Marrakech Events to look out for in June 2015

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

As temperatures continue to soar, the month of June sees fewer events than in May but there are still a couple worthy of mention.

Mawzine Festival

The month starts with the Mawzine Festival in Rabat. Running from 29th May till 6th June, it comprises a starry line up of international acts, exhibitions and street performances.

Mort de Rire

The International Comedy Festival (also commonly known as the MDR – ‘mort de rire’, French for ‘to die laughing’) is scheduled to take place from 10th to 14th June. Inspired by Moroccan/ French comedian, actor and producer Jamel Debbouze, the event showcases a stellar line up of francophone comedy talent. The main venue is the Badi Palace while others include the French Institute, the Theatre Royal and Palais des Congrés.

Other Things to do in June

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Marrakech in May – upcoming events

Friday, May 15th, 2015

From festivals taking place in Marrakech itself to those in the surrounding area and slightly further afield, every one of the popular events listed below is well worth adding to your schedule of things to see and do when planning your holiday in Marrakech.

Babyboomer’s Adventure Rally, 05/05/2015 – This light-hearted sightseeing rally takes in some of Morocco’s most scenic landscapes and routes. Winners are not determined by who reaches the final destination first but by whose car (and driver) are considered to be the ‘best turned out’ for the occasion.

Gnaoua & World Music Festival, 14/05 to 17/05/2015 – Taking place in coastal Essaouira, this annual event celebrates local gnaoua music but also features regional and international acts. The free public concerts regularly attract thousands of visitors from around the world.

World Sacred Music Festival, Fez, 22/05 to 30/05/2015 – Aiming to ‘highlight the spirituality and musical traditions which have served human and social development through the ages’, this wonderful festival, featuring some of the world’s best exponents of a diverse range of musical traditions, explores a vast repertoire of rhythms and musical genres.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Marrakech – cultural events in February

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Dakka Marrakchia Festival

Part of Moroccan tradition and heritage, the lively, uplifting Dakka Marrakchia Festival has been passed down from generation to generation for more than a thousand years. Offering visitors a rare glimpse into the city’s historic traditions, it’s a must-see event for anyone visiting Marrakech in February.

Paying Tribute to Saints

Celebrated in Marrakech in February (2015′s celebration is scheduled for the 1st February, although this date has yet to be confirmed), this delightful festival is staged to pay tribute to the region’s saints, or spiritual patrons. Collectively referred to as the Sabaatou Rijal, they are represented by musicians from a selection of different districts of Marrakech.

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Marrakech in January

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

The contrast between the rigours of a typical European winter and the perennially mild temperatures of Marrakech make January as good a time to visit this vibrant city as almost any other.

The statistics speak for themselves: whereas much of northern continental Europe manages no more than a meagre 50-60 hours of sunshine during the first month of the New Year, in Marrakech the figure is 200 plus, over 7 hours of it per day!

Daytime temperatures range from 7° to 18° compared with values of half that in London or Paris. Rainfall? The Marrakech average of just 25mm (over 5 days) compares with 52mm in London (on 19 days) and 56mm in Paris (over 16 days).

But mild sunny weather is not the only advantage of a January visit: with fewer people around and prices at their lowest the budget goes further and there are bargains to be had everywhere, not least in the souks. Given the range of the city’s attractions, both outdoor and indoor, there is always plenty to see and do and there are a few events worth noting.

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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!

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