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Marrakech Sightseeing


In November, style-lovers and fashionistas are in luck as the much-anticipated Yves Saint Laurent Museum is pegged for opening within the Jardin Majorelle. The museum, located within this lush botanical garden once home to the famed fashion designer, is set to be the city's new star attraction for fashion fans.

The Marrakech Festival of Popular Arts kicks off in July, bringing music and dance to town. This is a great opportunity to listen to Moroccan Gnawa musicians and Berber folk groups and see plenty of colourful traditional dance performances from all over the country.

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/

Key Areas

After all that tagine and couscous sampling, get your Moroccan cooking skills up to scratch in December with a cooking course run by Souk Cuisine (www.soukcuisine.com). This fun and friendly half-day course will walk you through several classic dishes which you'll get to sample as a slap-up lunch at the end.

In August, when summer rockets up the heat factor, do as the locals do and head for the pool. There are plenty of places where you can spend the day. Beldi Country Club (www.beldicountryclub.com) is an excellent option, just 6km from the centre and with plenty of family friendly facilities.

Day Trips

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.

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