Exotic Morocco has long been a popular destination with UK travellers wanting a bit of spice on holiday. Flights to Morocco take a mere three hours from the UK, but culturally the country feels a lifetime away. In the bustling souks of Marrakech, everything under the sun is for sale, from spices and chickens, to carpets and babouches. The central square, the Djemma el-Fna, is the location for snake charmers and water pedlars, while story tellers weave their spells under the long shadow of the Koutoubia Mosque. As the sun sets, the food stalls open up, luring tourists and locals to the square to eat and socialise.

Take a trip back in time and visit Morocco’s religious capital, Fez. Get lost in the medieval city’s preserved medieval labyrinth of alleys and streets, stopping only for a cup of pungent mint tea in a local outdoor café. Along the coast, towns such as laidback Essouira, boast whitewashed riads, set against blue skies and blue seas. Further down the coast, modern resorts have sprung up in Agadir and around, popular with package tours. Adventure seekers can head off the beaten track; it's possible to take camel rides across the desert, ski on the  high Atlas Mountains, and to sleep out under the stars in Erg Chebbi.

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Morocco climate

Extreme inland, but cooler and more pleasant closer to the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Temperatures in Marrakech average 21 degrees in the winter and 38 degrees in the summer. The Atlas Mountains have snow nearly all year round, and temperatures sometimes fall below -17 degrees. During the winter, the north is wet and rainy, but the south is dry and very cold as it approaches the Moroccan Sahara.

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When to fly to Morocco

Peak Season:

Morocco enjoys warm temperatures year-round (July and August are the hottest months) with some rain between November and March, but the weather varies according to where you visit. Temperatures are high in the south and in the desert area. In the mountainous regions of the country, it is cooler.

In February the almond tree blossom festival takes place in Tafraoute.

In April and May, the south, mountains, and Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts enjoy perfect weather.

May has a number of public holidays including Eid El-Mawlid, a privilege holiday for the Queen's Birthday and the late May bank holiday.

Off Season:

Away from the coast the summer months of July and August may be unbearably hot for many travellers.

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Getting around Morocco

Royal Air Maroc offers domestic Morocco flights from Casablanca. There is a limited train network in Morocco, but fares are reasonable. Shared taxis - carrying up to six passengers - are very popular and are a cheap way to get around the country. The bus system is regular and cheap with a good network. Ferries operate from Algeciras to Tangier and from Sete in France to Tangier. There are also services between Gibraltar and Tangier.

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Morocco insider information

  • Marrakech, the “red city”, sits against the High Atlas Mountains. The heartbeat of the city is Djemaa el-Fna, the famous square, which attracts the colourful street performers such as the snake charmers, musicians, acrobats and storytellers. The busy souks (markets) are worth a visit too.
  • Fez el-Bali (Old Fez) medina dates from the 8th century. It has all the charm one would expect from one of the biggest living medieval cities in the world: a maze of souks; the Place an-Nejjarine with its Nejjarine Museum of Wood Arts and Crafts; Qaraouyine University, founded in 859; and the tanners’ quarter with its giant vats of dye and accompanying smell (some would say “stench”) of curing skins. Fez el Djedid is new Fez, established in the 13th century, and home to the Royal Palace, the Mellah, the Jewish quarter, and more souks. Ville Nouvelle, built by the French, is the youngest part of the city. It has wide boulevards and tree-lined avenues.
  • The Atlantic Coast of Morocco takes in the towns of Essaouira, very popular with wind surfers as well as sun worshippers, and Agadir, where the kasbah offers fantastic views over the town.
  • “Play it again Sam” Casablanca, the fabled port city boasts the Hassan II Mosque, built in the 1980s by King Hassan II. It is the world’s second-largest religious building after Mecca. Other noted features are its minaret (the world’s tallest) and the fact that it was built on reclaimed land on a promontory looking out towards the Atlantic Ocean; the water can be seen through a glass floor. It cost up to $800 million to build.
  • Rabat, the capital, overlooks the Atlantic. Tourist must-sees include the Mausoleum of Mohammed V, Hassan Tower and Andalusian gardens, popular with the women of Rabat. Nearby, see the Necropolis of Chellah, the medieval ruins.

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Morocco airports

Mohammed V International Airport (CMN) is located in Nouasseur, a suburb 30km (18 miles) south-east of Casablanca

Tangier Ibn Battouta Airport (TNG) (website: www.onda.ma) is 11km (7 miles) from Tangier.

Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK) is 6km (4 miles) from Marrakech.

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Passport/Visa

You do not need a visa for visits that last less than 90 days.

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Entry requirements

Travellers need a valid passport to enter the country.

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Oonagh Shiel
Content Manager at Cheapflights whose travel life can be best summed up as BC (before children) and PC (post children). We only travel during the school holidays so short-haul trips and staycations are our specialities!
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    Cheap flights to Morocco

    London (LGW) to Agadir, Morocco (AGA)
    from£69RTwith Thomson
    London (LGW) to Agadir, Morocco (AGA)
    from£79RTwith Thomson
    London (LGW) to Marrakech, Morocco (RAK)
    from£79RTwith Thomson
    London (LGW) to Agadir, Morocco (AGA)
    from£79RTwith Thomson
    London (LGW) to Marrakech, Morocco (RAK)
    from£79RTwith Thomson
    London (LGW) to Agadir, Morocco (AGA)
    from£79RTwith Thomson
    London (LGW) to Marrakech, Morocco (RAK)
    from£79RTwith Thomson
    London (LGW) to Agadir, Morocco (AGA)
    from£81RTwith Thomson
    London (LGW) to Marrakech, Morocco (RAK)
    from£81RTwith Thomson
    London (LGW) to Agadir, Morocco (AGA)
    from£99RTwith Thomson

    Approx flight times

    Gatwick to Al Massira:
    3 hr 52 mins
    Heathrow to Mohammed V:
    3 hr 17 mins
    Heathrow to Menara:
    4 hr 41 mins
    Gatwick to Menara:
    3 hr 31 mins
    Heathrow to Boukhalef:
    2 hr 51 mins

    In-flight reading

    The Sheltering Sky

    Paul BowlesA masterpiece. The story of Port and Kit Moresby, a married couple, who travel to the North African desert with their friend Tunner in the years following the Second World War.

    Wedding by the Sea

    Abdelkader BenaliLamarat Minar, who has returned to North Africa from the Netherlands for a family wedding, must search the local brothels for his drunken Uncle Mosa, who has run from his own nuptials.

    The Effect of Living Backwards

    Heidi JulavitsSisters Alice and Edith are flying to Morocco for Edith’s wedding when the plane is hijacked or is it?

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