Archive for the ‘Marrakech Tours’ Category

Marrakech in November – Events and Other Things to Do

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

With daily temperatures ranging between 11 and 23 degrees, November in Marrakech is very pleasant. Visitors can expect over seven hours of sunshine and little, if any rain (31mm per month). A number of events at this time of year are worthy of note:

November Events in Marrakech

The two main events in Marrakech during November are the Eid Al Massira Al Khadra on the 6th and Eid Al Istiqulal on the 18th.

Eid Al Massira Al Khadra, the ‘Green March’ Anniversary, commemorates the march of 27,000 soldiers and approximately 350,000 unarmed Moroccans to the Western Sahara’s border on the 6th of November 1975. Identifying with Islam through choice of the symbolic colour green and directed by King Hassan II, the march was undertaken to call for the return of the territory to Morocco.

Marked by varying festivities throughout the country, Eid Al Istiqulal is Morocco’s Independence Day, a National Holiday commemorating the return of King Mohammed from his exile in Madagascar and the subsequent declaration of independence from both France and Spain on this day in 1956.

Other Marrakech Events in November


Visiting Marrakech – Top Tips for Maximum Enjoyment

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Intriguing, atmospheric and filled with a seemingly endless variety of sightseeing options, the city of Marrakech is one of the most tourist friendly destinations in North Africa and, unlike most of its neighbours in the Maghreb, it suffers from none of the political unrest seen in the Middle East, Egypt and Tunisia. There are, however, a few things you should know in order to get the most out of your visit.

Bringing Cash

It is difficult to find ATMs in most parts of the city’s ancient medina although they are numerous in and around the Jemma El-Fna, the city’s main square. They are also widely available in Gueliz, the modern commercial quarter. Many shops and restaurants accept credit cards, although by no means as many as would be the case in Europe or America. Shopping in the souks invariably requires cash, i.e. Moroccan dirhams, although quite a few traders are happy to accept euros. There are several bureaux de change at Marrakech Menara airport but you will be able to draw cash without much difficulty in many parts of town.


Morocco’s Berber Culture

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

The core national identity of Morocco is based on its predominant twin cultures, indigenous Berber and Arab. Around 45% of Moroccans will claim direct Berber descent and about the same proportion Arab, although given the impact on the country’s history and culture since the arrival of civilisations from the Roman and Phoenician eras, and beyond, the origins of many Moroccans today are more complicated than that.

About the Berbers

The native Imazighen or Berber people of Morocco can be traced back as far as 4,000 years and some of their myths, legends and connections with other parts of Africa go back even further. The strength of the Berber identity is firmly rooted in its unique language and culture, both of which combine Mediterranean, European, Oriental and other international influences. During the seventh/eighth century steady migration from the Middle East and Maghreb introduced Islam and the Arabic language to the country, the two most dominant features of Moroccan culture today.


Visit the Enchanting Valley of Roses

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

While in Marrakech you should consider setting aside a day to visit the fortified village of Kalaa M’Goun (or Kelaat M’Gouna) in the picturesque, aptly-named and fragrant ‘Rose Valley’.

Kalaa M’Goun and the Rose

Appreciated as a departure point for walks and treks into the High Atlas, Kalaa M’Goun is the rose capital of Morocco. Here, the rose is the symbol both of hospitality (guests are given roses before and after meals), and of purity as distilled rose water is used for ablutions.

The Valley of Roses

Tours through the Valley of Roses start at Kalaa M’Goun and end some 30 km away at Bhou Thrar, location of the impressive, fortified village (ksar) that overlooks a beautiful oasis of calm. Distilleries which convert rose petals into rose water (one litre of rose water from no less than seven tons of rose petals) as well as soap and various other related products can be visited throughout the year. Rose derived products may be purchased on site. [M1] [M2] [M3]


Exploring the Marrakech Souks

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

To first-time visitors, the labyrinthine Marrakech souks will seem like a bewildering warren of narrow passageways, impossible to navigate. There is, however, some simple advice for negotiating your way round this vast market and, in the process, getting the most from your visit.

Method to Madness

First of all, remember that the layout of the souks, as with every other major market in the world, has some method in its apparent madness. As you look closer, you will notice that there are clearly defined sections within which the respective trades are grouped together making shopping for the various products on offer, from food and spices, to textiles, household goods and souvenirs, that much easier to manage.

Focal Points

However laid out, in a circular manner or rectangular grid system, or just randomly labyrinthine, markets always have anchoring focal points and the Marrakech souks are no exception. Focal points here include, for instance, the vast central square, the Place Jemaa el Fna, and the slightly smaller Spice Square, from which one can access the Carpet Souk, for example. If all else fails, you can always ask for directions back to these anchor-points.


