Bordering the Atlantic Ocean on the north-western coast of North Africa is Morocco, a fascinating and scenically diverse country, well-connected to, but culturally a million miles from its European neighbours located just across the Straights of Gibraltar. From Imperial Fes in the north to laid-back Essaouira on the coast, Morocco offers a wide variety of landscapes and a welcoming openness to discovery.
Marrakech in the south of the country draws the majority of visitors to the country. At its heart is Djemaa El-Fna, the main square and social hub. Best witnessed after dark, it is a head-spinning mix of snake charmers, story-tellers, clairvoyants and belly dancers.
Overlooking the city is the Koutoubia mosque. Its 12th century sandstone minaret is the tallest building in the city, providing the early morning call to prayers and an iconic landmark on the city skyline.
But it is through follow-your-nose exploration that Marrakech is best discovered, not least through the labyrinthine souks where shopkeepers barter on everything from carpets and silks, to lamps and argon oil. At night the food stalls in Djemaa El-Fna sizzle and steam, as a mix of locals and tourists dine on grilled meats and fluffy couscous at tables festooned with lightbulbs. For nightlife, Marrakech is starting to rival Ibiza for its range of trendy bars and rooftop cocktails.
Heading out of the city, the High Atlas Mountains quickly rise on the horizon. Day trip hiking and longer expeditions with a guide are popular, visiting Berber villages along the way. On the valley floor, the fertile plains of the Ourika Valley are carpeted with almond and orange orchards, and beyond the dusty town of Ouzazate, the gateway to the desert.
See our collection of Morocco villas below, or contact Nick Westwood on +44 (0)1242 787 811 to discuss your villa requirements in detail.