Part of Marrakech’s appeal is its mystique; behind the Atlas Mountains what lies in wait is a gateway for some unforgettable experiences in Africa’s most northerly state. Marrakech is a destination to suit many, offering a break in the sun, a cosmopolitan weekend or a short break to experience Africa. Holidays to Marrakech delight, offering equal measures of thrill and tranquillity that are unique to the bustling centre of Morocco. Although luxurious, Marrakech is low cost and is certainly the cheapest way to experience Africa.
Upon reaching Marrakech you will be welcomed with an array of sensual delights, and no doubt mahabba – the warmth of the Marrakechi people. What to experience first, and where to visit will be questions running through your mind as excitement builds when you land. What follows are five unforgettable experiences in Marrakech.
Experience Marrakech from a unique perspective, hot air balloon rides 30 miles west of Marrakech let you experience dawn in Africa and form a close relationship with Marrakech’s landscape. Float gently into the morning sky and see the prevailing views of Marrakech, the surrounding desert and the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. This excursion is a prime example of how and why Marrakech drifts effortlessly between thrill and tranquillity.
A dose of Marrakech’s tranquil side is the experience of a hammam, a heaven of body washes and relaxation. Hammams in Marrakech are prevalent and are a highlight of many Marrakech holidays, ranging from cheaper public hammams to luxurious private spas. Public spas are common and much cheaper, a full body wash and exfoliation is completed in around an hour. Beware that the public experience is shared, but typically remains to same sex rooms. Luxury spas deliver a fully personable experience, with steam, gommage (scrubbing), full body massage, seaweed wrap and full body and hair wash. What is supplied is personal masseuses and carers at the reasonable western price of around £45 (US$70).
The Jeema El Fna Square truly represents the thrill of Marrakech, but if the hustle and bustle of one of the world’s busiest market places is too much for you enjoy it another way. What is highly recommended on Marrakech holidays is sampling the Marrakech delicacy Mint tea in unique style. Relax on a terrace overlooking the square just as the sun sets and the enticing smells of grilled meat and Moroccan spice pollutes the air sending you into a hypnotic state.
The Atlas Mountains stretches an incredible 2,500 km across Northern Africa, and stands tall next to Marrakech providing a home to the Berber population. On tours to the mountains you experience the natural and unspoilt beauty of the region; coloured rock cliffs, natural waterfalls and mountain streams provide spots of tranquillity. Part of the experience also includes the meeting of Berbers and visits to rural markets within the mountains, providing a taste of mountain life and the meeting of new cultures. The best is reserved to last as you peer back across Marrakech and Morocco in awe.
The Jeema El Fna Square sits proudly in the heart of Marrakech, prominently known as one of the world’s busiest market places and truly unique in the entertainment it provides. Wonder through this maze of market stalls and enchanting entertainment which provides a true taste of Marrakechi culture and the regions renowned hospitality. Orange juice sellers, snake charmers and monkey handlers fill the market during the day providing an environment to shop and sample. By night the atmosphere changes and wild aromas fill the air, local musicians play and the hustle and bustle of the square can truly be enjoyed.