Beaufort & Blake Recomends: 5 Places You Must Visit in North Africa
Just a short flight away from our shores lies the treasure trove of North Africa. Whilst some countries to the West of the region have become a no-go due to political unrest, there are still some beautiful spots that every gentleman must add to his travelling list. For the third article in our ‘Shirting Tales’ series, we’ve pulled together the five places every gentleman must visit in North Africa.
1. Essaouira, Morocco
This Moroccan coastal town has blossomed from a slightly unkempt retreat to the perfect getaway destination. A stark contrast from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech, Essaouira is beautiful pint-sized medina that beguiles all who visit. If surfing, souks and sunset beers (with a yoga session thrown in the middle) sounds appealing then this beach town is certainly the one for you. Don’t bother with any of the big five-star hotels but instead opt for somewhere a little smaller to really capture the town’s bohemian charm - we recommend Auberge Tangaro.
2. Sudan’s long-lost Nubian Kingdom
For the ultimate cultural experience, we recommend a deep delve into Sudan’s past. No trip to the country would be complete without visiting the recovered Egyptian temples of Buhen and Semna at Khartoum’s Archaeological Museum followed by a trek through the Bayuda Desert before camping under the stars at Meroë (within sight of the 40 pyramids of the Royal Necropolis). Travelling through Sudan is a rewarding and eye-opening experience that you’ll certainly never forget.
3. Ouarzazate, Morocco
Traditionally a small crossing point for African traders moving towards the Northern cities of Morocco, Ouarzazate is a city with vibrant cultures and artistic traditions. If the above picture hasn’t helped you to envisage the breath taking views you will be in store for, then think Lawrence of Arabia, The Mummy and Gladiator as these were all filmed in the region. Nicknamed ‘The door of the desert’, Ouarzazate is most certainly on our must-visit list of North Africa.
4. Aswan, Egypt
With such a long history, there is certainly plenty to see in Aswan. Once seen as a town one passed through whilst travelling the Nile, the town is the perfect place to rest for a couple of days. Here the river is wide, languorous and stunningly beautiful with Aswan seemingly shying away from Egypt’s thirst for mass tourism. Best time to visit Aswan is during the winter as the days are warm and dry (avoid summer months as you’ll spend the majority of your time mopping brows and swatting flies).
5. Fez, Morocco
Morocco’s oldest city is a vibrant, magical mixture of medieval culture brimming with artisans. On the surface, Fez embodies Morocco’s heritage with its ninth-century mosques and car-free streets (one of the largest car-free urban spaces on the planet) but there is a lot going on behind the scenes. You’ll see a vast contrast between the old town and the Ville Nouvelle – each, however, possessing a unique charm. Having absorbed the history and tradition of this imperial city we recommend you head across to the rather sophisticated Maison Blanche for a slight change of scenery (and a seriously good supper).