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Morocco has all the makings of the perfect winter escape to a warm climate. A touch of the exotic closer to home than you might think, this enticing slice of North Africa is just a short flight away from the UK, with no time difference.

There is something for everyone in this heady, spice-scented land, with its diverse landscape, fascinating cities and intriguing inhabitants. It is a magic-carpet ride from High Atlas peaks to the Saharan dunes; from the rugged Mediterranean coastlines to caves in forested hills; from thronging ancient medinas to serene riads.

A mix of languages, cultures and religions, Morocco is also where modern and ancient collide. Having been under French rule from 1912 to 1956, the country sometimes displays a European flair, such as the tree-fringed boulevards of capital, Rabat, and cosmopolitan Casablanca with its bustling Art Deco port and silver-screen glory. The grandiose city of Marrakech blends ancient and colonial architecture, as does beautiful Fez, which is famous for its souks and riads.