The old imperial city of Marrakesh located in western Morocco lying close to the foothills of the majestic Atlas Mountains really gets to you because once you get there; you just can’t bring yourself to leave. A vacation in Marrakesh throws you into a culture packed with activity where you experience Berber culture and the bustling souks or marketplaces selling traditional clothing, pottery, handicrafts, and jewelry and of course amazing Moroccan food.
Leaving the souks behind, you can wander off to the medina with its myriad of palaces and buildings. If you really want to experience Marrakesh, then accommodation in the buildings and mansions of the Medina is a great way to soak in the atmosphere. To experience night life, you could visit the new town, the location of modernized restaurants and bars selling authentic Moroccan food.
Ethnic Accommodation in Marrakesh
Accommodation in Marrakesh is never a problem. You could easily bunk it out in the most rustic of accommodation or stay in an oriental palatial splendor. Affordable and budget Riads or guesthouses are available deep in the souks and in various pockets of the city. There are a variety of budget inns near Djema which is one of the marketplace areas in the medina.
If you really want to pamper yourself by looking for hotel style accommodation, then there are several mid-range to high-end Plameraie Villas which provide the best atmosphere and style, true to Marrakesh culture in Marrakesh.
Food Options in Marrakesh
The best places to eat in Marrakesh are not the fancy restaurants or eating houses which could be a tad expensive. Food stalls in the Djema are the best experience where you can actually see your ingredients being prepared so you know that youre getting fresh and authentic stuff. Chefs usually set up their stalls at sunset which is the best time to get hold of the cooking action.
The biggest benefit of riad accommodation comes with home cooked food. You could be well surprised at the quality and sophistication of food cooked by the chefs of a riad which are comparable to a menu fit for royalty.
Excursions from Marrakesh
If you truly want to experience an adventure of a lifetime then make day tours from Marrakesh or any excursion to any of the famed sites mentioned below
Ourika valley: 80 kms from Marrakesh beginning at Settui Fatma the foothill village of the snowcapped Atlas Mountains. Discover the many quaint villages and dine on food cooked over wood fires.
Essaouira: a small artisan colony once visited by Jimi Hendrix. Famed for its famous beach featuring windsurf ring and dining on fresh seafood. Makes for a wonderful lazy walk in less than 20 degree temperatures.
Ait benhaddou-Ouarzazate: Travel along the Tichka pass to the gateway of the Sahara and site of atlas film studios. Movies fans would love to know that Movies like ‘The Mummy, Gladiator, and Lawrence of Arabia’ was shot in this very area. One of the best and scenic Marrakesh day tours.
Desert tours from Marrakesh on Camel back
No trip to Morocco is complete without a grand desert tour from Marrakesh. 3 day excursions are available from Marrakesh to Zagoura, the Dades gorges, and Andez. The tours pass through breathtaking scenic terrain through the tichka pass, the Dades valley and gorges to the desert dunes at Merzouga.
Marrakesh to Zagoura.
The desert tour from Marrakesh to Zagora could well be your experience of a lifetime. The 2 day tour takes you through the heights of the Atlas Mountains via Tichka pass situated at an altitude of 2,260m. From the Dra valley, it’s a camel trek to Zagoura where with the right tour operator; you could well experience the lively sights and sounds of the desert. Live in an oasis, sample the culinary delights and culture of a lovely Kasbah, and spend a while exploring the quaint benhaddou village en route to Zagoura.
The Grand Sahara Tour
A complete Sahara tour takes you cross the captivating Sahara on camel back. During the day Tour, you are taken to the quaint village of Ait Benhaddou which is usually the route taken by most tour operators. A camel ride is more of a Sahara adventure through palm groves, an oasis, to dades and the valley of roses.
Included in the Tour is Merzouga where you get to spend the night in the Sahara desert staying in nomadic tents. Now that is truly worth the entire experience. What’s interesting about the desert tours form Marrakesh is the experience of ethnic nomadic and Bedouin culture not forgetting the beautiful Berber villages and tantalizing Moroccan cuisine?
Quad Biking Desert Tour
For the younger generation, the best excursion among all desert tours from Marrakesh where you get to explore the vast virgin desert areas riding quad vehicles. The tour takes you to the palm grove and the unique stone deserts of Marrakesh.
Ride over mountains, valleys and visit the Berber villages situated high in the Atlas Mountains. Or simply make a trip to Asni and Imlil to very picturesque villages in the vicinity of North Africa’s highest peak Mt Jebel Toubkal.
The city of Marrakesh
The city of Marrakesh is not without its own quaint sights and sounds. There are many things to do in Marrakesh while relaxing in the city. Walk through the alley ways and traditional markets of Medina, the old part of the city. The market place is a maze of shops featured as small cubicles selling everything from spices, textiles, carpets, curios and Moroccan handicrafts. You can also spend a day visiting the ancient sights of the city starting with its museums and the ancient Saddian tombs.