Morocco has always been a crossroads between Africa, Europe and the Middle East, and nowhere evokes this sense more than Tangier, that faded poster boy for Europeâ€™s often decadent but sometimes creative presence on Moroccan shores. From Tangier, turn south along Moroccoâ€™s Atlantic Coast and youâ€™ll be accompanied by a sea breeze that massages the ramparts of wonderful cities whose names â€“ Essaouira, Casablanca, Asilah, Rabat â€“ and atmosphere carry a whiff of African magic. Travel east along the Mediterranean coast and youâ€™ll be bidden into enchanting towns and the mountains of the Rif.
Morocco is sensory overload at its most intoxicating, from the scents and sounds that permeate the medinas of FÃ¨s and Marrakesh to the astonishing sights of the landscape.
If itâ€™s mountains you love, Morocco has them in abundance, rising from the Rif into the Middle Atlas and on into the extraordinary contours of the High Atlas. This is land custom-built for trekking as you follow quiet mountain trails amid Berber villages and fields of flowers.
Then, suddenly, everything changes. The mountains fissure into precipitous gorges the colour of the earth, mud-brick kasbahs turn blood-red with the setting sun and the sense that one has stumbled into a fairytale takes hold. From rocky fortresses such as these, the Sahara announces its presence in Morocco with perfectly sculpted seas of sand.
At journeyâ€™s end, the solitude of the Sahara is ideal for contemplating why it is that Morocco has such cachet. The answer is simple: there is no place on earth quite like it.
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