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Exploring Africa needn’t involve travelling vast distances. Morocco’s proximity to Europe makes it a prime location for dipping a toe into this magnificent continent.
Lying on Africa’s north coast, Morocco’s rugged mountainous terrain, twinkling blue coastlines and blend of Roman remains and Arabic architecture make it a truly unique getaway.
It may seem counterintuitive, but Morocco’s off-season generally leans towards the summer months of July and August, when the blistering heat proves a little much for many tourists.
That said, along the coast, the summer months are sometimes busier thanks to the refreshing waters of the Atlantic.
In addition, Morocco hosts many annual festivals such as the Marrakech International Biennale from February to May, and the World Sacred Music Festival in Fez, which takes place in the summer.
Since the high and low seasons in Morocco vary annually, and depend on which city you are visiting, your best bet for finding cheap flights is to cast your net wide.
When searching, be sure to click the ‘Nearby Airports’ option under your chosen departure location. This will allow you to explore flights from other airports in the UK, meaning you can secure the best deal.
If travelling from London, selecting ‘All London Airports’ will also help widen the search.
Morocco also has a number of destinations you can fly to, each catering to different airlines and types of tourist, so be sure to investigate the various arrival options before booking.
The most direct flights to Morocco from the UK fly from London. However, if you don’t mind including a stopover, you can fly from a number of airports around the UK.
While flight times vary, finding one with an additional stopover can sometimes help reduce costs.
Here are the most direct flight times from London to Morocco’s main airports:
The largest and busiest airport in Morocco is Mohammed V International Airport in Casablanca. While most long haul flights land and take off here, there are also regular short haul flights to Marrakech, Rabat, Fes and Agadir from the UK and mainland Europe.
Among them, Morocco’s airports serve a good mix of high-end and budget airlines, giving you more choice.
Morocco’s larger cities all offer excellent cab services, both for getting about and for hopping to nearby towns and villages.
Buses run between towns and cities too, although these can be a little overcrowded, which in the blistering heat can make for a prickly journey. The drivers can also be a little overzealous by British standards.
However, for visitors who prefer their rides a little less high-octane, Morocco boasts one of the best train services in Africa. It links all the major towns and cities and is affordable too, making this the preferred option for most visitors.
Morocco summons up images of parched deserts, sandstone palaces, temples and shrines, and there is certainly no shortage of these to explore.
The country’s cities are also vibrant and hectic, with the dusty streets of Marrakech particularly renowned for their bustling bazaars.
Beyond the cities however, there are pockets of verdant greenery to be found in the desert landscape. For example, about two and a half hours drive northeast of Marrakech lie the magnificent Ouzoud Falls. Tumbling over sandstone into a lush green network of gorges, they are interwoven with paths shaded by olive trees. A true diamond in the rough.
British nationals don’t require a visa to visit Morocco (for visits of up to three months) but there are a few cultural differences to be aware of. The main one to bear in mind is that Morocco is an Islamic country with conservative values. So, while it may be tempting to peel off the layers in the desert heat, modest dress is required here. Specifically, this means covering the arms to the elbow, the legs to the knee and ensuring the chest is not exposed. Public displays of affection should also be avoided. However, as long as one remains respectful and stays attuned to the behaviour of the locals, your visit needn’t be hindered in any way.