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There’s no sensory overload quite like Morocco. Situated in North Africa and bordered by Spain to the north, Algeria to the east and Mauritania to the south – as well as boasting easy reach to most major European cities – Morocco stretches into the Mediterranean sea through the strait of Gibraltar. The smells and sounds that suffuse the medinas of Marrakesh, the capital, alone make a trip to this magical country worthwhile.
Like many North African cities, Marrakech comprises both an old fortified city (the médina,) and an adjacent modern city (Gueliz). It is also conveniently served by Ménara International Airport and a rail link to economic centre Casablanca and the north. Given that France was the former protectorate of most of the southern part of the country until 1956, it’s not surprising that the French influence is still dominants. Just wandering around, you can take in the riad, which is the traditional form of architecture – and many of the hotels, bars and restaurants are situated right within these traditional style buildings. To the west of Marrakech is Essaouira. A charming city of only seventy thousand residents, it is protected by a natural bay partially shielded by wave action from the Iles Purpuraires. The beach front extends from the harbour, at which point the Oued Ksob discharges to the ocean and an ocean drive might take you across the nearby Atlas mountains to Tétouan. There are many opportunities for scenic walks and sporting activities and both apartments and riads can afford spectacular views of the scenery and mountain landscape.
Tangier is one of the other popular tourist hot spots and is situated on the coast. Casablanca which was famed in the film of the same name, is another treat. For quieter, smaller towns, Morocco also has them in abundance, including the small fishing ports of Asalih and Essaouira. There are also several stunning Roman ruins which can be easily accessed by car and prove to be some of the most important in the whole country. Outside of Marrakech there is an abundance of great places to visit that can be easily accessed by car. These include the High Atlas mountains seem custom-made for hiking boots, trails to different Berber villages, and North Africa’s highest peak, the Jebel Toubkal.