Skip Marrakesh and head to Casablanca and El Jadida | Daily Express

Marrakesh is often the popular holiday choice for families wanting all year round good weather.

However as summer creeps around, it can sometimes reach unbearable heats of 40 degrees, as well as be packed with tourists.

Those looking for an authentic Moroccan experience should instead head to the coastline, something the African country is known for and takes advantage of when it comes to adventure activities as well as a much more comfortable temperature even into the winter season.

El Jadida, a small port town just 106km from Casablanca, offers more than many may realise Morocco has. The Portuguese influences are strong, having been seized in 1502.

It wasn't until 1769 when they left, and was later rebuilt to become El Jadida, also known as The New.

Called the Portuguese Fortified City of Mazagan, it is now  UNESCO World Heritage site, showing the influences between European and Moroccan cultures. 

Whilst tiny, walking through the high walled streets and visiting the port are a must for a merging of cultures, as well as the famous Manueline cistern.

The inspiration to Orson Welles' Othello, the thin layer of clean water on the floor provides mirror images from the water pillars as it reflects down from the small circle of light allowed in.

With the calming part of the city comes the adventure and activities that Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort offers.

The size of 52 football pitches, it would be easy to get lost within the 14 restaurants of the resort, or to lose all time at the world renowned golf course.

For the kids, it has sports clubs, quad biking and horse riding among other activities along the huge stretch of beach that the resort sits on.

Adults can also kick back within the casino, nightclub or shops within Mazagan. A full body massage which looks out into the sea is easily the perfect way to unwind every evening.

Of course, a stop to the new steak restaurant George or the French seafood restaurant Sel De Mer is a must.

Whilst Morocco may not be known for its beautiful beaches and seafronts, despite having over 1,000m of coastline, the sea winds offer a much cooler temperature that Marrakech can never offer within the souks. Expect comfortable temperatures of late twenties even into November.

For a faster pace of holiday, a quick trip to Casablanca cannot be forgotten with just an hours drive away.

The location of the famous Casablanca restaurant recreated by the 1942 film, the town is still untouched compared to other bustling parts of the country.

As the iconic film celebrates it's 75th anniversary, there is no better time to visit the city that is soon to change within the next few years.

For an experience of opulence and culture, Hassan II Mosque attracts tourists from afar to see the building that was created in just seven years.

The size is unimaginable, being able to hold up to 105,000 worshippers at one time.

Created in 1986, the following seven years had 1400 men working during the day and 11000 during the night, before opening in 1993.

A tour to explore it is a must, to prevent any tourists from venturing into places that the opposite sex may not be allowed due to it being a working mosque at all times.

It is through the tour guide that the level of detail emerges, such as the dimensions of 200m by 100m by 64m, all added up to become 364cm, the amount of days it is open within the year.

Six thousand Moroccan artisans created the tiled mosaics and hand carved walls, using egg yolks and black soap to create the coloured plaster within the columns.

Casablanca is home to the Four Seasons, a dry hotel just steps from the beach
Staying at the Four Seasons Hotel is a perfect respite from the sandy city that is becoming the next big spot for tourism.

Walking into the marbled foyer, guests are greeted with a view of the sea instantly as the U-shaped building accommodates every person to embrace the view.

Whilst not on the same size as Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort, what it does with it's small space it utilises. From a hidden swimming pool beneath the rooms, to a hand-carved wall that traveled from Fez, as well as the restaurant that over looks the beach, something that stays quiet in most seasons.

What many may not realise is that it is a dry hotel: being within 200m of the Hassan II mosque means alcohol cannot be served on the premises.

For those who desire it, they can head to the many bars along the strip that offer all they could imagine.

Casblanca is growing as it is expected to become the next hot spot in Morocco
From the afternoon tea served within the main restaurant, as well as the hamman offering couples treatments, the relaxing step away from Marrakech never feels more poignant when listening to the sound of the sea whilst sipping on the famous sweet mint Moroccan tea.

Anyone who wants to take some of the pieces home for themselves can even try their haggling skills at the local souks; something that has less of the stress of Marrakech but still the beautiful bags and interiors on offer.

Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort room rates start from 2200 MAD (approx £178) on a bed and breakfast basis (www.mazaganbeachresort.com) and Four Seasons Hotel Casablanca room rates start from 3600 MAD (approc £290) on a bed only basis (www.fourseasons.com/casablanca).

Royal Air Maroc flies from London Gatwick, London Heathrow and Manchester directly to Casablanca.

For more information on both destinations, visit the Moroccan National Tourist Office website.

Read the article at Daily Express

Kara Godfrey