The exotic gateway to Africa, Morocco is steeped in history and intrigue. This fascinating and mysterious country captivates and delights, with mountains, deserts and a stunning coastline, enigmatic Berber culture, ancient architecture and mazes of medina streets, sultry souqs and cool, glamorous riad rooftop bars – it’s extraordinary to think it is so close to Europe yet completely another world. This is a country where it is possible to experience everything from honing your haggling skills in the spicy souqs to hiking up the snow-sprinkled  Atlas mountains accompanied by delicately cascading waterfalls. Marrakech with its magical market square, cosmopolitan Casablanca,  and Essaouira with its laid back artistic vibe are a must-visit, and food lovers will relish tempting tagines and cinnamon dusted pigeon pie.

It’s only a short hop by plane to Morocco from the UK. Direct scheduled flights to Marrakech, Casablanca, Fez and Agadir departing from London Heathrow are available from major flight providers including Royal Air Maroc and British Airways. Budget airlines Ryanair and EasyJet offer direct flights from Gatwick and Manchester, and Aer Lingus operate similar services departing from Dublin. Not all flights are available all year round, so be sure to check your best option. Flight time is normally around only three and a half hours.