The holiday hotspot with amazing campsites just a few hours from the UK – and it's cheaper than Europe | The Sun

The holiday hotspot with amazing campsites just a few hours from the UK – and it's cheaper than Europe | The Sun


“LOOK, there’s a goat in the tree,” says my excited four-year-old, pointing out of the motorhome window.

Dorothy’s words took a moment to register.

We had read about the tree-climbing goats of Morocco before heading there in our Bailey’s motorhome, but were still taken aback to see them.

It wouldn’t be the last surprise of our trip — although none were quite on the level shown by friends when we had told them of our plans.

“Africa? In a motorhome? With young children? Are you sure?”

Despite their concerns, we arrived on Moroccan soil after a 90-minute ferry from Algeciras in southern Spain, excited by the opportunity to explore a country of dazzling contrasts.


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The crossing takes the same time as sailing from Dover to Calais, but when disembarking at Tanger-Med port, you are within touching distance of places that conjure up images of mystical lands, none more so than the Sahara Desert.

Driving south on pristine roads, there’s a familiarity to the landscape, with rolling green hills that wouldn’t look out of place in France or Spain.

But the signposts for places such as Fes, Meknes, Chefchaouen and Casablanca remind us we are a long way from home.

It’s only when we near Marrakech a few days later that the greens begin to morph into more barren, dusty landscapes, with the vast snow-capped peaks of the Atlas Mountains looming on the horizon.

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For the uninitiated, Marrakech can at first seem a little overwhelming, with its barrage of sights, sounds and smells.

But once you adjust to the pace of life, it has a chaotic charm that is hard not to like.

A trip to the souks, where stalls offer a kaleidoscope of colours and where rivers of people flow along ancient alleys, is a rite of passage.

And good luck to those thinking they can leave without buying at least one keepsake.

Yet for all of Marrakech’s bustling beauty, the true soul of Morocco lies elsewhere, in far quieter corners.

Places such as Ait Benhaddou, with its ancient fortified village, Tafraoute and its mesmerising painted blue rocks, Taroudant and its majestic ramparts and the vast windswept beaches of Mirleft.

All can be accessed on good roads and are serviced by campsites that would not be out of place in Europe.

Many of the sites we stayed at boasted all the amenities we take as standard in Europe, usually at a fraction of the cost.

Camp Ourika and Le Relais, both in Marrakech, as well as La Palmeraie, south of Agadir, all had at least one swimming pool — and the latter offered a poolside food and drink service.

Those lacking a full array of amenities still offer the basics of electric hook-up, grey-water and chemical-waste disposal, and clean wash blocks with hot water.

It’s no surprise, then, that the Caravan And Motorhome Club is actively looking to add several of these sites to its network.

Caravan of camels

Not long after seeing the tree-climbing goats, we are brought to a near-standstill by a colossal caravan of camels strolling along the road — much to the delight of Dorothy and her brother, Harrison, seven.

Clearly nonplussed by our presence, they amble on, followed by a shepherd wearing a smile as wide as Morocco itself.

We have become used to such warmth from the people we meet along the way.

Along with the smiles, there are heartfelt Arabic greetings of “salam alaikum”, and offers of mint tea and fresh fruit.

Such friendliness and hospitality can catch you off guard, or at least make you question if there is an ulterior motive.

But, as we found time and again, it comes from the heart, from people who want little more than to ensure your time in their country is as welcoming as possible.

As such, it was with a sense of sadness that, after almost a month on the road, we made our way back north.

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At least for now — as there’s no doubt in our minds that we will be back.

  • Marcus and his family are travelling throughout Europe in their Bailey of Bristol motorhome. You can follow their travels on Instagram @MarcusLeach Global and on Twitter @MarcusGLeach.


STAYING THERE: Touring pitches at campsites in Morocco mentioned start from around £13 per night.

The Caravan And Motorhome Club is looking to expand its sites into Morocco. It currently has more than 300 hand-picked campsites in 14 countries, as well as 18 escorted caravan and motorhome tours across Europe.

For details, see 

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