Prices of staying in luxury Moroccan riads drops

Prices of staying in luxury Moroccan riads drops

Many boutique Moroccan riads are standing empty thanks to the economic problems affecting the Eurozone - grab a bargain without the haggling!

It may be doom and gloom in the financial world, but the continuing economic uncertainty in the Eurozone may mean good news for honeymooners planning a romantic escape to Morocco. The country is suffering the secondhand effects of the crisis as people from its traditional markets are not visiting.

France, which has always been a particularly important market for Moroccan tourism, has been particularly affected by the Eurozone difficulties. According to Nick Anstead, Managing Director of Specialist Morocco, "The French have simply stopped travelling, leaving thousands of riad bedrooms empty. The result of this is a price war that has seen accommodation prices drop dramatically."

Riads are traditional Moroccan houses (or palaces!) with interior gardens or courtyards. Many will be offering excellent deals to try and tempt travellers; Specialist Morocco, for example, are offering their "4-star riads at 3-star prices".

For a honeymoon, Morocco has it all. As well as boutique riads at bargain prices, Morocco has mountain trekking, Atlantic surf beaches, labyrinthine bazaars and some of North Africa's tastiest food. Here's a few suggestions of what to do while you're there:

 

1. Go trek

The best views are mountainous, in the northern Rif or Atlas ranges. Donkeys generally carry your gear, but camels are best in the desert and to climb Mount Toubkal it's wise to upgrade to a mule

2. Hit the beach

Kite-surf in the breeze off the fortified city of Essaouira or head south to Agadir for the best surf and the strongest sun

3. Play Lawrence of Arabia

Orson Welles' classic was filmed at the UNESCO registered fort at Ait Benhaddou, while more recently scenes in Gladiator were shot in oases close by

4. Step back in time

The medinas of Fez and Marrakech belong to a different era, where cottage industries - tanneries, potteries and textile factories - co-exist with daily life

5. Enjoy the theatre

As night falls, grab a ringside seat at Marrakech's Djemaa el-Fna. Musicians, snake-charmers, jugglers and acrobats are spectacular side-shows among food stalls and street vendors

6. Ride a camel

You don't have to go far to do this, as freelance camel-owners ply most city beaches and tourist sites, but for a taste of the Sahara on a 'ship of the desert' choose M'Hamid or Merzouga

7. Drive South

Bandit activity further west make Morocco's road to Mauritania the favoured route to sub-Saharan Africa. Most of the Moroccan route is tarmac

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