Coming up with a list of the most romantic destinations in Morocco is no easy task. The country’s imperial cities boast a myriad of posh riad hotels and romantic dining venues, and there is no shortage of chic beach villas along the coast, but here are some amorous spots that will get you off-the-beaten path and away from the typical honeymoon destinations.
Also known as the Merzouga Dunes, Erg Chebbi is one of the most dramatic natural features in Morocco. From the nearby small town of Rissani you can travel by camelback into the dunes and spend the evening camped out under the desert sky in a Berber tent. Eating dinner by the fire, drinking hot mint tea and dancing by starlight can add an extra touch of romance, as can waking up early to watch the sunlight splay across the sands in a dazzling array of colors.
Terraced orchards, snow-capped mountains and local kids playing soccer adjacent to precarious cliffs are the view from the High Atlas village of Mezzik. Slightly higher in elevation than the kitschy mountain town of Imlil, the base for Toubkal area treks, Mezzik is quiet, quaint and laid back. No hotels or restaurants can be found here, but you can stay a simple auberge and have your meals cooked by a local family. The romance lies in its tranquility; the best time to visit is spring when the valley flowers are in bloom.
The stunning architecture of this desert oasis can make you feel as if you’ve stepped onto a movie set, which should be no surprise considering portions of Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, The Mummy and several other films were shot here. Date palms line the sand swept streets, and from here you can plan excursions into the surrounding Draa Valley. A stay in a private villa at the luxurious Dar Ahlam, with kasbah-view cabana and pool, would certainly add that touch of romance to your desert getaway.
The full name of this Middle Atlas village means ‘holy place of caves,’ and the natural beauty is what makes this mountain retreat romantic. Stone Berber houses, cascading waterfalls, lush fields, cedar forests and hidden grottos are what you’ll find in Zaouia d’Ifrane. The village is south of Azrou on the Marrakech road, about 100 km from Fez and 54 km from Ifrane city. The best times to visit are spring and autumn. No luxury lodgings are found here, but you can sleep in late in a simple auberge by the banks of the river.
Written by Heather Carreiro.
Photo by aminaspi.