Beat the bustling market crowd by running away to Morocco last minute
Morocco has come a long way from its days as a backpacker’s retreat, and at just over a three-hour direct flight from the UK, you can experience its true glamour with ease.
While many holidaymakers plan their itineraries with precision, Morocco is a place where a last minute holiday really shines. You can wind down on the beaches of Agadir, whose vast sands are lined with hotels and resorts offering cocktails, shopping and activities like bike tours and boat trips.
Meanwhile, Marrakech fuses the up-to-date with the ancient and mysterious, from its bustling souk markets to the lofty towers and narrows streets of the old town Medina. With no need for plans or guided tours, you’re free to explore this fascinating city at your leisure on a last minute holiday.
The best time of year to book your last minute holiday to Morocco
Although Morocco shares a time zone with the UK – meaning you won’t need to change your phone’s clock when you visit – it definitely doesn’t share our climate. Temperatures blaze upwards of 35°C, if not 40°C or more, during the packed summer months between June and August.
A more comfortable sun can be felt between February and May or September and November, when the sun hovers around 30°C daily and prices fall to accommodate the low season of travel. Either way, keep in mind that the holiday sector classes a last minute break as eight weeks or less prior to the departure date, and the deals you’ll find will reflect that.
Other last minute holiday destinations
The larger Maghreb and Mediterraean territories offer just as much opportunity for last minute holiday fun as Morocco. If you’re keen to have a last minute holiday as rich in history as in beach life, Turkey definitely appeals, while fun in the sun closer to home is always an option in Spain. Greece similarly mixes up antiquity and glorious coastal days with its thousands of islands, making for an unforgettable sunshine escape. Of course, Morocco has plenty of unique offerings, as our travel guide makes clear. To help you out further, we’ve listed the best hotels for a last minute getaway below.
With its pristine lawn, modern interior and minimalist style, this Marrakech hotel is nicely secluded from the city's bustle, yet close enough that a 10-minute cab ride will have you right in the action when the mood takes you. Alongside the pool and the 400-metre running track, it's the spa that really captivates. Show up in true last minute fashion and see yourself pampered free from fuss, before curling up with a book by the terrace.
If a massage on the beach and a professional yoga studio sound like the kind of retreat you'd like, tuck into this Agadir treasure. You're right on the beach, and can enjoy your morning coffee looking down at it from the balcony. The restful therapies here are complemented by active pursuits like volleyball, bike hire, surfing lessons and tennis.
This building in central Marrakech is colourful and vibrant, bedecked with tiles and arched doorways in classic Moroccan style. That's because it's a converted 18th-century townhouse that was built in the finest tradition, and at just 10 minutes' walk from the city centre, it keeps you in the heart of the city's thrum. The restaurant serves traditional Moroccan treats, and with just 12 rooms, you've got a real familial feel here, albeit one with a rooftop swimming pool to enjoy.