Five easy trips you can book now
- EasyJet operates direct flights to Marrakesh from Manchester and London Gatwick (from £72; easyjet.com).
- With only four rooms, Dar Attajmil has a cosy atmosphere. The style of the riad is East meets West, with pointed arches, Berber rugs and contemporary furniture (from £80; darattajmil.com).
- A half-day Moroccan cookery course starts at £35.
Back in February 2010, Simon Reeve used the pages of Lonely Planet Magazine to proclaim that Libya was on the verge of becoming the next big longweekend destination. And, lo and behold, not 12 months later we find that bmi is to launch a new direct flight to Tripoli, taking curious visitors from London Heathrow to the land of Gadaffi. Some coincidence, eh? Libya is certainly in the midst of a travel renaissance, even if you do still need a government guide to show you around. And with such sights as the stupendous Roman ruins at Leptis Magna - an entire city of exquisitely preserved buildings, pillars and monuments - and the equally impressive remains at Sabratha, not to mention the vast expanses of the Sahara to the south, it's a slice of north Africa that will hugely reward some proper exploration. Tripoli itself makes a great base: a grand and yet surprisingly friendly city on the edge of the Med where the people are more likely to ask you to sit down for cup of tea than try to flog you something.
Make it happen
- Bmi launches daily flights to Tripoli from London Heathrow in February (from £265; flybmi. com). British Airways and Afriqiyah Airways fly to Tripoli from Heathrow and Gatwick respectively (from £266).
- Independent travellers must contact a local tourist agency in order to arrange a guide. Robban Tourism is one of the best (robban-tourism.com).
- Four Seasons Hotel in Tripoli has nothing to do with the chain, but does have large rooms of a good standard (from £57; fourseasons.com.ly).