Archive for July, 2011

Is Marrakech a safe place to visit right now?

Sunday, July 31st, 2011

Given the seismic nature of political events in Tunisia and Egypt, not to mention the shockingly violent response to protest demonstrations seen in Bahrain, Syria and Libya, one might be forgiven for questioning the safety of other tourist destinations in the Arab or Islamic world, such as Morocco.

Although it would be foolhardy to predict the final outcome of the movement for change currently sweeping the region, it should be said that Morocco, though by no means wholly immune to the tide of recent events, is in a different position to countries of the Middle East and elsewhere in North Africa from which it is so far removed both geographically and politically.

Though not an oil state, Morocco prospers through tourism and exports. It is also a broadly fairer society, sociologically and economically, than the states which have occupied the headlines in recent months, not least through being run on more democratic lines than is the case in most Islamic countries.

One positive fact to underline this is that Morocco is a sovereign democracy with a parliamentary system. The young king (Mohammed VI) has been doing his best to keep the economy moving and is gaining respect for his attempts at flushing out corruption. Also, despite the relative poverty of so many, especially in rural areas, the average household income is significantly higher than that of, say, Egypt, where so many millions have to survive on £1 a day, and there is as a consequence much less resentment among the population towards its government than is clearly the case in, say, Egypt or Yemen or, of course, Libya.

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Sight Seeing and Shopping in Marrakech

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Being one of the closest and most accessible destinations for European visitors in search of a truly exotic experience, Morocco appeals through the allure of such places as Casablanca, Fes and Tangiers and the vastness of wilderness areas like the Rif and Atlas mountains and the Sahara desert.

However, the country’s star turn is, arguably, Marrakech, the country’s southerly tourism capital, at the foot of the Atlas mountains. This is for good reason as there is no shortage of things to see and do in Marrakech and the surrounding area.

Here are some examples:

Jemaa el Fna, the huge central square, is the pulsating heart of the city, its bursting energy epitomised by street entertainers and al fresco eateries.

The excitement of the place is infectious as the constant pounding of drums and tuneless dirges of snake charmers’ pipes compete with the cries of street vendors and storytellers all enveloped by the aroma of an amazing variety of sizzling street food. This has to be on everyone’s list of ‘what to see in Marrakech’.

After the main square head for the Souks. With miles of narrow lanes offering every kind of local craft and product one is sure to find a bargain among the apparently endless stalls of jewellery, pottery, leather goods, fabrics, spices, carpets, wrought ironware and so much more.

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5 Reasons to stay at Les Borjs de la Kasbah

Monday, July 11th, 2011

When it comes to choosing accommodation in Marrakech there is no shortage of large international hotels for package tourist and business customers and there is no lack, either, of riads of all kinds, the vast majority of them unregulated and run by non-professionals.

However, Les Borjs de la Kasbah, with its eighteen rooms,  is one of a small number of boutique hotels in Marrakech to offer an intimate and exclusive atmosphere in addition to a full range of services of the highest standard.

Opened in 2006 after a three year building and restoration project, this friendly, luxury hotel is a haven of peace and tranquillity amid the hustle and bustle for which Marrakech is so famous. Here are some reasons for staying with us:

1)     Location: just yards from the Royal Palace, Les Borjs de la Kasbah stands in the heart of the fortified Kasbah, in the most southerly part of the old city, an entertaining walk from the central Jemaa el Fna square but far enough away from its hurly burly atmosphere to be delightfully peaceful by comparison.

2)     The Pool: a secluded leisure area houses the 5m x 10m heated pool with its sun terrace and poolside bar. After a day busy shopping and sightseeing in Marrakech you can unwind in this remarkable haven of tranquillity sipping a mint tea or iced drink – you can take a light lunch here too.

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6 Reasons to Visit Marrakech

Monday, July 4th, 2011

Marrakech is gaining in popularity for many good reasons. Here are just six of them.

1)       Just a three hour flight from UK with British Airways (started March 2011), Easyjet, Ryanair, Royal Air Maroc, Atlas Blue, Air France, Alitalia, KLM, Lufthansa and Swiss Airlines. An increase in weekly flights from 39 to 100 a week has followed a major upgrade for Marrakech airport to provide much improved facilities for the larger numbers of arrivals.

2)       Your money goes further! The cost of living in terms of everyday items is significantly lower in Morocco than it is in Europe, not least as far as food, handicrafts and souvenirs are concerned. Of all short haul sun destinations available to Europeans Marrakech is one of the shrewdest choices.

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