Expedia’s Australia and New Zealand Marketing Manager Bec embraces the sights, sounds and scenery of Morocco.
There‘s something majestic about Morocco. Perhaps it’s because there’s still a King and he lives in his many palaces or perhaps it’s the romantic notion of camel trekking in the Sahara desert, the crowded narrow alleyways of Marrakech and Fez or the colours and smells in every street market. Being surrounded by all this magic can sometimes leave you a bit disoriented or overwhelmed, but that’s also part of the charm.
Our first port of call is the mystical Marrakech, which has a well-trodden tourist path but you’ll still get lost exploring the intricate laneways. Be wary of your new Moroccan ‘friend’ who may help you out of one laneway but quickly into another featuring their family gift shop. Most of the riads (Morocco’s boutique hotels housed in old palaces) have reputable guides and they’re definitely worth following about for a day.
After a day of discovery, I retreated back to Riad Farnatchi, a beautiful hotel in the Medina (the old town) to soak up the warm Moroccan sun by the pool. Fresh figs and traditional Moroccan mint tea are a refreshing local snack – don’t expect scones and English Breakfast here.
Most of Expedia’s visitors in Morocco head to Marrakech and Casablanca, spending a few days exploring each city. We hired an excellent guide who drove us for four days from Marrakech to Fez via the Atlas mountains and the Saharan desert. This was the absolute highlight of Morocco for me. As we drove high up into the mountains, we came across an arid landscape scattered with Kasbahs and pockets of green valleys.
Riding a young, spritzy donkey, I could have been in a movie set as I approached Ait Benhaddou, an 18th century kasbah built by mud where the likes of The Gladiator and Lawrence of Arabia were filmed. After all this adventure we laid our weary heads at Hotel Xaluca Dades in Boulmane Dades where I felt like I was Wilma Flintstone sleeping in cave-like rooms with mattresses on rocks – surprisingly comfortable.