Photo credit: Pinterest Bursting with local charm and vibrancy, Marrakech offers a culture packed destination – ideal for a long weekend offering something unique for travellers. With inexpensive travel available from the UK, desirable weather all year round, and little time difference – Marrakech is a hidden gem for travellers. What to see?
- The Medina (Old Town) – Visit the beautiful Medina, which is bursting with culture. Find local foods, Moroccan music and stunning ancient architecture. The Old Town contrasts with the New Town which is more Westernised, offering more luxury services such as designer clothes shops.
- The Souks – Take a walk through the souks of Marrakech. Bursting with colour and variety, stalls offer a range of products from carpets and tapestry, to slippers and spices. Remember to barter with the locals and avoid being pressured into purchasing something you don’t want! They can be very persuasive.
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- Appreciate the architecture – Marrakech does not fall short of stunning buildings, oozing ancient history. Places such as the El Badi Palace and Koutoubia Mosque are definitely worth a visit.
- Explore the Menara Gardens – Situated to the West of Marrakech, these gardens are known as the “gates to the Atlas Mountains.” For those wanting to really explore, take a trip into the mountains themselves and enjoy the stunning views over Marrakech.
- Try a Hammam – Locals visit the hammam on a weekly basis, and they vary from the municipal local hamman costing around 30p to a more westernised hotel spa experience in any of the larger hotels catering for tourists. Expect to be laid on a stone slab and scrubbed all over with a rough cloth and a soapy solution, leaving you thoroughly cleansed and invigorated; a great pre-tanning preparation!
- Ride a camel – there are plenty of opportunities for camel riding close to Marrakech, in the beautiful desert areas just outside the city.
- Drive a dune buggy – miles of endless sand dunes with stunning scenery and tiny dusty villages give the perfect environment for a dune buggy safari with a local guide. Driving dune buggies here is more about exploring the area rather than adrenaline fuelled rides around a buggy course. But don’t expect a leisurely trip; most operators have buggies that go around 60mph.
Where to stay? There are a wide variety of hotels to suit all budgets – staying inside the city walls you will find the more traditional accommodation, riads built around shady courtyards with relaxation areas on flat roofs; perfect for sunbathing, or for huddling under rugs around a log fire on cold winter nights. Outside the city walls larger hotels, including popular chain hotels and resorts with pools and spas can be found. We recommend the latter for honeymoons or Valentines day – combining sight seeing with some intimate relaxation. With many hotels packed with Moroccan lanterns, relaxation sofas and shisha pipes, the culture of the city is often continued throughout the ambiance of the accommodation. The Capaldi is set outside the town within 6 acres of olive groves, boasting a private cinema, hammam and choice of swimming pools for relaxation. Another option is the Delano, which is close to the airport, but still offers a traditional hammam spa, a unique round rooftop pool and poolside cocktail bar! Photo credit: Pinterest