It’s rare to find countries in which you can find both sand dunes and (nearly) permanent snow, whatever the season – and can travel between the two in a single day. Morocco is one such destination.
In the mountainous heart of the country, visitors gravitate to Jbel Toubkal, North Africa’s highest peak at 13,671 feet/4,167 meters, and the magnificent ski slopes of Ifrane. Elsewhere, travelers enjoy beaches along a 2,200-mile/3,540-kilometer coastline, and venture into the arid splendor of its deserts. The breathtaking beauty of the landscape is matched only by the region’s immense cultural wealth. Little captures the essence of the Cherifian Kingdom better than the names of its magical, mysterious cities: Marrakech, Fez, Meknes and Essaouira, once known as Mogador.
For centuries, visitors have been drawn to the country’s sunlit valleys, sublime kasbahs and mesmerizing medinas. Today, they can follow in the footsteps of figures from the worlds of fashion, literature and fine art, like Yves Saint-Laurent, Matisse, Bacon, Hemingway, Kerouac and Delacroix, all of whom were enchanted by Morocco’s infinite nature, fascinating colors and the kindness of the people they met along the way. On September 8, in the High Atlas, the Moroccan earth shook. Despite the many lives lost and the extensive destruction, the earthquake could not destroy the country’s spirit, nor diminish the land’s uniqueness. In the aftermath of such an event, however, a moral obligation presents itself: to return to Morocco as soon as possible. Tourism is a vital part of the local economy and to journey here is to support those who call it home.
From buzzing souks to secret gardens, calming hammams, shady medinas, grand mausoleums and royal palaces... Morocco’s former imperial cities captivate all those who enter. Rabat, Meknes, Fez and Marrakesh all boast unique architecture and an inimitable atmosphere, and our five properties on this route each take their turn telling the great story of this kingdom and its successive dynasties. A journey to awaken the senses.
Left: Hôtel Le Doge, Casablanca. Right: Château Roslane, El Hajeb
RIAD FÈS, Fès
You’ll hear songs in Jemaa el-Fnaa square and the laughter of children in the heart of the medinas, experience kite flying on the beaches of Essaouira, and enjoy pastries with a thousand flavors, silk and hemp fabrics and embroidery, walks in the wonderful gardens, the scents of saffron, the flavors of argan, and the ancestral cuisine that is passed on for the good of the community. But above all, you’ll marvel at the incredible energy and widespread beauty that tell us that Morocco remains one of the most enchanting countries in the world!
VILLA DES ORANGERS, Marrakech
Left: Heure Bleue Palais, Essaouira. Right: Palais Ronsard, Marrakech