Morocco is one of Africa's most exciting and accessible destinations. Much mythologised, the country and its main attractions are rightly feted as examples of the exotic. Less than ten miles from mainland Europe, a quick ferry ride across the Strait of Gibraltar, it's a world of bustling souks, gorgeous beaches, spectacular mountain ranges and the eternal sands of the Sahara.
Holidays to Morocco offer visitors a vast range of potential attractions and travel in Morocco is perhaps easier than anywhere else on the African continent, due in no small part to its well-trodden tourist trail. Yet there's still the chance to step away from the beaten track, visiting hidden markets in medieval towns, exploring atmospheric medinas and soaking in a traditional hammam to get a sense of the real Morocco.
Of course, you won't want to miss the great imperial cities of Fez and Marrakech, with their ancient stone streets and lively markets, which dance to the sounds of the Adhan, the Islamic call to prayer. Watch the wondrous array of story tellers, acrobats, musicians and snake charmers perform amongst the open-air food stalls of Marrakech's legendary Djemaa El Fna market.
On the Atlantic coast, the pretty towns of Agadir and Essaouira attract surfers and kite surfers who come to ride the waves, while in Casablanca you'll find the largest mosque in the world – the imposing Hasan II Mosque has sufficient space for 100,000 worshippers and boasts a 200m tall minaret. Alternatively, step back in time at Volubilis, Morocco's largest Roman ruin.
Inland, the dramatic Atlas Mountains are home to crumbling kasbahs and hidden Berber communities, tied together with craggy mountain passes and excellent trekking routes. Scramble around North Africa's highest peak, Jbel Toubkal, or hike the challenging Todra Gorge, staying overnight at a home-stay to experience warm Berber hospitality.