Marrakech! | Designer Travel

The third largest city in Morocco, Marrakech is a fascinating city situated at the foothills of the mighty Atlas Mountains. It is increasing in popularity as a unique city break to rival the big boys like Rome and Barcelona.

This city is a fascinating mix of ancient and modern – the old city with its wonderful Medina, steeped in history and the Ville Nouvelle, or Gueliz which is the new city, where commerce and business combine with shopping to delight the European market.

But for me it is the Medina which demands my attention, and in particular the Souks which are a veritable feast for the senses! With the heavy scent of spices permeating the air (and thank goodness, sometimes masking less pleasant smells!) line upon line of stalls, through alleyway after alleyway are stacked floor to ceiling with shoes, kaftans, jelabas, jewelry, pottery, bags, linens etc etc creating a dazzling array of colours and textures. Understandably everyone wants you to take a look at their stall, and will vie for your attention. I guess this is an experience not for the faint-hearted, but if you enjoy a haggle you will be in heaven! It’s expected and it’s welcomed and all part of the fun, and there are certainly bargains to be had.

There are lots of interesting and impressive buildings in Marrakech, like the Royal Palace, the El Bahia Palace, now partially in ruins., and much to learn from the Dar Si Said museum.

Visible from just about anywhere in the Medina is the Koutoubia Mosque, which towers over the most famous square in the old town, Djemaa el Fina, which is an absolute must see! This place comes to life every afternoon into evening, with street traders, food stalls and a myriad of entertainers, musicians, snake charmers and other strange story-telling characters! The square is teeming with tourists and locals alike, it is busy and safe and with its unique atmosphere is certainly worth a look. One little word of warning, the entertainers are, in the main, camera shy, although for a few dirhams they can be persuaded to pose very nicely!

Amongst all the colour and smells and sounds of the square I came across these two Guerrabs or Water Carriers (pictured). A real remnant from the past, and largely redundant thanks to plastic bottles of water, these dear old gentlemen would sell water in their Cupels (small copper dishes) to all who needed refreshment. Ever resourceful they now make a tidy living from being an attraction to be photographed, and attractive they most certainly are!

It’s not all madness and hubbub in Marrakech. I have already described, in hotel blogs, the oasis’s of calm to be found in the city’s Riads, and for an even more calm experience why not base yourself in La Palmeraie, a huge area of some 150,000 palm trees which surround some truly lovely hotels.

Wherever you choose to stay, I am sure Marrakech will provide you with a colourful and memorable experience, which it will be my pleasure to assist you in arranging. Call me anytime on 023 80863663

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