“It is the most lovely spot in the whole world” said Churchill to Franklin D Roosevelt about Marrakech in 1943.
Beneath the snow-capped Atlas Mountains of Africa, you can find this diverse and colourful city. 48 hours is just enough time to lose yourself in the labyrinth of Medina’s alleyways and seek out tranquil hiding places by virtue of the beautiful boutique Riads.
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What to see?
Packed your map? Well, you certainly won’t need it…Famously confusing, the streets of Marrakech were purpose built to puzzle foreigners. With the turn of each corner, you’ll find endless passageways and back alleys. Appreciate the chaotic organisation of the souks, divided each by genre of commodity and expect a serious hit to your senses. Prepare to be blinded by an array of colour and intoxicated by the aroma of spices. You won’t find anywhere quite like this.
Le Jardin Majorelle:
Away from the chaotic scenery of the souks, find tranquillity in the magnificent Jardin Majorelle. Vibrant shades of green contrasted with the electric-blue villa which, Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé once called home, makes for a spectacular view. Here, you can also find the memorial to Yves Saint-Laurent himself, whose ashes were scattered in the rose garden, a place he often visited for inspiration.
Ben Youssef Madrassa
A visit to the Ben Youssef Madrasa must not be missed…This sixteenth century Koran school boasts some of the most spectacular architecture in the city. Learn about the largest Islamic school in the Maghreb region whilst soaking in the breath-taking colours of the surroundings.
Where to Stay
BE at home! Riad Be is a home away from home. Located just ten minutes from Jemaa El-Fnaa square and a five minute walk from the famous souks; Riad BE lies in the true heart of the colourful city. Owned by Mohammed and his Swiss partner, Riad BE preserves the authenticity of the Moroccan culture whilst adding a modern European touch. Learn to cook Marrakchi cuisine for yourself at their on-site cookery course or take part in one of their popular yoga retreats. Double rooms from £70 per night. Breakfast included. Complimentary Wi-Fi.Website
Beldi Country Club
Only a short drive from the Medina, you can find this boho chic hotel. Ancient olive trees and blissful swimming pools, the Beldi Country Club is renowned for drawing a stylish crowd. You can even find an on-site souk selling a beautiful collection of carpets, cushions and more. If you do not get the chance to stay, the Beldi Country Club is the perfect lunch spot, with both an outdoor garden restaurant as well as an indoor winter restaurant furnished with a fireplace. Double rooms from £160 per night. Complimentary Wi-Fi. Website
El Fenn Hotel
Antique wooden carvings, inner courtyards and a lantern lit terrace… El Fenn Hotel is a peaceful and shady enclosure. Here, you will find no phones or televisions. Instead, El Fenn work hard to provide a calm base for explorers. Begin your day with breakfast on the terrace or a traditional Moroccan Hammam at the impressive hotel spa and be sure to check out the impressive collection of artwork curated by co-owner Vanessa Branson (Richard Branson’s sister). Doubles from £204. Breakfast included. Complimentary Wi-Fi. Website
Where to Eat
Consider yourself a Nomad if you have found this hidden gem! Here, you can expect to find a unique, Scandinavian style interior (with a beautiful Moroccan twist.) Spread over four floors with two impressive terraces, Nomad offers a variety of simple Moroccan dishes. A perfect spot for both lunch and dinner, it is one of the few spots in the Medina that you may enjoy a cocktail or bottle of wine. Website
Hidden away in the Medina, you’ll find a green oasis that is, Le Jardin. Enter through the heavy wooden door into what literally is a secret garden. This botanical garden is the perfect spot for a Moroccan/Mediterranean style lunch. Be sure to check out Norya Ayron’s Pop Up Shop located on the premises! Website
Terrasse Des Epices:
Offering a sensational panorama of the Atlas Mountains, this terrace spot is the perfect place to enjoy an evening meal or late lunch. Whilst taking in the distant mountain scenery, lounge upon the soft bohemian furnishings with a pot of fresh mint tea. Website