Archive for the ‘Excursions Marrakech’ Category

Visiting Marrakech in December

Monday, November 13th, 2017

Although visiting Marrakech in December may involve packing a few items of warmer clothing for the evenings, the climate is by no means cold, in the European sense, despite the presence of the snow-capped Atlas, as temperatures range from a minimum 6 degrees at night to 19 during the afternoon and sunshine hours average a perfectly respectable 7 hours per day.

Visiting Marrakech in December – Events and Festivals

The month begins with Mawlid un Nabi, a festival marking the birth of the Prophet Muhammad. This is a day of prayer for Muslims combined with performances of the Prophet’s story through related poems and odes.

Visiting Marrakech in DecemberThis month also sees the staging of the renowned Marrakech International Film Festival, a long established event (scheduled to take place between the 2nd and 10th December) attended by national and international film makers including famous producers, directors and actors. (N. B. These dates could not be precisely confirmed at time of writing). Screens are set up in several places for free public viewings of films including the central ‘Place Jemaa el Fna’.

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New Yves Saint Laurent Museum Marrakech

Wednesday, October 25th, 2017

Coinciding with the opening this autumn of the ‘Musée Yves Saint Laurent’ in Paris, located in the former fashion house and current headquarters of the ‘Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent’, the inauguration of the new ‘Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech’ takes place in October 2017.

Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech

 Dedicated to the work of the eponymous French fashion designer, the museum will house an important selection from the unique collection of the ‘Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent Foundation’ comprising 5,000 items of clothing and 15,000 haute couture accessories as well as tens of thousands of sketches and assorted objects, all currently archived in Paris.

Situated on Rue Yves Saint Laurent, adjacent to the famous Jardin Majorelle, a major tourist attraction in Marrakech with some 700,000 visitors annually, the purpose-built museum spans over 4,000 m² of which some 400 m² is a permanent exhibition space showcasing Yves Saint Laurent’s work; there is also a 130-seat auditorium, a bookshop, café-restaurant with terrace and research library housing 5,000 books.

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Marrakech Events in May 2017

Friday, April 14th, 2017

May in Marrakech is a lovely month, akin to high summer in Europe. With idyllic average temperatures ranging between 12 and 28 degrees, some 10 hours of daily sunshine and less than 24mm rainfall, the climate is clement enough to relax by a pool while not too hot, or tiring, to enjoy a walking tour of the city. In addition to sightseeing, there is an interesting calendar of events with something to suit everyone.

marrakech may

May 2017 Events

Festivities start with Kelaa-des-Mgouna, the Rose Festival, which takes place in early May in the fertile Dades Valley, south of the Atlas, an event guaranteed to tempt visitors with traditional food, music and dancing, a dedicated market and, not least, a ‘Rose Queen’ competition. There is also a street procession of decorated floats during this first weekend of the month.

International celebrities, local artists and street performers gather to entertain visitors with a variety of concerts at the Desert Music Festival in mid-May, although the exact date has yet to be confirmed at time of writing. The long established and excellent World Sacred Music Festival in Fez and the Mawazine Festival in Rabat, featuring local and top class international artists, are scheduled to run from 12th to 20th May.

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Marrakech City Centre – Top 6 Things to Do

Saturday, April 1st, 2017

1. Jemaa el Fna – the focal point of Marrakech and Africa’s largest square, this UNESCO world heritage site is the vibrant heart of the city attracting street entertainers, hawkers and snake charmers, apothecaries, jugglers, musicians and orange sellers. There’s always something going on here, every day, but the place really comes alive at night when much of the square is transformed into a huge al fresco diner.

Marrakech City Centre

2. Souks – Marrakech is renowned for its souks and in the narrow alleyways of this extensive covered market you’ll find everything from herbs and spices to hand-carved wooden ornaments, from traditional Berber clothing to soaps and medicines, beautifully crafted traditional leather goods and jewellery. Each trade has its own area within the market, metalworking, weaving and fabrics, leather goods, carpets, jewellery and woodwork as well, of course, as open spaces selling fresh fruit and vegetables. Even if you’re not planning to buy you’ll find that exploring the souks is an unforgettable and tempting experience.

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April 2017 Events in Marrakech and beyond

Monday, February 27th, 2017

One of the best months of the year with temperatures into the high twenties and an average 9 hours of daily sunshine, April is a lovely time to be in Marrakech both for the ideal climate and range of special visitor attractions and events.

marrakech markets

April 2017 Events

Events kick off with the two final days of the Marrakech Dance Festival which starts on the 27th March. In addition to intensive dance sessions, including mock battles, there are workshops, classes, conferences and shows.

The legendary Marathon des Sables desert footrace takes place from 7th to 15th April while, for those looking for something a little less gruelling, the Grand Prix Hassan II tennis tournament takes place between 10th and 16th  April.

