Marrakesh may be the hub for many Moroccan travellers but even if you start, there be sure to head out into the less travelled areas as there is so much more to discover. From the desert sands of the Sahara to the breezy Mediterranean shores there are vast contrasts to be experienced in this northern tip of the African continent. Going off the beaten track often means a little added risk but as long as you have good travel insurance, it should not concern you.
Take the Train
Travelling by train in Morocco is a pleasant experience on the cheap and reliable services. Even though all services are comfortable, you can upgrade to first-class for a modest fee and benefit from a reserved seat and air-conditioning. To gain the most from your journey make sure to pack a picnic as it is customary to share food, and it would be a pity to miss out. This can be quite a culture shock for those of us more used to a silent British commuter run.
A Trip to the Market
If your trek includes a visit to the Atlas Mountains make a point of stopping off at the Berber market in Orica. Be prepared to be overwhelmed by the clamour, the crowds the smells and the colours, this is not a sanitised tourist trap but thousands of locals, and their donkeys, going about their daily lives. Do avoid booking a guide, as this will merely result in trips to see their relatives, all of whom will want to sell you something.
For a memory that will last a lifetime, why not head for Zagora and join one of the camel treks heading into the Sahara at night. After stopping at an oasis, experiencing local food and culture, the magic begins at dawn when the sun starts to come up, producing one of the best sunrise experiences in the world.
Head for the Coast
Along the Mediterranean coast are little fishing villages nestling between the Rif Mountains and the sea. Here you can see rickety vessels bringing in their catches to be haggled over by numerous vendors. The majority of their catch travels no further than the local market stalls and seafood restaurants where you can enjoy some of the freshest fish, washed down with mint tea.
Morocco was part of the Roman Empire and there are a number of sites to visit, including some spectacular remains at Volubilis, between Fes and Rabat. Free to visit, it takes a good couple of hours to explore the ruins, which are the partially excavated remains of a city, and where you will find some incredible mosaics.