Ignore the flight times. As soon as the first mint tea is ceremonially poured, Morocco feels far further than its hour from Spain. From the cosmopolitan Mediterranean cities via the Atlas Mountains, where villages seem locked in time, to desert kasbahs on southern oases, it’s self-evident you’re in Africa. Visit the medieval medinas of Fez and Marrakech for a slice of exotic yet approachable Morocco (couple this with a beach break at Essaouria) or head to Merzouga and Ouarzazate to live out Lawrence of Arabia fantasies. Either way, this is a deeply traditional Islamic culture.
That’s not to say Morocco isn’t accommodating; Moroccan people are incredibly friendly, especially if you speak French, and traditional riads are scrubbed up into palatial small hotels at bargain prices. My dream trip? A few nights in a luxury desert camp in the Agafay desert – empty bleached landscapes and silent nights boiling with stars. Magic.