This rose-pink oasis city with its spectacular backdrop of snow capped Atlas Mountains captures the heart and imagination of everyone who visits. Pulsing with the beat of the drummers of the Djemma el Fna Square, it is a city alive with possibilities.
Ramadan. During the month of Ramadan a night-time festival atmosphere prevails (starting approx. 18 Jun 2015). At this time Muslims fast during the day and feast at night. Some restaurants may be closed during the day and alcohol restrictions may apply at hotels. A riad is a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden, courtyard or pool. The riads are inwardly focused which allowed for family privacy and protection from the weather in Morocco. Many riads have now been converted to hotels and are a great place to stay for a traditional Moroccan break.
Moroccan cuisine is rightly celebrated as one of the best in the world and Marrakech has numerous fine restaurants to choose from. Start with a bowl of steaming, spicy harira soup or unexpectedly delicious bastilla, a semi-sweet pigeon pie made with layers of filo pastry. For the main course, a chicken or lamb tagine with couscous is a must, while for dessert, a choice of small, nut-filled pastries will be offered and accompanied by a glass of sweet, green mint tea or a strong, thick coffee. Although it is a Muslim country, alcohol is widely available; look out for local wines, the best of which are red.
The souks of Marrakech are over-flowing with fantastic things to buy, from carpets and lamps to slippers, pottery, jewellery and leather goods. Particularly worth looking out for are beautiful thuya wood boxes, often inlaid with mother-of-pearl, brightly-coloured tagine pots, basketwork and kilim rugs. You will be expected to haggle, so never pay the first asked price, but if you feel hassled by a seller, simply walk away. There are fixed-price tourist shops outside the souks, if you'd rather not bargain.
Marrakech Souk and Medina
A half day tour discovering the city. Visit Medersa Ben Youssef (traditional school) which was originally founded in the 12th century and reconstructed by the Saadian’s during the 16th century. It later became the largest medersa in Morocco and now is one a few Islamic building open to the general public. You will visit the lively Souks, which offers Moroccan crafts and many other goods. Also take in the fascinating Jemaa El Fna Square, the square comes alive with snake-charmers, street entertainers and food sellers and is well known for its continuous day and night life.
Departs: daily in the afternoon. Duration: 4 hours 30 mins.
Adults by coach from £20 per person or private car from £22 per person (based on 2 adults sharing)
Marrakech Palace and Monuments
A half day tour visiting the history of this fascinating city. Visit the Koutoubia Minaret that dominates the skyline of Marrakech, the 16th century Saadian tombs once lost until discovered in 1917, the Bahia Palace, lively Jemaa El Fna Square and the Souks and Medina.
Departs: daily in the afternoon (private morning tour available). Duration: 4 hours 30 mins.
Adults by coach from £25 per person or private car from £26 per person (based on 2 adults sharing)
Pass through the Atlas Mountains and stop at Tizi n' Tichaka to arrive at the city famous for its cinema studios, Kasbahs and beautiful landscape. Watch the scenery around you including desertic plains, lush green valleys, vast palm tree forest, canyons, lakes and snowy peaks. Take an orientation tour to visit the Kasbah of Tiffoultant which reveals the authentic beauty of the region and the ancient Kasbah of Ait Ben Haddou, a UNESCO world hertiage site since 1987.
Departs: daily - private. Friday only by coach. Duration: 11 hours 30 mins.
Adults by coach from £50 per person or private car from £95 per person (based on 2 adults sharing).
Located just 30km from Marrakech, Ourika is famous for its pottery, minerals and crystals, a great way to hear the birds singing and watch the streams flowing. Discover the Berber market and traditions, which are attended by local tribes. You can discover the splendid scenery, almond trees and admire the Jebel Toubkal, the highest mountain of Atlas - an unforgettable experience.
Departs: daily in the morning. Duration: 5 hours
Adults by coach from £24 per person, or private car from £63 per person based on 2 adults sharing.
Located on a peninsula on the Atlantic shores, visit the ancient fishing port/seaside resort of Mogador, where you will find a little fortress which was originally used as a shelter and later became a favourite for Pirates. You will also have chance to discover the cobbled and winding streets of the Medina. During free time why not take a stroll through the blue and white buildings, whilst discovering the local restaurants, cafes and woodwork shops that Essaouira is well known for.
Departs: daily. Duration: 11 hours
Adults by coach from £30 per person or private car from £81 per person (based on 2 adults sharing).
Atlas Valley of Asni & Imlil by 4x4
Starting the jeep safari by passing the Red City Walls and then heading out through the fertile valley of Asni. En-route visit a small picturesque Berber village, and continue on towards the marvellous Kasbah of Toubkal, with the option to travel the last 300m via foot or donkey. Here you will have some time to explore and taken in some of the most amazing Moroccan landscapes.
Departs: daily. Duration: 9 hours 30 mins. Adults from £164 per person (based on 2 adults sharing).