Unique, extravagant, and epic travel destinations are in.
While trending destinations seem to vary somewhat depending on the publication or who you talk to, one theme stays the same. Travelers post COVID are looking for that unique, bucket list, epic destination. “Exotic and unusual” destinations are requested, as well as those that “have it all,” meaning culture, history, fun, nightlife, culinary experience and romance.
Friends and family reunion trips are increasingly popular and there is also an increase in milestone celebrations with extended family. Guests are booking longer trips than before COVID as well, making up for lost time when they were unable to travel. Many are still wary of destinations that are too crowded and want to book accommodations that give them space from other guests. Searches for “epic” destinations are trending, as travelers are ready to step out of their comfort zone and book those adventures they have been talking about for years. All the Adventure You Can Handle in One Country.
As I researched the trends, one unique destination popped for me. Morocco. Morocco is the land of mint tea and tagines, where the epic Atlas Mountains rise up with the most incredible shades of crimson making them appear almost like an illusion. These provide jaw-dropping backdrops to fabulously luxurious Hotels, Guest Homes and Riads. Moroccan cities have fascinated Westerners for centuries with its exciting cacophony of sounds, colors and smells that welcome visitors upon their arrival. I don’t know of any other destination in the world where you will find a more eclectic mélange of experiences as in Morocco. In the medinas the sounds of merchants selling their wares and the aromas of mouthwatering tagines brewing is a heady mix of all things magical. Here you will find Berber, Arabic, Jewish and Moorish cultures, oriental spices, city garden as well as desert landscapes and glamorous hideaways… all with that seductive French accent.
An Exotic Gateway to The Old and The New.
Morocco is an exotic gateway to the African continent and its breathtaking landscapes and cultural heritage make it an exciting destination for even the most discerning and well-seasoned traveler. A handcrafted journey will introduce you to the cultural and historical sites of this magical country, while cities such as Marrakech, Fez, Tangier, and Casablanca, offer a balance of ancient traditions and modern-day conveniences.
After an exciting day of taking in the historical sites stretching back nearly 1,000 years, you return to jaw dropping luxurious accommodations that won’t disappoint. Marrakech offers some of the most luxurious accommodations in the world. From beautifully decorated hotels to gorgeous guest homes, Riads and even luxury tents. These “tents” by the way, take glamping to a whole other level. Fun Fact: Strictly speaking, a Riad is a house built around a patio garden and the word actually refers to the garden rather than the house, while Maison d’hôte is French for “guest house”.
There is no shortage of luxury restaurants for your dining pleasure in Morocco. The high-end Hotels and Riads all have fabulous restaurants that are often managed by well-known chefs who serve the finest fare either obtained fresh from the local markets or flown from Europe. You will find that the high-end restaurants will satisfy the most discerning of palates, and if you are a foodie like me, do make time for a Moroccan cooking class. There are several cooking schools, Riads and restaurants that provide the opportunity for visitors to learn how to recreate their favorite food at home. Known as one of the world’s top cuisines, Moroccan food is a mix of flavors and cultures. Sweet mixed with savory, meat and fruit, deliciously spiced vegetables, all capped off with pots of sugary sweet mint tea. Click HERE for a link to foods you must try while in Morocco.
The Pearl of Morocco.
If you have a limited time to visit Morocco and have to choose one city, it should be Marrakech. This city is a pearl polished by history and hospitality and imbued with timeless tradition, refined luxury, cutting-edge couture and Moroccan mystique. While you will find well-known name brand shops in the new city, some of the most exciting finds will still be handmade and antique items available in the old and new souks. A shopper’s paradise! Known as the ‘ochre’ or ‘red’ city thanks to its rosy-hued 11/12th-century walls, an exuberant Marrakech exudes exhilarating exoticism, and boasts a lively and alluring nightlife. This thousand-year-old trading post harbors a rich and turbulent history brimming with breathtaking architecture.
A Beautiful Oasis.
When you head just few hours out of Marrakesh, and you’ll find a completely different landscape. South of the High Atlas Mountains, this sun-kissed stretch of dusty desert is broken up by sand-colored kasbahs and palm-fringed fortified villages. On the Western side of the High Atlas Mountain, there is Kasbah Tamadot which is a retreat belonging to Sir Richard Branson and quite stunning. When you get closer to the desert on the Eastern side of the same range you will find Kasbah Dar Ahlam and you can choose to stay in the Kasbah (which is a renovated fortress) or one of their luxury tents and enjoy a romantic dinner set up in the middle of an oasis. Dar Ahlam means Home of Dreams.
Exploring the desert of southern Morocco in a private tented camp has to be one of the most rewarding experiences ever. For many, the real reason to come to Morocco is to experience the raw untouched wilderness of the desert and to immerse themselves for at least a few days in the extraordinary environment of the Sahara’s indescribable, yet severe natural beauty. Stay at least one night, but I recommend two or three. If you need a time-out from the world for a while, this is the place to be.
Trekking Mount Toubkal
Morocco is home to the highest peak in North Africa, Mount Toubkal rising to 4,167-meters above sea level. During winter months its snow-covered peaks beckon savvy trekkers and the ski resort at Oukaimeden lures skiers from all over the world to try Moroccan powder. Once you traverse the High Atlas and come out on the other side, several hours of driving will take you straight into the Sahara Desert where you can take a camel or 4×4 excursion into the dunes.
Many cities and villages in Morocco boast homes that are thousands of years old. In cities such as Marrakech and Fez, these ancient homes that are located in the medina, (the old town) can date back centuries. Dozens of riads, which are restored old homes, can be found throughout the country. Many retain the old charm and style while providing you with modern-day boutique amenities.
Morocco blends adventure, romance and the exotic from its proximity to Europe, foothold in Africa, and its Middle Eastern influence. Large cities like Rabat, Marrakech and Tangier resemble European cities in many ways, while rural outposts like Zagora and Chefchaouen will make you feel lightyears away! Fez is famous for its leather tannery, Tangiers was famous as a destination for artist and writers from Europe and the U.S. during the 1950’s and 60’s and Casablanca is the business center of the Country.
There is so much more to Morocco than what is in this article! It is an especially amazing wedding and honeymoon destination but more about that in a future post. Clients have booked their wedding in Marrakech and spent their honeymoon discovering the remainder of the Country. You can follow me HERE for more amazing and EPIC destinations to experience. If you want to book an unforgettable experience in Morocco, contact me below and we can set up an exploratory call.