Archive for the ‘What To See In Marrakech’ Category

The Beginners Guide to Marrakech

Monday, December 19th, 2011

To start your Moroccan experience, you must first find a place to stay. There is a huge variety of accommodation in Marrakech and with such a large choice from large luxury hotels down to four to eight roomed riads and modern apartments, finding the right place can be hit and miss.

Our suggestion would be to go for the best of both worlds, i.e. the last word in modern comforts but with plenty of authentic local character added. Les Borjs de la Kasbah is one such, a 5 star luxury boutique hotel in Marrakech, well placed within comfortable walking distance of the centre yet far enough away from its hurly burly to be remarkably peaceful by comparison.

Having found your place to stay you’ll need some suggestions for things to see and do so here’s a short beginner’s guide to visiting Marrakech.

Visit the ancient medina and admire the 13th century walls that surround it. The souk, one of the largest in Morocco, is a tourist’s dream, such is the variety of artefacts and souvenirs you’ll find there. Take an official guide to show you round, with visits to a couple of palaces and museums included.

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Events in Marrakech: December 2011 through February 2012

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Marrakech Events December 2011

International Marrakech Film Festival 2011 – firmly established in the local calendar, this is the main event for December in Marrakech.  Attracting ‘A list’ stars, it is an important occasion for Morocco’s successful film industry, based in Ouarzazate, where the Atlas Studios have played host to countless films from Lawrence of Arabia to Gladiator.

Olive Festival 2011 – another major event, this charming festival takes place in the middle of the month in Rafai, in the Fez province. You can enjoy the traditional olive-picking ceremony, numerous ‘Diffa’ feasts and folklore events performed in a vast area of olive groves.

Marrakech Events January 2012

Marrakech International Marathon 2012more than 5000 international runners take part in the annual Marrakech International Marathon and Half Marathon for which the Pink City offers an exceptional setting for this gruelling athletic event putting it among the most attractive of all marathon circuits.

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The Marrakech International Film Festival 2011

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Culturally significant as the biggest event in the calendar of Morocco’s highly successful film industry, the Marrakech International Film festival brings together writers, actors and directors from many nations. Last year’s Marrakech Film Festival saw a number of Hollywood big hitters including Francis Ford Coppola, Harvey Keitel, Keanu Reeves and Martin Scorsese.

This year’s 11th annual Marrakech International Film Festival takes place between 2nd and 10th December.

With attendees from around the world, including several hundred from the media, the film festival is testament to the importance of the Moroccan film industry, based at the Atlas Studios outside the desert town of Ouarzate, which goes back as far as Lawrence of Arabia (1962) and beyond. More recent productions have been ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ and ‘Gladiator’ by Ridley Scott, a regular visitor, ‘Black Hawk Down’ and ‘Babel’.

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7 Unusual Activities around Marrakech

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Marrakech is justly renowned for the colourful animation of its feudal main square, Jemaa el Fna, and never ending labyrinth of its souks. But there’s plenty more to the city and its surroundings to attract the tourist visitor. So here are our suggestions for the top 7 alternative attractions in and around Marrakech.

* Get high in Marrakech. African Sky has been operating for 21 years now and its hot air balloons are perhaps the best way to admire the city and High Atlas landscapes. One can book direct on +212 524 43 28 43 or via Les Borjs de la Kasbah.

* For the ‘kids’. Ludiparc is a recreational haven for youngsters with a series of indoor and outdoor water features. Over 55 species of birds can also be found here, some flying free. Pedal boats and playgrounds make this a ‘must visit’ if you have children with you. The best bit? Adults go free!

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Marrakech Events in October

Monday, September 5th, 2011

With temperatures pleasantly warm at 27° / 28°, Marrakech provides the perfect atmosphere for exploring and sampling the ambience of this captivating city.

To underline this, a number of sporting and cultural events in Marrakech take place in October, of which these are just a few:

Marrakech Art Fair – we mentioned this in our ‘Marrakech events in September’ piece but repeat it now because the fair runs through to 3rd October. The Marrakech Art Fair exhibits contemporary collections from Europe and the Arab world.

To give you an idea of its importance, last year’s Art Fair contained works by Karel Appel, Arman, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Eduardo Chillida, Robert Doisneau and Andy Warhol.

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Marrakech Events in September

Monday, August 8th, 2011

With temperatures in Morocco beginning to fall after the oppressive heat of high summer (although there’s nothing exactly cool about the 33º average maximum for Marrakech) it’s time for tourist visitors to think of getting out and about again.

September in Marrakech may be a good month for weather but, as usual, there’s much more than that to enjoy, as the following local festivities during the month reveal.

International Festival of Salsa – at the Palmeraie Golf Palace, from the 22nd to 26th September, you can try your hand at salsa dancing as more than 2000 participants from around the world take part in workshops, performances and dance parties. For more information take a look at the official website (tip – don’t have the volume up full on your pc or you’ll get a salsa shock!)  

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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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Royal Visits to Marrakech

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Not only is Marrakech a popular destination for growing numbers of tourists from many European as well as other nations, including celebrities from all walks of life, the city also receives more than its fair share of attention from several royal houses.

King Mohammed VI is, of course, a regular visitor to the pink city, one of his favourite locations, indeed he has recently announced that a number of cabinet meetings will in future be held there.

Charles and Camilla in Morocco

Charles and Camilla in Morocco

Furthermore,  a number of other royal personalities have spent time in Marrakech this year, including Britain’s Prince Charles with his wife Camilla, who visited in March, and King Carlos of Spain who was there in May. (more…)