Morocco is a chameleon of a country, one where the past and present are fluid and the colours change with both light and landscape. Its vibrant medinas, markets and mosques are set against the golden backdrop of the Sahara’s rolling sand dunes, just a day’s journey from Marrakech. For travellers, it’s a land of the “something for everyone” variety, replete with Roman ruins, dramatic coastlines and epic mountain ranges. The one constant is the immutable sense of history and the hospitality you experience no matter what colourful path you choose to take.
Chasing the blues, greens and golds of the desert.
Where to Stay
Erg Chigaga Luxury Desert Camp The best way to arrive at the Erg Chigaga Luxury Desert Camp is by dromedary. Opt for one of 12 tents in the main camp or one of the four private tents nearby. (There’s also a single remote tent out in the dunes.) The fully furnished tents feature handmade rugs, and traditional Moroccan meals are served under the stars.
Riad Due, Marrakech Cozy and colourful, this four–room hotel is decorated with local handiwork, such as artisanal lamps that bathe bedrooms in a soft glow and, in one suite, a beaten copper tub overlooking the quiet courtyard. The library is filled with books on Moroccan design and history – enjoy one on the sunny terrace next to the plunge pool.
Eat & Drink
Beldi Bab Ssour, Chefchaouen For homecooked traditional cuisine served family style, bustling Beldi Bab Ssour in Chefchaouen is worth the search (it’s tucked down a side alley), as well as the wait to secure a table. House specialties include regional dishes like bissara (a soup made from dried fava beans) and goat tagine.
Al Fassia Guéliz, Marrakech This family–owned kitchen (run by two sisters) is the first Moroccan restaurant in Marrakech’s city centre to employ only women. The 12 salad plates include orange and carrot salad and eggplant caviar. Round out your meal with briouates (mini puff pastries), pigeon pastillas and couscous with caramelized onions and raisins.
What to Do
Jardin Majorelle, Marrakech Designer Yves Saint–Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé purchased the property in 1980 and restored its colourful Cubist villa, while also expanding artist Jacques Majorelle’s ambitious garden (there are more than 300 plant species) and adding a Berber museum to the grounds.
Souks, Marrakech The souks in Marrakech’s medina allow travellers to experience the energy and thrill of daily market life in the city. Kick things off by shopping for souvenirs and textiles under the iron trellis of Souk Semmarine and make your way along the labyrinth of shops to Souk Zrabia (rugs), Souk Cherratin (leather) and Souk el Attarin (spices and perfumes).