North Africa – Tunisia, Morocco and less-visited Libya and Algeria – is weekend break territory from Europe, offering an exotic blend of Arab cultures, Roman ruins, French colonial history, mountain hikes (notably in the Atlas mountains) and forays into the Sahara desert. Marrakesh is the best-known of many intoxicating cities. Those with a passion for breathtaking scenery should plan a tour of the Sahara Desert, while history buffs will love Egypt's treasure trove of ancient sights.
For a classic Egyptian route along the Nile, start off in Cairo, making a day or overnight trip to Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast before following the Nile south down to Luxor to visit the ancient city of Thebes, commonly known as the world’s greatest open-air museum. From there, head further south to Aswan to see where the Nile opens up into the desert.
Morocco from the Mediterranean to Atlantic coast offers a lot in a relatively small area. Start off at the port city of Tangier, from where you can see across to Spain, then head inland to the famous blue city of Chefchaouen. From there, visit Fes for its beautiful architecture, and then on to the capital Rabat, and Casablanca for coastal city vibes. Turn inland again to visit Marrakesh to experience the souqs, mosques and incredible food before finally ending up at the surf and beach hotspot of the country, Essaouira.