A relatively short flight-time from Ireland, great weather, wonderful food and a wealth of history and culture have ensured that Morocco has remained one of the go-to countries for holidaymakers looking for a little bit of sun.
It can be a country of huge differences too – you can find yourself trekking across the Sahara or bartering in a Bazaar. So how do you decide where is the best place to visit in this fascinating country?
Well, Morocco is actually a great choice for city breaks, because of the relatively short flight times and great value on accommodation and food. This list therefore discusses the three best cities in Morocco that you should consider for a shorter city break style getaway, but which also have enough going on to warrant a longer stay.
Agadir lies in the south of the country, and has a flight time out of Dublin of around 4 hours.
Somewhat unique amongst Moroccan towns and cities, it has a very modern feel, having been almost completely leveled by a major earthquake in 1960 and rebuilt, literally, from the ground up.
That being said, this country is so deep in history everywhere you turn, it was inevitable that some would survive and, fortunately for Agadir, what made it through the earthquake really was the cream of the crop.
Sat atop a neighboring hill lies Kasbah, a fortified set of buildings built around 1540. It is well worth visiting to see the amazing example of Arab architecture that it provides, and also for the simply amazing views it affords across the city.
The city also has a number of superb beaches of golden sands and clear, tranquil waters. The local cuisine is also superb – especially the seafood, which is always fresh, well prepared and delicious.
This city is probably most famous as the setting of the film of the same name – though sadly, the movie itself was not even filmed here in the city!
Which is a shame, because the filmmakers missed out on a chance to visit a truly very interesting city.
The first thing to note about Casablanca is that it is not as well known a tourist destination as Marrakech or Rabat. This is not for want of attractions or things to do, it just always seems to be lower down on the tourist lists.
This has the benefit of making Casablanca that bit more of an authentic city. There are less restaurants and amenities designed to lure tourists for instance, so what does exist in the city has to be good, as it needs to appeal to more knowledgeable locals rather than chasing easy tourist dollars.
Casablanca offers extremely fine beaches, and they center on an area known as La Corniche. This specially-designed area offers amazing beachside dining experiences – seafood, naturally, being the specialty.
Definitely the single most popular tourist destination in Morocco, and also well worth its billing! It’s hard not to conclude a list such as this without recommending Marrakech.
If you’re going to go here, it’s well worth booking a Riad as your accommodation. These primarily used to be large, private residences built behind walled gardens, but today they are usually rented out to tourists instead. A more intimate affair than a hotel, they are pretty unique not only in Morocco, but also worldwide.
Another thing you have to do in Marrakech is get out and enjoy the food. Unlike the two cities mentioned above, Marrakech is not particularly well known for its seafood. Instead, in this city the traditional food culture scene is all about the Tagine, or fresh grilled lamb chops served on a bed of fresh couscous – food heaven!
The final thing to know about Marrakech is that you need to enjoy haggling to come here! Home to world famous bazaars and markets, the various stall holders are almost insulted if you don’t at least try to barter – so make sure to pack a sharp tongue and try to pick up a bargain!