Morocco’s attractions offer an eye-opening taste of the exotic, with snake charmers and conjurers, souks piled high with hordes of treasures, and endless glasses of mint tea. It’s also an adventure into some of North Africa’s most stunning scenery, with the desert on its doorstep and the craggy heights of the Atlas Mountains beyond.
Ait Ben Haddou
If you’re heading out into Morocco’s inland regions, it should definitely be on your must-visit list. Try to come in the early morning or later in the afternoon, as the tour bus crowds descend from around 10am to 2pm.
This is prime territory for dune-surfing, four-wheel-drive dune-bashing, and the (much more authentic) camel trekking.
Hassan II Mosque
This modern mosque (finished in 1993) doesn’t do things by halves. The decoration detail covering every centimeter of the mammoth two-hectare site took 10,000 artisans to complete.
Meant as a monumental reminder of the sultan’s might, the Bab al-Mansour is a magnificent relic of Meknes’ glorious era as capital of Morocco.
The old city is entered from the vast plaza of Djemma el-fna Square where, it seems, half the city converges throughout the day and into the evening to hang out with the stall vendors, traditional musicians, snake charmers, and random acrobats.
Morocco’s number one Roman ruin is a feast for history lovers, with a clutch of remarkable mosaics still interred where they were unearthed.
Even better, unlike the old town areas of Fes and Marrakesh, there are hardly any other tourists here, so exploring this pretty corner of the capital feels as if you’ve been let in on a well-kept secret.
With the snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas in the distance, the big-sky country here is the perfect antidote for those who have been getting frazzled nerves amid the souks of Marrakesh and Fes.
Fes el Bali
The back alleys here, with their chipped plasterwork and gorgeous old doors, will have you stopping for photos on every corner, and visiting the stinking tanneries is one of Fes el Bali’s most popular things to do for those who can handle the smell.
All the way to the town of Zagora, the road is rimmed by palm tree oases and scattered with beautifully preserved kasbahs made from mudbrick, which are fascinating to explore.