exotic Marrakech provides travelers with a true taste of Moroccan life. Set to the backdrop of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains rising majestically out of the Sahara, it is the gateway to Morocco’s red desert and the base for the High Atlas region. Here, African, Berber, and Arab Morocco come together in the clanging and banging of everyday life.
Founded in 1062 and one of Morocco’s four imperial cities, Marrakech is rife with magnificent landscapes, historical landmarks, and beautiful ancient building – evidence of the city’s fascinating history.
Start out in the maze of narrow streets and alleys leading to the city’s souks, located near Djemaa el Fna, the city’s central square. Here, local vendors tout every imaginable ware – from spices and local produce to pottery, metalworks, jewelry, and rugs. Friendly merchants will gladly offer you a glass of mint tea, a traditional custom while you’re expected to haggle for their goods. When the cacophony becomes too much, take refuge in a rooftop caf? from where you can observe the unfolding drama below.
The heart of traditional Marrakech, the Dejmaa el Fna, comes to life at sunset when storytellers, musicians, snake charmers, witch doctors, fire-eaters, and acrobats ply their trades as locals clamor around.
In sharp contrast to the Dejmaa el Fan, to the south lies a tranquil district of the Medina, with its many splendid monuments depicting the city’s fascinating history.
Marrakech is also famous for its lush and beautiful gardens. The Agdal and Menara gardens are set amidst a fantasy landscape of orchids and olive groves. The Jardins Majorelle, originally created by a French painter and now owned by Yves Saint Laurent, are smaller in size but spectacular with their lily and cactus ponds and the stunning pavilion housing the Islamic Art Museum.
Marrakech is also a great base for adventure travel throughout southern Morocco. On the west, mystical Essaouira sits on the Atlantic coast and offers a lovely seaside resort. To the east, Ouarzazate with its dramatic desert scenery opens the gateway to the Sahara.
While maintaining a strong bond to its history, Marrakech, with its spectacular location and bustling ambiance is rooted in the present. This lovely, mysterious city makes a great Morocco short city break from the many adventure destinations Morocco has to offer. It is a city imbued with the sights, sounds, and flavors of Morocco; it is quite simply, a feast for the senses!