Archive for the ‘Morocco Travel Tips’ Category

A state of the art museum in Marrakech

giovedì, agosto 3rd, 2017

Regular visitors to Marrakech looking for something new to admire would be well advised to pay a visit to one of the city’s latest attractions in the shape of the ‘Musée Mohammed VI pour la Civilisation de l’Eau au Maroc’.

A state of the art museum in Marrakech 1A major new attraction

Founded by Morocco’s Ministry of Habous & Islamic Affairs, the body responsible, among other things, for environmental issues and ecologically sustainable development, this new museum in Marrakech is not only one of the largest cultural projects ever launched in Morocco but the biggest such attraction on the African continent dedicated solely to water management.

Opened on 2nd May 2017, the ‘Musée Mohammed VI’ pays tribute to Morocco’s achievements in water management in recent years. Set within the leafy environment of the Palmeraie district of Marrakech, the attraction is one of the new generation of museums designed to be both entertaining and educational, historical as well as scientific.

The Aims of this New Museum in Marrakech

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Marrakech Events September 2017

martedì, agosto 1st, 2017

Temperatures in September dip slightly from those of August to a more tolerable 27 ͦ but the Ochre City remains hot and busy. Despite this, there are many exciting festivals to look out for.

The month starts with the Aid el-Kebir, the ‘Feast of Sacrifice’, commemorating the biblical story of Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son. This important religious-come-social event, involving the dispatch of innumerable sheep, is a time for family reunions and feasting. Many businesses will be closed during the festival, between 1st/2nd September.

marrakech september

Other Marrakech events in September 2017 include:

International Salsa Festival – running from 6th to 12th September, this event comprises theatre performances, workshops, parties, Latin dance classes and more.

Oasis Festival – scheduled for 15th-18th September, the Oasis Festival is an annual event featuring the finest underground electronic music talents as well as other activities including yoga sessions, surf trips and more.

Achoura – this eagerly anticipated festival on 30th September and 1st October involves feasting, music, song and dance and lots of other fun activities for old and young alike.

More Marrakech September 2017 Events

6th Edition – Pure Life Experiences, 10th-14th of September 2017

AYLS (African Youth Leadership Summit), 21st-25th of September 2017

DIPEWC (2nd International Conference on Digital Information Processing, Electronics, and Wireless Communications), 28th-30th of September 2017

Things to Do

Although Marrakech is best known for its historic and architectural treasures it is also home to a fine selection of galleries allowing one to appreciate contemporary and modern Moroccan and African art. Galleries to look out for include the:

Dar Cherifa, Mouassine. Opening times: Daily 10 AM -7 PM

Riad Yima, Derb Aarjane. Opening times: Daily 9 AM – 6 PM

Galerie 127, Guéliz. Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday 3 PM – 7 PM or by appointment)

David Bloch Gallery, Guéliz. Opening times: Monday 3.30 – 7.30 PM; Tuesday – Saturday 10.30 AM -1.30 PM and 3.30 – 7.30 PM

Galerie Rê, the ‘Résidence Al Andalous III’. Opening times: Monday – Saturday 10 AM – 1 PM and 3 – 8 PM

Marrakech August 2017 Events

lunedì, luglio 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

venerdì, luglio 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

lunedì, maggio 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

venerdì, aprile 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

sabato, aprile 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

martedì, marzo 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

lunedì, febbraio 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

venerdì, febbraio 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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