserts and craggy mountains, knowing that you’ve done Morocco the right way.
We’ve teamed up with Nemo Travel to make experiences bookable. They’re a luxury travel company combining expert insider advice with innovative technology. Catering to the modern traveller, their unique itinerary builder gives you the power to design a bespoke trip at a price that suits you. We’re thrilled to be partnering with them to bring you the very best in experiential travel at the click of a button. Better still, SUITCASE readers get travel perks – enjoy a hammam experience on us at whatever Marrakech hotel you choose.
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