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EXPERIENCES IN AND AROUND MARRAKECH

* Guided tours: we employ excellent, English-speaking guides who will take you to the main historic monuments such as the superbly restored Ben Youssef Medersa, Bahia Palace, Secret Garden, Marrakech Museum, the main square Djemaa el Fna, and the surrounding souks. You can also include some of the lesser known museum such as Tiskiwin for African art, Museum of Culinary Arts, Heritage Museum, Photographic Museum and many others. There are almost 20 museums in Marrakech: ask us for our list so you can choose which you’d like to see. If you’re interested in Moroccan Jewish heritage, don’t miss a visit to the Mellah, El Azama synagogue and the Jewish cemetery.

* Cooking classes: there are various options, such as at Cafe Clock and La Maison Arabe, and we’re happy to say that Faim d’Epices is back – a cooking class focusing on spices set on a farm just outside the city. 

Tip: have a good breakfast, because the cooking takes all morning and you won’t be tasting the fruits of your efforts until about 2pm.

Exp Marrakech Street

* Food tours

Make the most of eating your way around Djemaa el Fna: Want to experience eating dinner on the square but don’t know where to start? Here is the perfect introduction. We have private tours with a local official guide for a three-hour, tailor-made food and cultural experience. Sample local specialities alongside locals and gain confidence in knowing what to order. Once you’ve eaten, soak up the night-time ambiance in the famous square with its musicians, Gnaoua dancers, male bellydancers, boxers and comedians. There’s no shopping involved on this tour.

Evening Street Food Tour: Venture off the beaten track to discover locals-only purveyors of fine food – you’ll try things you never thought you would. These tours can be private or in a small group.

We also have foodie tours in the High Atlas Mountains.

* Restaurants

Talking of food, we have an extensive, up-to-date list of the best restaurants in the medina and in the Ville Nouvelle. We’ll send you a list and make reservations for you.

* Majorelle Garden, Pierre Bergé Museum of Berber Art and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum Marrakech

No visit to Marrakech is complete without a visit to the tranquil Majorelle Garden and its superb Pierre Bergé Museum of Berber Art. Try to go early in the day to avoid the crowds. We can organise tickets for you.

The architecturally magnificent (and prize-winning) Yves Saint Laurent Museum adjacent to the Garden opened in October 2017 and houses couture from the famous designer as well as temporary exhibition spaces.

* Art galleries: The Marrakech Ville Nouvelle has a number of interesting art galleries. We can point you in the general direction, or provide a guide to take you on a half-day tour.

* Action and adrenalin-packed adventures:

  • River-rafting and kayaking in the High Atlas Mountains just outside Marrakech: from a half-day trip on the Ourika River to a three-day adventure on the Ahansel River, experiencing the magnificent scenery and Amazigh hospitality.
  • Vintage motorbike and sidecar trips: A novel way to get out to the Agafay stony desert: a guide drives the bike while one person rides pillion and the other in the sidecar. Visit a Berber village and oasis en route and have lunch at Scarabeo’s Stone Camp.
  • Mountain biking: bikes of all types are available (including for children): gravel, mountain, road and e-bikes. Cycling trips range from a day excursion to multi-day trips with support vehicles and overnight stays, and cover all abilities from beginners to experts.
  • Cycling: urban cycling is popular in Marrakech and there are several places to hire bikes to ride on your own or in a group with a guide.
  • Yoga: yoga studios accept walk-ins for classes and one offers a wonderful well-being day with a yoga class, vegan lunch and massage.

* Day trips:

  • The palmeraies (palm groves) offer another view of the red city. Away from the hustle of the souk, they offer a peaceful retreat and an opportunity to see a more rural way of living. There are some splendid places to stay or visit on a day pass, and three large art museums with gardens.
  • Head up to the Toubkal region – Morocco’s highest mountain and- the second highest in Africa. There’s trekking around the Amazigh village of Imlil for a few hours, or more strenous hiking for a few days. You can even summit Mt Toubkal if you’re fit enough. This region sees fewer tourists than Ourika and yet is still only an hour or so from Marrakech. Choose a day to visit when there’s a souk in a small Amazigh village such as Tuesdays in Tahnaout. People from all over the region come for the weekly souk or market to buy and sell their wares – it’s an experience seeing local Amazigh life. Top off your visit enjoying lunch with a view at National Geographic award-winning hotel Kasbah du Toubkal, or Sir Richard Branson’s place, Kasbah Tamadot.
  • A longer day in the car, but worth it is Aït Benhaddou, the best preserved, fortified pisé village in Morocco, with a kasbah and ksar to explore. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been used as a backdrop in many movies, such as GladiatorThe Mummy and Lawrence of Arabia as well as being a location for Game of Thrones. It’s a full day-trip from Marrakech, or you can stay overnight in a wonderful kasbah-style hotel. Climb into the High Atlas as far as the Tizi n’Tichka pass and then head east to the Ounila Valley and Telouet. In this region, you’ll see many of the dilapidated old kasbahs that Jacques Majorelle loved to paint. Continue on this road as far as Ait Benhaddou, and return on the main road to Tizi n’Tichka. There are also excellent places to stay if you’d like to make this a longer trip.
  • Agafay Desert: if you don’t have time to go all the way to the Sahara, get a taste of the desert at Agafay, less than an hour from Marrakech. Here the stony desert is surrounded by the High Atlas mountains and offers almost all the activities you’d find in the dunes: ride a camel, trek into the mountains, and visit local villages. You can even stay overnight in luxurious tents. Note that quad-biking is very popular here, but we don’t recommend it as it is very destructive of the local environment.
  • How about seeing all of the above from the basket of a hot-air balloon? Magical tours over mountains and palmgroves await during the spring and summer months.
  • Essaouira: head for the coast for a blast of sea air, a fishy lunch and a browse through the art galleries and interesting shops of the small medina. The beach is made for football and windsurfing. It’s here on the ramparts that Orson Welles shot Othello in 1952, and 60 years later in 2012 the medina was transformed into Astapor in Game of Thrones. Just 2 1/2 hours’ drive from Marrakech, it’s a great break away from the city.