Marrakech is one of the great cities of the Maghreb, with its ochre riads framed by the snow-capped high Atlas mountains, all on the edge of the Sahara dessert. The fourth largest city in Morocco bordering the Atlantic coast and the Mediterranean, Marrakech has roaring canyons and the Sahara desert ensuring plenty of contrasting landscapes to explore. Founded almost a thousand years ago, Marrakech is a centuries old trading hub where Europe, Africa and the Middle East merge with a buzz of energy and a whirlwind of excitement in the medina, souks and riads. The alluring mystique of Morocco, with its shimmering colors and oriental smells promises unequalled sensations.
The Jemaa el-Fna is the vast open square in the heart of the medina and a UNESCO World Heritage site where you can see snake charmers, street entertainers and henna artists at every turn, particularly at night time. The Souk Senmarine is the biggest of all the souks, selling rugs, leather goods, silverware and crockery in a labyrinth of stalls offering a true Marrakchi experience. The Musee des Confluences is the former governors palace and home to the notorious Thami El Glaoui, Lord of the Atlas. El Badi Palace is a ruin of Sultan Ahmed el-Mansours once magnificent palace, with sunken gardens and ramparts offering views over the Medina. The Souk Place des Epices is a traditional open air spice souk where merchants sell bags of spices. The Musee Yves Saint Laurent is dedicated to Yves couture legacy and houses an impressive display of garments spanning his 40 year career in one of the city’s most striking buildings.
There are plenty of places to find traditional Moroccan cuisine alongside some great new restaurants in Africa’s Capital of Culture, and eating in Marrakech is an act of constant exploration. Great gastronomy is assured at The Pavillion at La Mamounia, where you may glance Marrakchi glitterati over cocktails and fine food. Dar Yacout, is a traditional restaurant to the North of the medina serving a multi course Moroccan diffa (feast). Also La Trou au Mur offers traditional specialties like berkoukesh (handmade pasta in tomato sauce) and tride (pancakes with lentils chicken & saffron). +61 in Gueliz, the area known as New Town, is a bright modern Medi-Moroccan fusion restaurant. As well as plenty of restaurant dining, there are some popular places to eat in town and the biggest and rowdiest is Jemaa el-Fna stalls where an open air barbecue starts each evening from 5pm.
Every city has its own culture and Marrakech is steeped in history with a blend of truly exotic people, architecture, sights, sounds and cuisine. In February Tafraoute marks the new beginning after the Winter rains with much dancing music & colour at the Almond Blossom Festival. In March the famous magic festival take place, when the royal and congress palaces receive magicians, artists and entertainers from all over the world. Also the Mouharem festivalMouharem festival brings the Muslim community in Marrakech together for prayer. In May, prophet Mohammed’s birthday is celebrated on the third day of the month Mosques are full of people paying their respects. June marks the national week long celebration observed in Marrakech which commemorates the time Morocco gained independence from the French. In July there is a 5 day art festival which takes place in El Badi Palace with Berber musicians and dancers, Also Fete tu Trone is popular and The Sun Festival. In August when the weather is very hot, a lot of people head to the Atlas Mountains. September is a religious festival for Muslims to fast and also the International Festival of Salsa which lasts for 4 days with over 2,000 participants from all over the world. October is another month for the Islamic 3 days Eid. In November there are two festivals including The International Film Festival and the Jazz Festival. Finally in December is the olive festivalolive festival when the olives are picked and later eaten at a feast. Eid el-Kebir is a traditional festival held 70 days after Ramadan, which combines religious rituals and social events and is one of the most important festivities in Marrakech.