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Tuesday, 9 June 2015 12:00 AM

The Imperial Morocco

Holidays in Morocco are increasingly becoming focussed on Marrakech, but the Imperial cities of the north of Morocco offer a vastly different experience away from the weekend crowds. Here I write about a recent holiday I had to Fez, Meknes and Rabat, all amazing cities to explore and each quite different from each other.

Getting to the North

Marrakech is well served by direct international flights from a variety of airports, hence its increasing popularity, but there are also direct flights to Rabat and Fez (both airports are a short drive outside of the cities).

Also, for those with more time for a longer holiday the northern Imperial cities are connected to Marrakech by a reliable and comfortable rail connection – a route I took myself and found thoroughly relaxing.

The Moroccan Imperial Cities

Fez is the most striking of Moroccan cities, a city seemingly stuck in the middle ages – an ancient walled medina with narrow alleys, normally cobbled, accessible only on foot, donkey or in some places motor scooter. The medina buzzes with life, small shops and small souks (markets) pack the main thoroughfares and small squares and I could sit for hours sipping mint tea watching life go on around me. Fez has some excellent riads to stay at, and our local guide is exceptional.

Our local guide can also take you round Meknes, Fez’s understated sister city a short journey West. Where Meknes is the little sister of Fez in terms of its unique feel – it is more open planned – it more than makes up for in terms of its historical sites and larger souk. Also for those interested in Roman ruins, extending your journey north to Volubilis is well worth while.

Rabat is the final Imperial city in this region, although a couple of hours by train over to the Atlantic coast (on the main line towards Marrakech). Again, this city has a very different feel to it – few tourists visit but it is a lovely places to explore on your own without the need for a guide, wandering from the Kasbah region overlooking the Atlantic inland through the medina to the Chellah just outside the medina walls.

Fascinating Moroccan Holidays

Take your pick on what interest you, we are here to help find the perfect holiday.

Our team of expert consultants have all travelled extensively in Morocco and can find the right accommodation and transport for you to make a truly memorable holiday.

Whilst everyone has their own ideal temperature for a holiday, the peak summer months can be a little especially away from the coast) so get your slates on now or plan ahead for autumn - the perfect time to travel.