Archive for the ‘Morocco Travel Tips’ Category

Marrakech August 2017 Events

Monday, July 10th, 2017

Scorching hot and dusty, August in Marrakech is for sun lovers. Average temperatures range between 20 and 38 degrees and there is little, if any, rain. Thus, locating a place to stay with a proper swimming pool (many riads have little more than ornamental or ‘plunge’ pools) becomes an essential requirement.

les borjs pool

Tempting as it is to stay put in these conditions, enjoying the comforts and facilities of one’s hotel, venturing out to explore the ‘ochre city’ and its attractions is well worth the effort as there’s plenty to see and do.

Marrakech August 2017 Events

Oued Ed-Dahab Day – The 14th August is a national holiday commemorating the day on which the southern province of Oued Ed-Dahab was recovered from Mauritania.

Revolution of the King & the People – Celebrated on the 20th, this national holiday marks the end of French colonial power in Morocco in 1953.

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Marrakech July 2017 Events

Friday, July 7th, 2017

July, like August, is the height of European and American tourist season although, in Morocco, it is actually Low Season on account of the scorching temperatures. Rainfall is negligible, apart from the occasional thunderstorm, and temperatures range from night-time lows of 21 degrees to highs of 37 degrees during the day. It is therefore imperative to take all necessary precautions to prevent dehydration and heat exhaustion.

Marrakech weather

Despite the heat, Marrakech in July sees a number of exciting festivals well worth including into your programme.

Marrakech July 2017 Events

The three most notable Marrakech July 2017 events are the:

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June 2017 Events in Marrakech

Monday, May 1st, 2017

This month’s events start with ‘Marrakech du Rire’, the 7th annual International Festival of Humour being held between 28 June and 02 July.  Aimed at a francophone audience but featuring nationally and internationally renowned comedians, the festival is compered by the events’ founder, Franco-Moroccan actor and comedian Jamel Debbouze (one of the stars of the film ‘Amélie’). The Marrakech Festival du Rire is held in the El Badi Palace, other events taking place at the Theatre Royal and French Institute.

marrakech du rire 2017

In mid-June (date still to be confirmed) a 3-day Cherry Festival is held in Sefrou (a village closer to Fes than Marrakech) to celebrate the region’s farming and cultural heritage. The event includes a ‘Cherry Queen’ pageant consisting of a parade, with bands, street performers and colourful floats, as well as a market selling not only cherries but an array of other local products. An efficient, affordable rail service links Marrakech with Fes, the journey alone, through the Moroccan countryside and desert landscapes, making this an event well worth undertaking.

Other June 2017 Events

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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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Hammam Etiquette – Visiting a Traditional Spa in Marrakech

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

By tradition a place for relaxation and socialising, the traditional Moroccan hammam is an essential part of the complete Marrakech experience. The range of steam room treatments is designed to give skin pores a deep clean via a thorough scrubbing down with Savon Noir (natural olive oil soap) performed with special exfoliating gloves. Before entering the steam room, however, it is as well to brush up on a little hammam etiquette.

Spa in Marrakech

Visiting a Traditional Spa in Marrakech

Wasting Water – not surprisingly in a country with so little of the stuff compared with more northerly countries, excessive use of water is generally frowned upon. Usually, an attendant will administer hot and cold dousings from a bucket but, if not, make sure to use only sufficient quantities of water to wash and then rinse yourself.

Stripping Naked – stripping naked in a traditional hammam is generally considered offensive in both women’s and men’s hammams. As a rule of thumb, we would advise retaining your underwear but, if so, remember to take a dry pair for changing into after your session).

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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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Events and Things to do in Marrakech in March 2017

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

March is one of the most popular times of the year in Marrakech and it’s not surprising. With average daily sunshine of 8 hours, temperatures between 11 and 23 degrees and much less rainfall than is normal in northern Europe, Spring is very much in the air, indeed, towards the end of the month it feels more like Summer!

Warm enough for sunbathing but not too hot for sightseeing March is an ideal time of year to visit Marrakech. 

Events and Things to do in Marrakech in March 2017

March in Marrakech sees a number of festivals and other events.

Other Events

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Golf Courses in Marrakech

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

If you love golf, you’ll be in your element in Marrakech because it boasts one of the best selections of top courses to be found in any single city location.

To demonstrate the remarkable growth of golf in Marrakech, in 2010 there were just three courses whereas today there are no fewer than twelve, many of them designed by some of the top names in the sport. All the courses are listed in Trip Advisor’s ‘Top 20 courses in Morocco’.

The Royal Golf Club – commissioned by a former Pasha of Marrakech, the Royal Golf Club, opened in 1933, has played host to many prestigious visitors, including President Eisenhower, Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George and, notably, late King Hassan. The oldest course in Morocco, less than ten minutes from town, it benefits greatly from its colourful vegetation and mature plantations, especially eucalyptus and palms, with most holes being shaded, and fairways lined, by lofty trees. Originally designed as an 18-hole course, the Royal Golf Club was recently extended by an additional nine.

The Assoufid Golf Club - this exclusive 18-hole course, opened in 2012, is set in a naturally undulating, semi-desert landscape within sight of the High Atlas. The Assoufid Golf Club has a luxury club house, a first class pro shop and golf academy.

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