Morocco is one of the most intoxicating destinations on earth. It’s bold, bright, colourful and unapologetically chaotic. It’s also only a stones throw away from Europe and is easily the closest place to home with the biggest cultural difference. From London, it’s only a three hour flight, making it a perfect two week getaway when you’re craving a bit of exotic-ness. I love the country, and was lucky enough to travel through some of its most colourful cities; tasting delicious food, meeting the amazing locals and of course, shopping for Moroccan crafts galore.

If you’re considering a ten day getaway to this amazing country sometime soon, here are my recommendations for Morocco.


Fez (2 Days)

We begin with Fez, due to the cheap flights into the country from all over Europe. Unlike Marrakesh, Fez is an up and coming destination and that means it isn’t too touristy, still cheap and feels very authentically Moroccan. I fell in love with Fez instantly. The streets are winding, white washed and adorned with blue mosaic walls. Turn a corner and you’ll find hidden mosques, vibrant markets and trailing staircases leading to view points across the picturesque old city. The locals here are some of the friendliest in the whole country, and the medina provides some of the best shopping and eating in a country that does shopping and eating very well indeed!

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My recommendations for Fez basically start with getting yourself very lost in the medina streets. This is a huge maze of a place and it’ll take you a couple of days to get your head around where you are. There is great street food and plenty of places to cool off with a pot of fresh mint tea or some freshly squeezed orange juice. The one must see of the medina is the leather tanneries with the famous pools of dye. Often you will be dragged to these by young boys who work as guides and then force you into the accompanying leather shop where you will receive a very heavy sales technique at some over priced products. Give the guide a tip and politely decline, you’ll find cheaper goods back in the medina.

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Marrakesh (3 Days)

We have all heard about the madness of Marrakesh and anyone who has been lucky enough to visit will know that everything you’ve heard is true! Morocco’s red city is without a doubt a highlight of the whole country, centred around the night market of the Jemaa el-Fnaa which buzzes with the smells of flaming grills, roasting snails and hums with the sounds of local bands and snake charmers which dot every corner of the square. This place is a delight for our senses, and to get a full picture of it, make sure you climb to one of the squares many rooftop restaurants to watch the scenes happening below.

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During the day, Marrakesh medina is the perfect place to shop for Moroccan clothes and home furnishings, try a fresh orange juice in the square, or chill out on the rooftop of your Riad. There are some beautiful mosques dotted around the city, or you can enjoy the stunning Bahia Palace. You’ll never be bored in Marrakesh, but be warned that this place is filled with touts and tourists, and for some that can be overwhelming. Which is why you’ll be glad to escape to our next spot…

Read our Travelettes guide to Modern Marrakesh for more on this amazing city!

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Essaouira (3 Days)

Just as Marrakesh is getting a little much, hop on a bus to the beautiful seaside town of Essaouira. Here you’ll find a much more laid back pace of living, white washed walls, blue boats and a vibrant harbour front. Located in an old fort, the city of Essaouira feels a little like the South of France, and you’ll even find the odd crepe restaurant down the wide medina streets.

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The beach is famous for being incredibly windy, and might not be the most suitable place for a swim (if you do fancy it – it’s quite a conservative place and bikini’s are not advised). Instead, enjoy wandering around the harbours, admire the local street life in the night market and enjoy ocean views from the fort walls. Essaouira is primarily about the way of life, and has the reputation of being somewhat of a hippie town, particularly back in the 1960’s when Jimi Hendrix was said to have made a few visits. Now, it’s filled with boutique shops, with some beautiful local handicrafts on sale.

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Chefchaouen (2 Days)

From Essaouira, climb deep into the Rif Mountains to the stunning blue city of Chefchaouen. This is a place of dreams, a tiny, car free medina all painted a variety of shades of blue, each street filled with rainbow fabrics, artist workshops and leading to open court yards serving fresh juice and steaming mint teas.

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For the perfect sunset view, walk up to the little chapel on the hill, from where you can glimpse back at the whole town. On certain days, Berber markets take place in the streets of the old city, don’t miss it if you can, as you’ll catch locals in traditional dress and a wonderful atmosphere down some of the tiniest lanes.

From Chefchaouen, it’s a bus journey back to Fez to catch your flight home.

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Travel Tips

  • From London, it’s a three hour flight to Fez airport on Ryanair, prices start from £19 one way.
  • There’s an abundant of quality and budget accommodation in Morocco, from hostels to luxury Riads. All the destinations listed have a huge variety, so check online or check around a few places on arrival before committing.
  • Most Europeans don’t need a visa to visit Morocco for up to a 3 month stay, if you are from outside Europe, check your country requirements.
  • Morocco is a conservative country but tourism is a huge industry and it’s easy to dress as you like in places like Marrakesh and the seaside resort towns. In places such as Fez and Chefchaouen, it’s advisable for women to cover their knees and shoulders as a sign of respect for the local culture.
  • In some places, local people are sensitive about being photographed, so always ask permission where possible and expect to be asked for money in exchange for the photo.
  • Morocco is a shoppers paradise, but remember to bargain hard!

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How to Spend 10 Days in Morocco |

All photographs by Annapurna Mellor