Home Lifestyle For Tenerife without the crowds, try Africa’s ‘cleanest city’

For Tenerife without the crowds, try Africa’s ‘cleanest city’


Rabat has been hailed one of Africa’s ‘cleanest cities’ (Picture: Getty Images)

Famed for its breathtaking beaches and bustling nightlife, Tenerife is hugely popular with British tourists – so much so that almost 2.3 million flock there each year.

However, residents of the popular Canary Islands hotspot are increasingly fed up with UK visitors and are now demanding a tourist tax and stricter controls.

If you’re looking for a similar vibe but without the over-tourism, then look no further than Rabat in Morocco, hailed as Africa’s ‘cleanest city.’

While Marrakesh attracts considerably more visitors, Rabat is the capital city, and is relatively quiet in comparison if you’re looking to dodge the crowds.

Things to do in Rabat

Rabat was founded in the 12th century, with its name deriving from the Arabic word for Islamic base or fortification.

As such, it has a fascinating history, offering up unique architecture in the form of the Hassan Tower and the Royal Palace of Rabat, which is the official residence of the King of Morocco.

Rabat offers up fascinating architecture (Picture: Getty Images)

Just like Tenerife, Rabat is also known for its long stretches of beaches – the perfect blend of culture and sunbathing.

Perched on a rock by the fortress, the Oudayas beach in the centre of the city offers fantastic views of the Atlantic Ocean in all its blue, sparkling glory.

Here, you can try out kayaking and windsurfing through the Rabat Sailing Club. Further along in the direction of Casablanca, you can give surfing, jet-skiing and horse riding on the Rbatis beaches a go too.

There’s also plenty of nature to soak up, as Rabat has an impressive 230 hectares of green spaces.

The Kasbah des Oudayas and its Andalusian Garden, the Chellah necropolis, the Ibn Sina forest and the Essai garden are all fantastic spots, as well as the Zoological Garden of Rabat.

If you’re after some retail therapy, Rabat is a haven for unique boutiques including watchmakers, jewellers and clothes shops, as well as a Megamall, which houses shops galore and activities like bowling or skating.

And if you’re into music, each June Rabat hosts the famous Mawazine Festival, featuring both local and international artists. Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Kylie Minogue and Elton John have all previously played at the festival.

How to get to Rabat

The best way to get to Rabat is to fly. There are direct flights from London Stansted that take just over three hours, available from as little as £82 return.

The old town is also known for its lovely coastline (Picture: Getty Images)

Unfortunately, there are no direct flights from Manchester or Edinburgh – but you can stop over in either London or at Paris Charles De Gaulle for a speedy change.

Touching down in Rabat, there are plenty of routes towards the city centre. Many find it easiest to catch the Alsa City Bus from Rabat Airport to Gare Rabat Ville, which takes around 40 minutes.

When to visit Rabat

If you’re searching for more manageable temperatures, it’s best to visit Rabat in either the spring or the autumn.

Rabat is beautiful at dusk (Picture: Getty Images)

In April and May, temperatures average between 21°C and 23°C, while in September, it remains a balmy 27°C.

In the summer, Rabat gets incredibly hot, with the mercury reaching averages of 28°C across July and August.

There’s still the possibility of a little bit of winter sun, though: in December, the highest averages level out at 19°C. The lowest is 9°C, but that’s still warmer than the UK.

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