Koutoubia Mosque – a major Marrakech landmark

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

The Koutoubia Mosque, one of Morocco’s largest, in the centre of Marrakech was built in 1158 by the Almohads, one of the country’s great imperial cities.

Koutoubia Minaret

The Koutoubia’s rose-coloured sandstone minaret stands 12.5 m wide and 67.5 m high. Adorned with delicately sculptured decorations giving the appearance of lacework on the stone walls, it is topped by a cupola crowned with three golden copper orbs and a square, decorated lantern. Most striking is the perfect harmony of the minaret’s height and width, a perfect example of Hispano-Moorish which served, as a model for the Giralda in Seville.

Legends of the Orbs

The beautiful orbs crowning the minaret’s cupola are surrounded by legend, one of which claims that they were created by melting down the jewellery belonging to the wife of Yacoub-el-Mansour, who completed construction of the tower started by Sultan Abd el-Moumen. Another legend is a warning to thieves that the orbs are guarded by jins (genies) who will plague with terrible misfortunes anyone trying to steal them.


Marrakech in May – roses, music and local cuisine!

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Long sunny days and rapidly rising temperatures make May another good month to visit Marrakech. One can expect around 10 hours of daily sunshine and temperatures well up into the high twenties, even low thirties. As always, there is lots to see and do in Marrakech, from delightful gardens and historic sites to museums, leisure parks, festivals and more.

Events in May

Events this month begin with Yaûm Al-Âmal, Morocco’s version of Labour Day, on the 1st of the month. This is swiftly followed by the Festival of the Roses on the 2nd. Taking place at El-Kelaa M’Gouna, the latter celebrates the sea of roses that has earned the Dadès Valley, south of the Atlas, its name ‘Valley of the Roses’.

Gnaoua & World Music Festival

From the 12th to 15th May, Essouira, a coastal town around two hours from Marrakech, hosts the Gnaoua & World Music Festival. Attracting thousands of visitors, the festival includes free public concerts featuring some ofMorocco’s finest Gnaoua music and many international acts. More information concerning this event can be found here.


Marrakech – Events and Things To Do in April

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

As temperatures rise and tourists flock to Marrakech to enjoy what are, by European standards, summer temperatures, the city organises a packed events calendar with something for just about everyone. Those so far confirmed for April 2015 include:

Marathon Des Sables – Ouarzazate; 3rd April 2015; the Sand Marathon is a challenging 240 km endurance race across the rugged desert terrain south of Ouarzazate; more info here.

Marrakech Express Rally – Tangier to Atlas Mountains; 4th to 18th April 2015; a 2CV adventure rally running through stunning landscapes from the Mediterranean to the edge of the Sahara and back. More info here.

International Magic Festival – Marrakech; 5th April 2015; main festival venues include the central square, Djemaa el Fna, and the city’s Royal Theatre; enjoy magic performed by international artists all over the city

Morocco Tour/Harley-Davidson – Casablanca to Marrakech via Fez/Meknes in the north and Merzouga/Ouarzazate in the south; 20th to 29th April 2015. For more information click here.


Visiting Marrakech in March

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

With lots of sunshine (8 hours per day, on average), temperatures ranging from 11 to 25 degrees and gardens bursting out with the spectacle of spring flowers, March is a wonderful month to visit Marrakech.

Events in March

Festival International des Nomades - M’Hamid (south of Marrakech); 14th – 15th March 2015. Celebrations include heritage-related exhibitions, concerts, conferences, and workshops

Transmarocaine - Marrakech; 14th – 22nd March 2015. The 10th edition of this endurance event for cyclists, canoeists and athletes in and beyond the Atlas Mountains. Registration/ detailed information can be found here.

Rallye Maroc Classic – Casablanca to Marrakech, 14th – 21st March 2015. Perfect event for all classic car enthusiasts, the rally course consists of seven x 300 km sections. More information.

Rallye des Gazelles – Moroccan desert, 20th March to 4th April 2015. An all-women sporting rallye. More info available here.

Elsewhere in Marrakech, for the non sports enthusiast, there is plenty to do during March.


Themed Break Bargains in Marrakech

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

While enjoying a short sunny break in Marrakech there are many activities you can indulge in, from golf to trekking in the Atlas Mountains and shopping in the souks. But there are many other options for getting the most out of that precious weekend away.

At Les Borjs de la Kasbah, for example, in the Marrakech medina, one can join a cookery class on Moroccan cuisine, enjoy a series of spa treatments including the traditional hammam bath, or visit Marrakech and its surroundings with a series of excursions.

There is even a Romance package with champagne, flowers and more for that special occasion.

The big difference at Les Borjs, however, is that these themed activities are included – i.e. there is no charge at all beyond the cost of a room!