4 secret destinations in Morocco by Ethan White
From caramel-coloured sand between your toes to captivating towns painted every shade of blue, from ancient Portuguese cities with Atlantic Ocean views to saltwater lagoons and famed oyster farms: Morocco has an ever-changing landscape and a plethora of hidden spots waiting to be discovered. Here are four secret destinations that are worthy of a visit.
A cool village on the west coast, Oualidia is where the wealthy go to get out of the city and hang out on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean for lazy, hazy summer fun. It’s a tiny little place perfect for relaxing beach vibes without the throng of tourists. Here it’s all about the freshest seafood grilled right on the beach, a saltwater lagoon home to pink flamingos and heron and, of course, the country’s best surf. Home to those famous oyster farms and renowned for its wide stretch of beach, the sea here is protected by the lagoon, making it ideal for swimming and kayaking. It’s still an under-the-radar destination, so visit while it’s quiet.
Everyone knows about the azure washed Greek island of Santorini, but fewer know of Morocco’s magical blue city, Chefchaouen. Sitting in the Rif Mountains it’s an off the beaten track destination of incredible and colourful rewards. Billed as one of the prettiest towns in Morrocco, nearly all the buildings are awash with Instagram-worthy vibrant shades of blue. A place seemingly made for wandering and taking photographs, there is many a myth as to why the whole place is painted blue. Fables range from the notion that the colour blue keeps mosquitos away to the more historical belief that the Jews coloured it blue after escaping to Chefchaouen during the Spanish Inquisition. Either way, the old medina is a glorious place to while away the days against a backdrop of incense and spices.
If you’re looking for an oriental-inspired luxury tented experience, Scarabeo Camp puts you in the heart of the Agafay Desert, just 45 minutes drive from Marrakech. A world away from the hustle and bustle of Morocco’s capital city you’ll find a breathtaking golden stone desert dotted with white canvas. With Atlas Mountain views it makes a seriously glamorous camping experience. Come here to stargaze at night, ride camels and horses by day and try your hand at quad biking and desert trekking. If you’re inclined to opt for a more relaxing pace, there’s nothing quite like sundowners around the fire pit as a burnt-orange sunsets over this unique and very special spot.
Just an hour’s train ride from Casablanca you’ll stumble upon El Jadida, a bewitching Portuguese city teeming with splendid colonial architecture. From the distinctive and eerie underground cisterns where Orson Welles filmed his 1952 movie ‘Othello’ to the UNESCO-listed star-shaped Mazagan Fortress, it’s a charming destination. Get lost down a maze of tiny cobblestoned streets or head to the long stretch of golden sands. A much more authentic experience than in some of the commercially driven Moroccan cities, here you can experience life like a local. For more travel advice why not check out 1Cover’s The Secret Traveller blog!