Our favourite towns, villages, and accommodations in Morocco
The best places to stay in towns in Morocco are located in the heart of the Medina and are called Riad. What is a Riad? Simply put, it is a traditional town house with a central garden courtyard from whence it gets its name. The large terrace on the top floor was used to communicate with the neighbours and the household chores. Nowadays the terrace has a more “European” purpose and is used as dining room or leisure area. Peaceful and Zen like, they are usually located in the old part of town or Medina, where they act as an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the city. A good number are now owned by European ex-pats.
The most beautiful towns and villages in Morocco:
Marrakesh: Marrakech is undoubtedly one of the greatest cities in North Africa, not to mention Morocco itself. The bustle of the Medina, palm-lined streets, and red-earth walls all make for a memorable stay. Visit our guide to the red city, where we give you good tips to visit this beautiful city with its souk and charming Riads and luxury hotels.
Agadir: Southern Morocco's most popular city and a sought-after tourist destination. Agadir is also a good base from which to visit the numerous interesting places to see that are within driving distance.
Casablanca: Also known as Dar el Baida, Casablanca is essentially the capital of Morocco and in many respects resembles a Southern European city. European travellers should find it easy to feel at home here and enjoy its lifestyle.
Fez: Much of Fez still holds on to its French roots and you will no doubt be hooked by its Francophile sights, sounds and colourful smells. It has enough attractions too keep you busy for a few days.
Erfoud: Erfoud is located right on the border of the Sahara Desert. Unsurprisingly, it makes for an excellent base for exploring the desert, 4x4 tours and camel trips. Home of the Moroccan specialty 'kalia'.
Tangier: Tangier, also known as the White City, Tangier revolves around its port where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean. There are beautiful beaches to enjoy and it is a lively city in its own right.
Meknes is a fascinating city to visit in Morocco. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Meknes has a rich history and impressive architecture. Places of interest include the Bab Mansour Gate, theMedersa Bou Inania, the Mausoleum of Moulay Ismail and the granaries of Heri es-Souani. The city also has a less touristy atmosphere compared to Marrakech or Fes, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in authentic Moroccan life.
Tinghir, situated at the foot of the Atlas Mountains, is notable for its houses surrounding an oasis, creating a striking contrast with the aridity of the Todra Valley. The attraction of this Moroccan town is further enhanced by the Ksar Ait Mhamed, an ancient castle that still stands guard over the region.
Ait Ben Haddou, located in the Ounila Valley, stands out as an impressive citadel in the High Atlas, and preserves its historical splendour, attracting adventurers en route to Ouarzazate. This World Heritage Site, with its thousands of gates, offers a living experience and has been the setting for famous films such as Lawrence of Arabia and Gladiator.
Chefchaouen, in northern Morocco, is known for the indigo blue colour of the walls of its houses, which is supposedly used to keep out flies and mosquitoes. The citadel and the great mosque around Uta-el-Hammam stand out. Surrounded by the Rif Mountains, Chefchaouen offers a peaceful atmosphere in a very beautiful setting.
El Jadida, with its Portuguese roots, exhibits architecture that fuses Iberian and Moroccan elements. Its outstanding UNESCO monuments, such as the Mazagan fortress, the Cistern, and the Manueline-style Church of the Assumption, tell the rich history of the place. The medina, with its minarets and lively atmosphere, provides a fascinating experience, revealing the harmonious coexistence of historical heritage and modern life in Morocco.
Asilah, a charming coastal town in northwest Morocco, combines the chaotic mystery of the medinas with the serenity of the sea. A great wall surrounds a beautiful medina of picturesque streets lined with blue and white houses. Asilah is also home to cultural sites such as the palace. The nearby beaches and the combination of culture, history and art make Asilah an interesting and enjoyable destination.
Imlil, perched in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, serves as a starting point for exploring the famous Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in North Africa. This picturesque mountain village offers scenic trails, cultural authenticity, and the opportunity to immerse yourself in Berber life. With its spectacular location, Imlil attracts hikers by being a greener marrucos like a calm and beautiful oasis.
Merzouga, located on the threshold of the Sahara next to the Erg Chebbi, offers the fabulous views on the vast dunes that can reach 150 metres in height. This enclave evokes the sensation of being on the edge of civilisation, facing the imposing beauty and immensity of the desert, generating an experience somewhere between awe and peace.
Moulay Idriss, a town of narrow streets lined with white houses, attracts visitors with its shrine to the Idris dynasty, a pioneer of Muslim colonisation. Long a sacred place closed to non-Muslims, today visitors can explore the city and enjoy its historical and spiritual atmosphere, and travellers can explore Volubilis, the best-preserved Roman site in North Africa.
Zagora is a city in southern Morocco, located in the Draa River Valley. Known for its desert landscape and proximity to the Sahara, Zagora offers a unique experience. Its medina has a lively souk, surrounded by palm groves that contrast with the arid surroundings. Zagora is also a starting point for exploring the impressive Draa Gorges and the Kasbahs (fortresses) in the desert, which are part of the region's tourist attraction. In addition, the town retains the remains of an Almoravid palace, adding to its historic charm.
Mountains: The High Atlas is the biggest mountain range in North Africa and offers an impressive range of activities, including, mountain biking, hiking trails and mountain photography. Its high peaks (over 4000 metres) provoke a high level of rainfall and so it boasts many fertile valleys surrounded by rivers and waterfalls. It all makes for some breathtaking sights that should not be missed and which cover some of the most beautiful regions of Morocco. The villages in the High Atlas are small but thriving and home to the Berbers - enduring, hospitable, and very friendly people.