FEW countries hold as much dreamy fascination for travellers as the beautiful country of Morocco.
Desert fortresses rise out of the sands of the Sahara. Sapphire oceans caress white sandy beaches. The purple peaks of the Atlas Mountains glitter with snow.
Behind every city wall is an adventure in art, architecture and cuisine. The winding alleyways of the Medina give way to the bustling souks, tent after tent filled with brightly coloured silks and baskets of spices. At the hammam, you can indulge in massages perfumed with scented oils and salt scrubs.
Geographically, Morocco is made up of four different areas: the Sahara desert, full of Berber towns and oases; the Atlas and Rif Mountains, perfect for hikers; the plains which are home to the imperial cities of Marrakesh and Fez; and finally the sandy coastlines of the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, graced by small beach towns and the cities of Rabat and Casablanca.
When to go
Due to the varied geography, the best time to travel Morocco depends on where you are going. In general April and May have the best weather across Morocco. In the Saharan region midsummer should be avoided.
However, the hottest months are lovely for a visit to the coastal cities, like Essaouira and Rabat. Winter months are very cold in the mountains. Desert days are warm and clear during the summer, but temperatures at night can plummet.
It is also important to consider Islamic holidays when you travel to Morocco.
The month of Ramadan involves strict fasting during the day, which can be a present an issue for transportation, but the parties at night can make up for the subdued days.
• Sun tanning and windsurfing in Essaouira
• Shopping the souk in the medieval city of Fez
• Visiting a hammam in Marrakesh
• Ride a camel on the golden sand dunes of Erg Chebbi
• Stroll along the blue walls of Chefchaouen