Climate: Marrakech enjoys comparatively mild winters. Average midday temperatures are invariably in the high teens and seldom fall below 3 or 4 ͦ at night. Visitors can expect around 7 or 8 hours of sunshine per day while rainfall is limited to around 25 mm over the month.
So January is not a bad time to visit the Pink City, especially by comparison with much of the northern hemisphere, both for enjoying some sun whilst relaxing beside a pool and for taking in the sights.
Here are some of the festivals, events and things to do in Marrakech during January 2017:
Apart from New Year’s Day, celebrated throughout the city and beyond, January has just one public holiday, on the 11th, commemorating Morocco’s Proclamation of Independence. The anniversary is marked by various festivities in the colourfully decorated streets.
On 12th and 13th January, local Berbers will be celebrating the Amazigh New Year, known locally as Idd n Yennayer. The festival is marked throughout Morocco, principally by song and dance but also in the preparation of delicious couscous. For the best examples of these celebrations one should head for the villages of the Middle-Atlas.
Then, of course, there is the Marrakech Marathon. Scheduled for the 29th of January, the 26th running of this major international event in the sporting calendar takes thousands of competitors along the city’s most attractive boulevards, past several of its most beautiful olive and orange groves, along the iconic ramparts of the medina and through smart residential areas. You can learn more about the Marrakech Marathon on the organisers’ official Website.
Marrakech also hosts a variety of business-related events this month, including:
- Meetings Morocco, a unique B2B event allowing visitors to meet up with local and international event organisers. This event is scheduled to take place at the Palmeraie Resort on the 12th/13th of January.
- International BESSH (Business, Economics, Social Science and Humanities) Conference at the Hotel Palais Kum on the 7th and 8th of January.
- International ECBA (Engineering and Technology; Computer, Basic and Applied Sciences) Conference, scheduled to run in tandem with the BESSH Conference.
Excursion from Marrakech
One of many historic sites attracting visitors from far and wide is the ancient fortified city of Ait Benhaddou. A UNESCO World Heritage site and popular film location, this hilltop ksar (arabic for ‘castle’) is regarded by many as the perfect excursion destination, not least for the sweeping mountain panoramas en route as one crosses the High Atlas.
Affording a glimpse of life in a centuries old community, the village offers wonderful views over the surrounding hilly countryside and mountains all of which makes Ait Benhaddou an excellent destination for a day long excursion from Marrakech.