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Alternative places to visit in Morocco

See Morocco in a new light: 7 lesser-known alternatives to Marrakech

Marrakech and the surrounding regions are back in business and welcoming visitors as warmly as ever, says long-time Morocco resident Tara Stevens. Extend your trip with a tour around this vibrant country, exploring lesser-known spots where you can discover the ‘real’ Morocco.

Explore ancient history in Fes

Roam the city’s tightly knotted alleyways, admire the intricate architecture of the madrasas (koranic schools), feast on some of the finest street food in Morocco, and take a deep dive into the city’s artisan heritage. Settle into the rarefied splendour of Riad Fes and add a day or two to sip boutique Moroccan wines at Chateau Roslane, or roam the spectacular Roman ruins of Volubilis.

Hike the cedar forests of the Rif

The Rif mountains are every bit as majestic as the Atlas, plus you get views across the Straits of Gibraltar to Spain. A couple of hours' drive from Tangier, the legendary blue city of Chefchaouen makes an excellent base for day hikes, or a more ambitious auberge-to-auberge walk (staying in small, basic guesthouses) over several days.

Discover Moroccan art in Rabat

With an easy-going medina, sparkly whitewashed Kasbah overlooking the sea, and a thriving art culture in the shape of the excellent Museum of Modern Art and National Photography Museum, Morocco’s capital city is on the up. A sprinkling of seriously sophisticated places to stay, including the Fairmont and the STORY Rabat, add to the appeal.

Enjoy lazy days by the sea in Oualidia

Three hours by car from Marrakech, the bright and breezy coastal village of Oualidia seduces with its laid-back, sun-splashed lifestyle. The best thing to do here is kick back and take it easy. Stroll the shores of its never-ending beaches, slurp oysters on the dock, take a boat across the lagoon through flocks of flamingo, and then retire to the serenity of La Sultana’s pool and gardens.

Marvel at the desert seas

Located in the midst of the biggest palm grove in the world, stretching 200km along the Draa Valley, Skoura is enhanced only by the magic that is Dar Ahlam. Add on a night at A&K Desert Camp for seas of golden dunes, Sahrawi nomads in their robes of blue and the wonder of a world wrapped in silence.

Follow Morocco’s less-travelled Memory Road

Actor-turned hotelier extraordinaire Thierry Teyssier, who created Morocco’s dreamiest hideaway in Dar Ahlam, is behind a new route in Southern Morocco called The Memory Road. The 1,000km journey takes travellers through parts of the country rarely seen by visitors, from the Atlantic Coast to the sand dunes of the Sahara Desert.

 

Surfing and sun salutations in Taghazout

The small coastal town of Taghazout has thrived since the 1960s with a steady influx of surfers, yogis and wellness seekers. Today Taghazout offers a wide range of beachside accommodation from modest retreats to sustainable five-star spa resorts such as the Fairmont.

Fez & Meknes

Discover Morocco’s cultural capital and a closeby UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Secrets of Morocco’s Memory Road

7 nights from £9,180

Discover the intense heritage and geological richness of southern Morocco with an unforgettable journey along Memory Road accompanied by your own driver and butler

Colours of the North

9 nights from £4,110

Traverse the historical highlights of north Morocco with expert guides, culinary delights and sumptuous accommodation for an unforgettably enriching experience

Rabat

Enjoy a real taste of Morocco in its historic capital

La Sultana Oualidia

Atlantic Coast, Morocco

A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Las Sultana Oualidia is an authentic Moroccan riad dating back to the 19th century

A&K Private Desert Camp

Sahara Desert Camping, Morocco

A convoy of 4x4 vehicles takes all the equipment necessary to the dunes of Merzouga