Morocco, a unique bucket list experience.
Unique, extravagant and epic travel destinations are all the rage.
While trending destinations seem to vary somewhat depending on which post or who you talk to, one theme remains the same. Post-COVID travelers are looking for that one epic, bucket-list destination. “Exotic and unusual” destinations are in demand, as well as those that “have it all”, i.e. culture, history, fun, nightlife, culinary experience and romance.
Travel with friends and family reunions are increasingly popular and there is also an increase in milestone celebrations with extended family. Customers are also booking longer trips than before COVID, making up for lost time when they weren’t able to travel. Many are still wary of overcrowded destinations and want to book accommodations that give them space from other guests. Searches for “epic” destinations are all the rage as travelers are ready to step out of their comfort zone and book those adventures they’ve been talking about for years. All the adventure you can handle in one country.
While researching trends, a unique destination came to mind. Morocco. Morocco is the land of mint tea and tagines, where the epic Atlas Mountains loom in the most incredible shades of purple, making them appear almost like an illusion. These provide breathtaking backdrops to fabulously luxurious hotels, guesthouses and riads. Moroccan cities have fascinated Westerners for centuries with its thrilling cacophony of sounds, colors and smells that greet visitors as soon as they arrive. I know of no other destination in the world where you will find a more eclectic mix of experiences than in Morocco. In the medinas, the sounds of merchants selling their wares and the aromas of tantalizing tagines brewing are a heady mix of all things magical. Here you will find Berber, Arabic, Jewish and Moorish cultures, oriental spices, a city garden as well as desert landscapes and glamorous hideaways… all with that alluring French accent.
An exotic gateway to old and new.
Morocco is an exotic gateway to the African continent and its breathtaking landscapes and cultural heritage make it an exciting destination for even the most discerning and experienced traveler. A handcrafted trip will introduce you to the cultural and historical sites of this magical country, while cities such as Marrakech, Fez, Tangier and Casablanca offer a balance of ancient traditions and modern conveniences.
After an exciting day spent visiting historic sites dating back nearly 1,000 years, you return to breathtaking luxurious accommodations that won’t disappoint. Marrakech offers some of the most luxurious accommodations in the world. From beautifully decorated hotels to magnificent guest houses, riads and even luxury tents. By the way, these “tents” take glamping to a whole new level. Fun Fact: Strictly speaking, a Riad is a house built around a patio garden and the word actually refers to the garden rather than the house, while Maison d’hôte is French for “guest house “.
There is no shortage of luxury restaurants for your culinary pleasure in Morocco. The upmarket hotels and riads all have fabulous restaurants which are often run by renowned chefs who serve the best dishes, either sourced directly from local markets or sourced from Europe. You’ll find that the upscale restaurants will satisfy the most discerning palates, and if you’re a foodie like me, take the time to take a Moroccan cooking class. There are several cooking schools, riads and restaurants that offer visitors the opportunity to learn how to recreate their favorite dish at home. Recognized as one of the best cuisines in the world, Moroccan cuisine is a mixture of flavors and cultures. Sweet mixed with savory, meat and fruit, deliciously spiced vegetables, all topped off with pots of sweet mint tea. Click on HERE for a link to foods you must try in Morocco.
The Pearl of Morocco.
If you have limited time to visit Morocco and need to choose a city, it should be Marrakech. This city is a pearl polished by history and hospitality and steeped in timeless tradition, refined luxury, cutting-edge couture and Moroccan mystique. While you’ll find boutiques from well-known brands in the new town, some of the most interesting finds will still be handmade items and antiques available in the old and new souks. The shopping paradise ! Known as the ‘ochre’ or ‘red’ city thanks to its rose-hued 11/12th century walls, an exuberant Marrakech exudes an exhilarating exoticism and boasts a bustling and alluring nightlife. This millennial trading post is home to a rich and eventful history brimming with breathtaking architecture.
A beautiful oasis.
When you head a few hours from Marrakech, you will discover a completely different landscape. South of the High Atlas Mountains, this sunny stretch of dusty desert is interrupted by sand-colored kasbahs and fortified villages lined with palm trees. On the western side of the High Atlas mountain, there is Kasbah Tamadot which is a retreat owned by Sir Richard Branson and quite stunning. When you get closer to the desert on the eastern side of the same chain, you will find Kasbah Dar Ahlam and you can choose to stay in the Kasbah (which is a renovated fortress) or in one of their luxury tents and enjoy a romantic dinner set up in the middle of an oasis. Dar Ahlam means House of Dreams.
Exploring the desert of southern Morocco in a private tented camp has to be one of the most rewarding experiences ever. For many, the real reason to come to Morocco is to experience the wild and untouched nature of the desert and to immerse yourself for at least a few days in the extraordinary environment of the Sahara’s indescribable yet harsh natural beauty. Stay at least one night, but I recommend two or three. If you need a break from the world for a while, this is the place.
Hiking Mount Toubkal
Morocco is home to the highest peak in North Africa, Mount Toubkal culminating at 4,167 meters above sea level. During the winter months, its snow-capped peaks attract discerning hikers and the ski resort of Oukaimeden attracts skiers from all over the world to try Moroccan powder. Once you cross the High Atlas and exit on the other side, several hours of driving will take you straight into the Sahara Desert where you can take a camel or 4×4 trip through the dunes.
Many towns and villages in Morocco are home to houses that are thousands of years old. In cities like Marrakech and Fez, these ancient mansions located in the medina (the old city) can date back centuries. Dozens of riads, which are restored old houses, can be found across the country. Many retain old world charm and style while providing you with modern boutique amenities.
Morocco mixes adventure, romanticism and exoticism thanks to its proximity to Europe, its roots in Africa and its Middle Eastern influence. Big cities like Rabat, Marrakech and Tangier resemble European cities in many ways, while rural outposts like Zagora and Chefchaouen will make you feel light years away! Fez is famous for its leather tannery, Tangier was famous as a destination for artists and writers from Europe and the United States in the 1950s and 1960s, and Casablanca is the country’s business center.
There is so much more to Morocco than what is in this article! It’s a particularly stunning destination for weddings and honeymoons, but more on that in a future post. Clients have booked their wedding in Marrakech and spent their honeymoon discovering the rest of the country. You can follow me HERE for more amazing and EPIC destinations to discover. If you would like to book an unforgettable experience in Morocco, contact me below and we can organize an exploratory call.