Why Morocco is great for family holidays
Where else can you hop on a plane in Europe and just a few hours later arrive in a North African kaleidoscope of colourful desert, soaring mountains, bustling souks – and grumpy camels? Morocco offers a heady mix of the exotic and the practical, an exciting cultural experience for curious families coupled with world-class hotels, great food and child-friendly activities.
Marrakech should be your first stop, a thrilling honeypot of experiences, with its world-famous Medina, vibrant souks, historic buildings and beautiful riad hotels – cool havens from the bustle outside. Nearby, visit ancient Berber villages and hike in the Atlas Mountains, or head south towards the Sahara and the sand dunes of Ouarzazate.
At the coast are wild beaches and pretty seaside towns, while the ancient city of Fez feels even more like a film set, with atmospheric alleys, fewer tourists and the oldest mediaeval medina in the world.
Why is Morocco perfect for families?
Morocco is perfect for family travel, and children are welcomed with open arms everywhere. It is a great option for autumn, winter and spring, too, when temperatures are lower but the sun rarely doesn’t shine.
The larger hotels and resorts cater well for younger kids (and tend to have pools), while the more historic riad hotels are generally better suited to families with older children and teens. The food, while fragrant and exotic, is rarely spicy and includes child-friendly options such as couscous and tagine pretty much anywhere. The bigger cities offer a wide variety of western food.
In Marrakech, kids can learn to haggle for trinkets, jewellery and spices in the souk, marvel at snake charmers and acrobats in Jemaa el-Fna square, and explore the beautiful nooks and crannies of the Jardins Majorelles, designed by Yves Saint Laurent. Opt for a treasure hunt through the Medina to discover its secret corners, or take a camel ride around the outskirts.
Head to the desert and sleep out under the stars in a Bedouin camp, traversing the dunes by four-wheel-drive or camel. The Atlantic coast is known for its windswept, gold-sand beaches, popular with kitesurfers and surfers. Our favourite seaside town is Essouria, with its walled medina, or travel south for surf camps aimed at the whole family.
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Where to stay in Morocco?
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