WHY YOU SHOULD GODiscover Morocco’s north with its laid back and colourful cities, exploring the souks and sights of the blue city, Rabat, before stepping back in time to the colourful medinas of Fez. Wind even further north to the peaceful beauty of Chefchaouen, taking in the laid-back luxuries of Berber mountain life.
Maybe you’ve done the Marrakech route or you’re craving to deepen your thirst for more authentic Moroccan culture. If so, you’re in luck. The less trodden paths of the Northern region of this fascinating country are bursting with quaint romantic cities, awe-inspiring roman ruins, and stretches of beautiful coastline. So escape the crowds and delve deeper into the artistic, historical Morocco that’s captured our hearts.
Stunning coastlines and ancient medinas
Intense blue skies, the rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean, and gleaming white architecture; it’s not called the blue and white city for nothing. History has certainly left its mark on Rabat, with monuments and towers reaching to the skies to honour national heroes dating back to the 7th century. Touch down in Casablanca, and transfer straight to Rabat, settle into your gorgeous Riad Kalaa, right in the heart of the old medina.
A smaller, calmer version of Casablanca, this city is packed with just as much charm; think elegant tree-lined boulevards, with a distinctive European feel and imposing architecture dominating the skyline. With a private guide at your side, wander the ancient medina and savour the heady aroma of spices whilst you browse for that must-have pair of leather slippers. Explore the sea front with its crumbling fortress walls as you gallop past on horseback, and enjoy the rest of the afternoon sitting back, relaxing with a flavoursome Moorish coffee while watching sail boats bob on the horizon. Make sure to stop off at the nearby town of Sale, renowned for its beautifully manicured gardens and sunsets over the Bou Regreg River. Simply breathtaking. For those looking for some adrenaline-inducing activities then grab your surf board and hit the waves at one of Morocco’s most infamous surf spots, pretty gnarly.
Step back in time in Fez
Next stop the imperial wonder of Fez for an intriguing mix of culture, history and smoking hot art. Shed the stereotypes of men in little red hats and experience the vibrant North African spirit alive and kicking in this city. Exploring Fez’s souks and its myriad of secret alleyways is like stepping back in time to medieval Morocco. Hole up for three nights at the timeless Dar Roumana and explore the streets by foot. With no cars allowed in the medina it’s the best way to get up close to this gorgeous city. A feast for the eyes, Fez is known for its array of colour. Around every corner seek out intricate mosaics, and towers in the rich green shades of Islam. Some of the most beautiful Moroccan ceramics come from this region; in a striking shade of cobalt blue, the signature style pottery is renowned throughout North Africa. For a picnic with a side helping of history head to the Volubilis Roman settlement dating back to the 3rd century, where you can lunch amongst imposing pillars and elaborate mosaics, all remarkably still intact. And end your day in true Roman style, with a splash of wine from the Domaine de la Zouina Vineyard, one of Morocco’s finest vineyard.
Our little secret: Chefchaouen
Following the splendour of Fez, journey into the rural landscape for some authentic Berber culture. Nestled away in the heart of the rugged Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen is a quaint town known for its spotless streets and beautiful blue washed buildings that illuminate the dramatic scenery against piercing blue skies. Imagine white cobbled stairways entwined with the twisted roots of ancient olive trees, an idyllic setting where the aromatic scents of Aragon oils and spices fill the air. Spend two nights at the Dar Gabriel, and really immerse yourself in the mountain way of life with an authentic Berber Hamman, trust us you’ll never feel cleaner. For some picture perfect views (just don’t forget your camera) visit the nearby Jabel National Reserve. Known for its serene beauty and impressive caves, the park is the perfect stop-off for those wanting to trek in the Rif Mountains and get a taste for the great Moroccan wilderness.
Take a different perspective on classic Morocco, and discover the magic of its relaxed Northern cities filled with culture and ancient history, backed up with some jaw dropping scenery, quite a trip we think.