Holidays

Romantic Travel Done Right

by Colleen Clark

Arabian Nights in Morocco

The fantasy: Getting lost in the magic of Marrakesh, pressed between stalls in the tight alleyways of the medina, where the air is redolent of spices and opulent riads beckon like exotic hideaways from the bustle outside.

The reality: Yes, that sultry tension still pulses beneath the city's crowded streets, but a Marrakesh "welcome" can be aggressive enough to kill the romance, with foreigners often harassed by an army of tireless touts. Unless your idea of true love is defending one another from the onslaught, it's best to book elsewhere.

Perfect match: We suggest you run for the hills—or the mountains, to be exact. Right outside Marrakesh, earthen Berber villages cling to the Atlas Mountains, which stretch for 1,500 miles through Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Here, you'll be able to wander freely and experience the goodwill of the locals. Hole up in hotels that sit atop majestic vistas, like the Richard Branson-owned Kasbah Tamadot (pictured), where thousands of rose petals fill placid reflecting pools and 16 acres of manicured gardens adorn the foothills.

Next: The great escape >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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