Gardens of Marrakech

Gardens of Marrakech - ANIMA, Return of Paradise

The gardens of Marrakech are noted for their freshness and tranquillity, in marked contrast to the heat and noise of the city streets. While the gardens of Majorelle, Menara and Agdal are the best known, few are aware of the recently developed ANIMA garden, in the Ourika Valley.

Aiming to become known, eventually, as one of the world's most imaginatively laid out and beautiful gardens, ANIMA, Return of Paradise is tucked away in the Ourika Valley, just 27 km to the south of the Ochre City, at the foot of the majestic Atlas Mountains of which there are striking views of lofty, often snow-capped peaks. Created over a period of six years by Austrian artist André Heller, in cooperation with filmmaker Gregor Weiss and architect Carmen Wiederin, ANIMA Garden opened its gates for the first time in April 2016.  

What to Expect

Combining a colourful assortment of plants, including thousands of roses and a wide diversity of palm trees, the garden is a truly magical place with something to offer visitors of all ages. Other features include various pavilions, rock sculptures (most noticeably in the shape of spiralling patterns), colourful African statues, Chinese Zodiac columns and a delightful "Druid-style" stone garden.

Designed to be a place of inspiration and contemplation, ANIMA also features a museum with rotating exhibitions of photographs, paintings and other objets d’art created by renowned artists from around the world. There is also a glass house in which children can play and a straw-hat- decorated Paul Bowles Café, serving a selection of delicious pastries, teas and fresh fruit juices.

As admissions to ANIMA are timed (tickets can be booked here), visitors can enjoy this extraordinary space and soak up its wonderfully calming, inspirational atmosphere without the disturbance of excessive crowds.   

Opening Hours & Ticket Prices

ANIMA Garden is open most days throughout the year (see here for opening times: http://www.anima-garden.com/visit.html) and tickets are priced at MAD 120.00 for adults. Children aged 12 to 16 pay half-price, as do residents. Children under 11 are free of charge.  

How to Get There

By car, you can get to ANIMA from Marrakech by following the ‘Route de Ourika/Oukaimden’. After the Total Station at the 27 km-marker, turn right (where there is a sign for ANIMA) and follow an unpaved track for a further 500 metres. Alternatively, one can take a complimentary shuttle ride to the garden from the Koutoubia car park. Buses run throughout the day and tickets can be booked online.