Morocco's medinas, jam-packed full of wares from embroidered slippers to hand-painted tagines, take you back several hundred years, especially the labyrinthine alleyways of Fes in northern Morocco, which have to be seen to be believed (and you'll need a guide to avoid getting lost!). Once you've checked into your luxury riad in Marrakech, you'll soon find yourself haggling over exquisite carpets in the souks while sipping mint tea. Afterwards, watch the snake charmers in Jemaa el Fna, the main square and central hub of the city, where you'll also be able to pick up a tasty evening meal in the nightly food markets, as the air fills with tangy smoke and the square fills with musicians and entertainers.

The mighty Atlas Mountains, a Moroccan landmark that can be seen all around Marrakech, are well worth a visit for superb trekking in spectacular snowy peaks, or for something more relaxing, stay at a traditional kasbah and enjoy blissful seclusion, surrounded by stunning countryside. Or try your hand at windsurfing from Essaouira's blustery beaches: here you'll also find a charming fishing port and the freshest of seafood.

Don't miss a chance to experience the desert on your Moroccan holiday. Ouarzazate offers a real taste of the desert lifestyle, with gorges and valleys to explore, as well as sand dunes. This is an ideal stopover en-route to the legendary Sahara, where you can lose yourself in the endless desert sands. Meanwhile, there's a hidden desert gem just outside Marrakech that's also well worth exploring - the atmospheric landscapes of Agafay are only an hour away, for an exotic combination of city and desert.

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HIGHLIGHTS OF MOROCCO

Pampering fit for a sultan in Morocco’s traditional hammams: sink into petal scattered pools, inhale the wonderfully exotic fragrances, and brace yourself for invigorating hydrotherapy and salt scrubs.

Seriously glamorous camping at Richard Branson’s hideout, Kasbah Tamadot. This involves sleeping in an opulently draped Berber tent, sipping mint tea with stunning views over the Atlas Mountains, and enjoying some of the best stargazing in the world.

Weaving your way through the thronging souks of Marrakech amongst snake charmers, rainbow coloured spice markets, and effervescent street performers. As well as haggling for ornate lamps and bejewelled slippers, braver explorers can sample street food delicacies such as sheep’s brain.

Adopting the blissfully simple life of the locals, and immersing yourself in the Atlas Mountains. At the foot of North Africa's highest peak, with just rough tracks and narrow paths linking you with the outside world, this is a trekker’s paradise.

Hot air balloon rides over the Atlas Mountains. Aside from dramatic 4X4 rides, this is the best way to experience the spectacular mountains – washed in pinks and oranges, and scattered with aromatic flora and fauna.

The surf. Those looking to catch some waves should make their way to the beaches of Essaouira or Agadir, Morocco’s top surf spots.

HOLIDAYS IN MOROCCO HANDPICKED BY EXSUS

PLACES TO STAY IN MOROCO HANDPICKED BY EXSUS

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