Golf enthusiasts may wish to fit the Trophée Hassan II tournament (part of the European Tour) into their schedule; the event takes place in the capital, Rabat, a long but interesting train ride from Marrakech, between 13th and 16th April.

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Ouzoud Falls – a Must-See while on Holiday in Marrakech

Friday, February 24th, 2017

Considered one of North Africa’s most beautiful spectacles, the Ouzoud Falls, near the High Atlas village of Tanaghmeilt, consist of a series of sharp drops (the highest being 110m) down the rocky faults of the El Abid river in its dramatic, red rock gorge culminating in a final impressive cascade into a sparkling mountain pool.

ouzoud falls

 

The summit of the falls is dotted with olive groves and ancient water mills, some still used for extracting oil from olives and other crops. (Ouzoud is the Berber word for the process of grinding grain). Some of the climbs around the gorge are quite arduous but one can swim in the pool beneath the falls, explore cave networks and even take a scenic trip on a river boat.

Flora of Ouzoud Falls

The area’s flora is predominantly made up of mossy plants and varieties of trees including olive, lime, oak and pomegranate. The lushness and greenery stands out in full bloom during the Spring and Summer months when visitors can capture some great photographs.

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Berber Eco-Museum in the Ourika Valley

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Virtually all of Morocco’s ethnic groups are Berber-Arabs, a fact reflected in much of this exciting city’s architecture and cultural traditions about which much can be learned by visiting the Berber Eco-Museum near Ourika, in the foothills of the High Atlas, some 37 kms south of Marrakech. Located in the pottery village of Tafza, in one of the village kasbahs, the museum is said to be the first Berber museum in Morocco.

What’s on Offer?

Restored using traditional construction techniques, the museum features a permanent collection of rugs and pottery and various other fine examples of Berber culture, and also hosts temporary exhibitions such as “Landscapes and Faces of the High Atlas 1957″, which featured documentaries by humanist photographer and film-maker Daniel Chicault. More than just a historic collection, the museum also offers a research and student centre as well as a variety of activities, including tree planting, village and High Atlas treks, music and pottery courses.

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Marrakech in July 2016 – Scorching Dates for Your Diary

Monday, June 13th, 2016

With temperatures ranging between 21C and 37C, July is, alongside August, the hottest month of the year in Marrakech, both in terms of the searing dry heat and its popular festivals.

National and Religious Holidays

There are two religious festivals in July, the first of which, Lailat al Kadr, takes place on Friday, July 1st. Commemorating the night on which the Koran was originally revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, this ‘Night of Power’ is considered to be the Muslim year’s holiest event.

Eid al-Fitr

The second, equally important religious festival taking place in July is Eid al-Fitr, which sees Muslims around the world celebrating the end of the month of Ramadan by visiting friends and family and exchanging gifts. There are also numerous parades and street parties.

Eid al Arch

Eid al Arch, the ‘Feast of the Throne’, is a National Holiday marking the succession of King Mohammed VI from his father Hassan II. Held annually on the 30th of July, this day is celebrated with cavalcades (parades or processions on horseback), feasts and fireworks.

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Sidi Ghanem, an Unexpected Treasure Trove

Monday, June 6th, 2016

Industrial areas rarely attract tourists and, as a result, Sidi Ghanem, an industrial zone located some 15 minutes (by car) from downtown Marrakech, is typically overlooked. However, if you are looking for original, hand crafted goods at manufacturers’ prices, many of which are hard to find in the souks, the area is well worth a visit.

About Sidi Ghanem

Though hardly photogenic, due to its many ateliers and factories, Sidi Ghanem has over recent years experienced a real boom thanks to the large numbers of foreign and local designers setting up shops and studios here. Today, visitors will find a treasure trove of articles and wares of all kinds and may even get a chance to meet some of the designers. There is also a handy French bistro for a little refreshment.

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Hot Diary Dates for June in Marrakech 2016

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

With temperatures between 17 C (night time lows) and 31 (daily highs) and very little rain, Marrakech gets rather hot in June. While keeping out of the searing midday sun is recommended (there are some wonderful historic sites, museums and verdant gardens to keep cool in), June sees a series of festivals and events.

Ramadan, 06/06/2016 – 05/07/2016

The 6th of June marks the beginning of Ramadan, the month of fasting concluding with the Eid el-Fitr feast day on the 5th of July. While business continues pretty much ‘as usual’ in the squares and souks of Marrakech, and restaurants, gardens, museums and palaces remain open, it is wise to remember that you are visiting a Muslim country at a particularly holy time in the Islamic calendar and that there are certain rules one should observe out of courtesy for local residents.

Fes Sacred Musical Festival, 13/06/2016 – 21/06/2016

One of Morocco’s most important cultural events, the Sacred Music Festival in Fes celebrates and promotes the relationship between spirituality and the arts, although the spectrum of performances is actually much wider than that. Local as well as celebrated international artists representing many different cultures from around the world, are on display with outstanding performances of music and dance.

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