Whitewashed buildings and cobbled streets, Asilah is a popular town by the sea, south of Tangier. This is an extremely picturesque town with a very Greek look. The medina is full of character and small shops with no traffic. The best beaches will require transport (horse drawn carriages available) and are very popular. We advise visiting outside of the summer months when they are extremely busy with Moroccan families enjoying their break.
An Authentic seaside town, UNESCO listed Essaouira (known as Swira) sits on Morocco’s west coast a couple of hours from Marrakech. An alluring, unspoilt destination with a tangible North African feel – now reached by direct flights from London.
With an all year round, warm, sunny climate cooled by the Atlantic breezes, Essaouira is a welcome relief from the searing heat of Marrakech in the summer months. A melting pot of locals and foreigners who came and stayed, have created a laid back, atmospheric and intriguing resort. Windsurfers love Swira’s shallow, clean waters and it’s the Atlantic Trade winds that have ensured the large scale operators stay out and the character stays in.
There are times of the year when the ten kilometres of sandy beach are for looking at but not sitting on and that’s when you’ll appreciate that this is a working town with plenty to see. The fishing harbour is thriving and with the smell of citrus and spice in the air, you can have their fresh daily catch grilled for you on hot coals at the open air stands. The medina has pretty, narrow lanes crammed with houses adorned with cobalt blue shutters and doorways. Just as important to locals as to tourists and the woodworkers are still crafting their thuya wood as though time has stood still.
Perfect for pottering, the souks are hassle free in comparison to Marrakech. Renowned for its rich and varied handicrafts, there are zocos (markets) all over the city filled with textiles, jewellery, ceramics, musical instruments and handmade wooden items. Art galleries, bars and small boutique shops are nestled between an abundance of café’s – perfect for people watching and chatting with the locals while sipping mint tea and chilling out. Established in the 18th century as Morocco’s principal port, exporting goods brought from the caravan route from Timbuktu through desert and mountains. Moroccan Jews were encouraged to settle here in order to handle the European trade, with many Jewish buildings remaining in the “mellah” today.
For real surfing enthusiasts looking for wind, waves and sunshine, head for Sidi Kaouki. Twenty minutes from Swira, sitting on one of Morocco’s best beaches with an appealing shabby, chic feel – Sidi Kaouki is true escapism. Visit for the day and if the surfing is not your thing, you can ride camels on the golden sands and bargain for silver trinkets and brightly coloured silk scarves. This small Berber village has had electricity for less than a decade and the water still comes from wells.
One of So Morocco’s favourite destinations, this is an idyllic seaside town. Situated on the Southern Atlantic Coast 30 minutes from Tiznit.
Gentle Mirleft with its blue and white buildings hosting cute café’s and shops. A regular souk full of the freshest of produce and the sea visible from many of the streets. Mirleft has a faintly cosmopolitan feel with the added benefit of sheep wandering freely around the town. A number of excellent beaches, busy during Moroccan holidays and often deserted otherwise. A year round gentle climate and clean air with views to die for.
There is a ruined fort high up on a hill and a wide range of activities available due to healthy tourist levels but definitely no chains or big hotels. This charming village retains all of its character and peacefulness and is popular with artists and musicians.
A very Moroccan town, the melodic sounds of the Mosque and Koranic school spill out throughout the day and you will be hard pressed to find somewhere where you will feel more welcome and comfortable.
A pristine seaside town in Southwest Morocco. Formerly occupied by Spain it remained in Spanish hands until 1524.
The hills of Sidi Ifni contain wonderful fading art deco buildings. This was once a base for slave trade operations but today its economic base is fishing.
The blue and white buildings are echoed in the robes of the local people. It’s a quiet port town with a very Spanish feel and the camper vans have discovered that winters are warm in this part of Morocco. There is a moderately sized expat. community here with a hippy feel.
There is a weekly Sunday market and a regular fish market. This is a place that feels isolated and is often misty and windswept but the locals are friendly and if you’re looking for somewhere different – Sidi Ifni is very different.
Strategically Tangier has always been important due to its location at the entrance to the Mediterranean. It attracts eccentricity and over the years became known as a city of refuge with a sleazy reputation.
However, all that has changed, the city has cleaned up its act on an enormous scale and is clean, cultured and well cared for. However, there is still a big rich / poor divide evident here.
Petit Socco Square and its cafes are charming and in the Mendoubia Park you can see a giant Banyan and Dragon tree alleged to be 800 years old.