Cheap flights to Marrakech
Atmospheric and seemingly untouched by modern life, Marrakech is an exotic city that never ceases to amaze tourists with its array of medieval wonders.
A holiday to Marrakech is a pretty surreal experience. Founded nearly one thousand years ago, not much has changed in the ‘Red City’ as it is known thanks to the pink hue of its city walls. You’ll still find the squares of the ancient medina full of snake charmers, fortunetellers and acrobats.
Marrakech is a city that conjures up a world of medieval pleasures and is the perfect holiday destination for people looking for the different and the extraordinary.
Hitting the souks is a rite of passage for any Marrakech visitor, but once you’re all haggled out, there’s another corner of town beckoning, just beyond the stalls. Kaât Bennahid might be one of Marrakech’s oldest neighbourhoods, but it’s had a superstylish growth spurt recently, with hip art galleries, chic riads and slick restaurants sprouting up, geared towards a fashionable set.
With Marrakech's temperatures at their mildest, January is the city's annual marathon time so why not limber up and join the runners on the perfectly flat route from the walled medina out to the palm groves and back again.
The sweltering summer heat has finally lifted off the city in October so this is a great time to discover Marrakech by bike. AXS Cycling (www.argansports.com) offer a Marrakech Tasting Tour which explores the medina's labyrinth alleyways by bike while stopping off to sample local delicacies from street stalls along the way.
Founded in 2012 to support disadvantaged Moroccan women, the Amal Women's Training Center & Moroccan Restaurant empowers its students with traditional and modern culinary training. Visitors can take advantage of that expertise by enrolling in traditional Moroccan cookery classes. For more information visit https://en-gb.facebook.com/AmalNonProfit/.
For three days in May, music comes to town with the MadJazz festival. There's a definite Moroccan-feel to this jazz though with plenty of performance merging local Gnaoua influences with more classic jazz sounds. Catch a gig if you're in town. 5 to 7 May, http://www.madjazz-festival.com/
Popcorn at the ready. Running through the 2 to 10 December, the annual Festival International du Film de Marrakech brings the best of new North African and international arthouse cinema to the Red City as well as classic crowd-pleaser movies. Head to Djemaa el-Fna to catch free open-air cinema in the medina's main square.
Not only is the Koutoubia Mosque the largest mosque in Marrakech, it's also one of the city's most beautiful landmarks. Built in the 12th century, the mosque's minaret soars above Jemaa El-Fna. Come closer and you'll find exotic gardens, beautiful tiles, and other ornate architectural details.
If you need a time out from the hot and bustling souks in June, head to Anima; a newly-opened botanical garden in the Ourika Valley, 27km east of Marrakesh. This vibrantly coloured vision of flowers and modern art is the creation of artist Andre Heller. It's a soothing, nature-filled respite from the medina's dusty streets.
March is the perfect time for white water rafting in Morocco. Local company Morocco Adventure & Rafting (www.rafting.ma) runs highly recommendable half-day trips (which suit absolute beginners as well as more experienced rafters) from Marrakech to the rapids along the Ourika River.