If you have never been to Morocco before, Marrakech is the place to start. The old city - or medina - is still surrounded by vast rose-coloured walls of mud and clay, on the tops of which storks make their nests and stand in solemn sentry making weird clacking noises with their beaks.


Entering the medina through vast gates, surrounded by stunning Islamic fretwork, you immediately find yourself in streets teeming with people and shops and bazaars and donkeys and - traffic! Yes, there's a lot of traffic, but you can always escape this by entering on of the many narrow winding back streets, with mysterious dark entrances and colourful characters.


In Essaouira you can forget traffic - it's a complete contrast to Marrakech. Shop at peace in pedestrianised narrow streets, browsing lanterns and leatherware and jewellery. Then walk the ramparts for Atlantic views and maybe even take a camel ride along the beach! And in June every year, the unmissable Gnaoua Music Festival takes place - music to die for from the Sahara!