The name Marrakech originates from the Amazigh (Berber) words mur (n) wakush, which means “Land of God”. It is the third largest city in Morocco after Casablanca and Rabat, and lies near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and a few hours away from the foot of the Sahara Desert. Its location and contrasting landscape has made it an enviable destination in Morocco.
Strolling the Jemaa El-Fna square and the souks with their shimmering colours and oriental smells, the red city offers you a complete change of scenery. Horse-drawn carriage rides, sunny terraces, travelling artists and other day and night activities will give a tates of wishful comeback. Between tradition and modernity, Marrakech is the promise of unequalled sensations.
You will be able to admire all the architectural richness of the Medina, upon visiting one of its many riads, small oriental palaces overlooking a beautiful patio. You can also relax and recharge at the Menara, a vast garden with an emblematic basin.
Once the sun sets,
Marrakesh wakes up
Marrakech showers its visitors with its splendor and its diversity, you just have to leave the ramparts to be immersed in modern Morocco. The districts of Gueliz and Hivernage offer the most modern infrastructures, luxury boutiques and international ready-to-wear stores, airy avenues ; which all contribute to Marrakech’s unique offering.
Being a growing economic bustling city, Marrakech has special festive and cultural places, such as the « Palais des Congres » and the splendid Royal Theater. Enjoy Marrakech at night by discovering the many themed venues, trendy clubs and traditional evenings that reflect the lively part of the city.
The rich heritage of Marrakech is nearly a thousand years. The time here seems to stand still. The culture is vivid.
Jemaa El Fna Square is where you’ll soak up the culture and the lights. Come experience this gathering place where people revel in the bright lights of its shows, reveling in the local delicacies. Storytellers, singers, fortune tellers and gnawa musicians, the square knows how to vary its charms.
Bathed in the rosy glow of its adobe walls, the beautiful Marrakech opens its doors to all culture lovers. Inside of its walls, architectural masterpieces stand where you can see the foorprints of ancient civilizations. Marrakech is a mixture of different influences, and a mosaic of colors where the wonders of the past and present meet.
Stroll the city. Go under a door of the medina and venture into the old quarter. This is where the historic heart of the former royal capital beats, where the famous Koutoubia minaret stands. Reaching 77 metres high, you get to see the lighthouse of Marrakech, which is one of the symbols of Islamic art, since its design has inspired both the Hassan Tower in Rabat and the Giralda in Seville.
Step inside a riad in Marrakesh and you will find yourself mesmerized by all of the tiny details all around you
A little further away, the Menara gardens founded by the Almohad dynasty await you. Enjoy the freshness of the place, and its olive groves. As the sun covers the horizon, the place shines, reminiscent of the tales of the Arabian Nights.
Marrakech also hosts its part of splendid festivals. The city is a moviemaking landmark. Each December it hosts the Marrakech International Film Festival, which draws the biggest names from the silver screen. In the middle of the year, popular arts are honored with their own festival, during which visitors are treated to the traditional songs, dances and music of Morocco.
Atop the parapets of the great walls, gaze at the landscapes as far as you can see. The city is surrounded by the Atlas Mountains. Their perpetually snow-capped peaks cut jagged silhouettes across the skyline. Something magical emerges from these landscapes ; an invitation to discovery that makes you yearn for an adventure !
Toubkal National Park stands between the N’Fiss and Ourika valleys. It is only a few dozen miles away, but once you reach the park, you’ll be bewitched by its charm. Here you are right in the center of the Atlas Mountains, amidst 94,000 acres of protected land.
Hire a guide to lead you on a climb of Jbel Toubkal. The effort takes two days, but your work is well rewarded once you land atop one of the most beautiful summits in Morocco, if not in all Africa. Throughout your adventure you’ll spot plants and wildlife, including jackals, weasels, foxes and even a Barbary macaque in some gorges. Just a few miles away from Marrakech, you’ll forget about the red city as you immerse yourself in the greenery and revel in nature’s hands.
The Majorelle Garden was conceived and designed by the French artist Jacques Majorelle during the 1920s and 1930s when Morocco was a protectorate of France
Sport lovers, don’t hesitate to go to the foot of the lake of Lalla Takerkoust. This magnificient place gives you the opportunity to indulge in all kinds of water activities such as jet skiing and canoeing.
In the surroundings, the Ouzoud waterfalls are also worth a visit. They are easy to reach and are a perfect opportunity for a family outing ; the waters rushing down from the heights create a wonderful scenery that delights young and old alike. If you want to combine nature and culture, go to the high altitude resort of Oukaïmeden, where you’ll find rocky sites and pathways ideal for hiking that give you the opportunity to rest and admire the art of men of the Bronze Age.
Walk in the narrow and sinuous streets lined with overflowing food displays. As you stroll, you can hear the haggling in the different famous souks of Marrakech. Traditional arts are displayed in these markets.
In Morocco’s “Jewel of the South,” the streets and bazaars spill over with artistry, whether it be in architecture, cuisine, crafts or fine art
Through a gate, you’ll find yourself in the Semmarine souk, which is one of the most interesting markets in Morocco. Both Amazigh and Arabic craftsmanship are animating its alleys. Every artisan has a stall, where they display selections of ornamental candles, earthenware, lights and more.
Other markets around the city have their own stalls. The Attarine souk, one of the popular ones, is dedicated to brass and copper work : from bronze to gilded copper, the sumptuous objects come in every possible shade and dress up any table with their finely wrought details. A bit further, tanners and dyers work on all sorts of leather, filling the streets with babouches and other leather goods and flooding the air with the heady scent of hides naturally tanned.
Marrakech is a true microcosm of Moroccan handicraft. Soak up the colors and the culture in its souks and discover the treasures of everyday arts
In Marrakech, tradition and modernity always blend harmoniously.
Shopping is no exception to this rule. In the souks, you’ll discover an authentic trade : in front of the trader, you’ll trade in local foodstuffs, works of craftsmanship. A few steps away from these shopping alleys, the Gueliz district await you. In this market, biggest local and international brands, on the main arteries of the city and in the shopping centres, offer jewellery, clothes and shoes for any stylista.
This union of tradition and modernity is particularly evident in the design of some of the city’s craftsmen. The latter give ancestral creations a whole new concept. Arts of metallurgy, completly redesigned by Maillechort ; this alloy of copper, zinc and nickel is particularly desired by Moroccan creators, and is used for mirrors, trays, and jewellery, that fit perfectly with the most modern interiors and ornaments.