Top family-friendly places to visit in Morocco

For families looking for an adventure within easy reach of the UK, we couldn’t recommend Morocco more. With its ancient medinas, hectic souks, off-the-beaten-track Kasbahs and thrilling desertscapes to explore, as well as its brilliant Atlantic and Mediterranean beaches, it’s a whole other world less than four hours’ flight away.

Top family-friendly places to visit in Morocco

Morocco is fabulous at any time of year, although we particularly recommend spring and autumn for their milder temperatures. But even in the height of summer, the Atlantic coast is kept relatively moderate by the winds. Around the holy month of Ramadan, opening hours at museums and other sites may be shorter, but there’s an even more lively atmosphere in the streets in the evenings so this is another fantastic time to go.

Marrakech

Marrakech is a must-see, full of winding derbs (alleyways) to get lost in and bazaars full of pungent spices and glittering trinkets. Don’t miss a dusk trip to the main square, Jemaa el-Fna, to see storytellers, snake-charmers and acrobats in action. Children (and adults) also love the vibrant blue hues and towering cacti of the Le Jardin Majorelle botanical gardens.

Agafay

For desert experiences within easy reach of Marrakech, without venturing out into the Sahara (relatively little of which is in Morocco), we recommend Agafay with its luxury tented camps and its adventures including camel rides, quad-biking and stargazing. You can also go hot-air ballooning over the desert close to Marrakech, as well as elsewhere in the country.

Essaouira

Essaouira is another exciting city – located on the Atlantic coast, with its medina and souk along with dramatic seafront ramparts. Kitesurfing and surfing lessons are in ample supply on the beach, along with horse-riding and quad-biking, making this former pirates’ lair the perfect destination for active kids.

Agadir

Another great Atlantic beach destination for families is Agadir, with its great stretches of sand which are perfect for surfing, kitesurfing, and windsurfing, and lots of family-friendly places to stay. The best time for watersports fans is March to mid-September, due to the north-east trade winds. Alternatively, the Mediterranean coast has a lot to offer families, especially around the Tétouan area with its quieter little beaches and traditional fishing villages.

Atlas Mountains

The snow-capped Atlas Mountains are an adventure in themselves, with wonderful hikes to be done. On the other side of them from Marrakech lies Ait Benhaddou Kasbah, familiar to many as a filming location for epic movies including Gladiator and Lawrence of Arabia, with a labyrinth of red mud-clay towers and fortifications. The southern Atlas is a great place for learning about the lives of the local Berber people by visiting their villages tucked away in the folds of the mountains.

Another adventurous spot situated over the Atlas Mountains from Marrakech is the Telouet Kasbah, along the former route of the caravans from the Sahara. Also called the Palace of Glaoui, this is more remote than the Ait Benhaddou Kasbah and for that reason perhaps even more evocative. The city of Ouarzazate south of the High Atlas is also stupendous. The gateway to the Sahara Desert, it’s home to the vast Taourirt Kasbah with its 19th-century palace and glorious views over the surrounding landscape.

Lastly, food is a highlight of any trip to Morocco, and though global dishes are available in major destinations, many children love delving into the delicious national cuisine: tagines, couscous, kebabs, briouats (savoury pastries), honey and sesame seed pancakes and sweet mint tea, to mention just a few of the treats in store for you.

To book your Morocco family holiday or for more inspiration, call your Travel Counsellor today.

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