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Destination: MOROCCO

There is just something incredibly alluring about Morocco. The bustling, fragrant markets, graceful mosques, and sweeping desert have attracted travelers for centuries. Today, it is known as the gateway to Africa and one of the world's most popular destinations. If you're thinking of heading to Morocco, read up on these top ten destinations.


MARRAKESH

Most travelers choose to begin their vacation in Marrakesh, known as Morocco's “Jewel of the South." An ancient city that has been invigorated with new hotels, and restaurants, Marrakesh feels like old and new Morocco. The can't-miss sight in Marrakesh is Jemaa el-Fnaa, one of the world's great markets and the heart of the old city. Day and night, the open-air market bustles with locals selling spices, rugs, street food, and unique souvenirs. After a whirlwind experience at the market, find some peace and quiet at Majorelle Garden, a Moorish-style botanical garden designed by the French painter Jacques Majorelle.

TANGIER

Just across the Strait of Gibraltar from Spain, Tangier is a lively port city that has been a gateway between Africa and Europe since Phoenician times. While it's a common day trip from Spain, it's worth spending at least two days here to get a sense of the city's culture and history. Wander through the tight lanes of the medina (old city) that once beckoned the likes of Matisse and Delacroix, admire Moroccan art at the Sultan's Palace, and experience the city's Spanish flavor at the Plaza de Torros.

FEZ (FES)

You may know the city for its red cylindrical cap, but there is so much more to this city that's known as Morocco's cultural capital. The major highlight here is the medieval medina, an intoxicating, maze-like blend of riads (traditional Arabic houses built around central courtyards), shops, and handicraft workshops. This is one of the best places to pick up an authentic Moroccan rug, so put on your bargaining hat! Adding to its allure is an excellent array of restaurants and the annual Festival of World Sacred Music celebrating world music.

CASABLANCA