5 Fabulous Days in Marrakech, Morocco
Arts & Culture
Marrakech is one of the most unique places I have ever visited. It is like living in two worlds- both past and present. This amazing city was once a vacation destination for mostly Europeans but Americans have finally caught on to everything this city has to offer. Morocco as a whole has so much to offer for every type of traveler and Marrakech is a perfect stop to make a part of your holiday. Whether camel riding in the desert, shopping at the Medina, or laying by the beautiful pools there is just something for everyone. Immersed in a culture that teaches about patience, love and tolerance- it just keeps on giving. Every moment a learning experience and every day a wonder. It is no coincidence that this little country in Northern Africa has taken the world by storm and it is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.
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Where to stay
Four Seasons Resort Marrakech
Located between the ancient medina and the cosmopolitan neighborhood of the Ville Nouvelle, this elegant chain offers luxury with a touch of Moroccan style and culture.
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The original grande dame, with a measured mix of extraordinary opulence and flawless taste.
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Daily full breakfast, for two guests per bedroom
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Royal Mansour Marrakech
Perhaps Marrakech's best-known palatial hotel with an expansive spa and luxurious suites that offer an authentic Morrocan experience.
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Day 1: Arrive in Marrakech
You will likely arrive in Marrakech in the afternoon. Check into your hotel and ask the hotel staff who welcomes you to arrange a tour of the property so you know exactly where everything is and you won't have to waste a second.
Unpack and then head over to the pool to relax, have a cocktail and some lunch. You will enjoy the quiet, tranquil setting and all the stress of travel will leave you. Perhaps you will order a bit of fresh mint tea before or after your cocktail. Take a swim in the pool and in the background in the late afternoon you will hear the beautiful sounds of the Moroccan people being called to prayer. It is one of the most beautiful sounds I have every heard.
You will be a bit tired so perhaps an early evening nap then off to dinner. I recommend the Four Seasons Marrakech for dinner at Inara which is modeled after a traditional riad. Enjoy Moroccan, Turkish and Lebanese cuisine and more mint tea. Get to bed early because it is the best way to fight jet lag. You will wake up refreshed and find yourself on Moroccan time by the next morning.
Day 2: Take a tour of the Old City
Enjoy complimentary breakfast and then get dressed for the day. Hire a private tour guide who will pick you up at your hotel. I recommend Marrakech Daily Tours and request Nourdine as your guide. Chat a bit about what you are interested in seeing and you will be on your way.
Enjoy the famous Jardin Majorelle and then a tour of the Old City. It is here you where you will be transported back in time. You will learn about and see the magnificent Mosques and palaces that have a history long before America was born. You will visit the souk where you will find lovely, hand made products. You will see the kind, humble people and, although it will be crowded, your guide will bring you to all of the perfect spots. A stop for lunch at Nomad which is a rooftop restaurant with a beautiful view of the Medina.
Day 3: Shopping for Spices & Moroccan Rugs
After breakfast spend the morning at the pool. Then hire Nourdine again to take you to the best spice shops and a Moroccan rug store. You will learn about all of the products and most likely purchase some Moroccan oil and Prickly Pear oil which I highly recommend. Then, at the rug store, it will be hard to leave without a Berber rug of your own. Head to an early dinner at Kabana which is also a rooftop restaurant with views of the Medina.
Day 4: Visit the Atlas Mountains
Hire a tour guide to take you to the Atlas Mountains in a private vehicle and you will admire the scenery of the Imlil, Asni and Amizmiz Valleys and make stops to hike the waterfalls, roam hidden Berber villages and sip tea with Berber locals. This takes a full day so when you return to your hotel rest and prepare for your evening where you will have a cocktail in the lobby of La Mamounia. Then dine in one of the several fabulous restaurants at this amazing, historic property.
Day 5: Visit Palm Oasis
After breakfast spend a few hours at the pool. Choose one of the many fabulous restaurants in Marrakech to have a late lunch. In the early evening be picked up by your tour guide who will drive you to the Palm Oasis for a sunset camel ride. You will ride through the palms to a Berber household where you will see children playing. A berber woman will welcome you and prepare mint tea, bread and olive oil for you. When you return to your hotel you will make a reservation at Comptair Darna where you will have a Moroccan dinner with a show. It is the perfect place to end your stay.
Need to Know
For more travel tips, check out my guide to the Amalfi Coast: Spend 6 Days in Paradise on Italy's Amalfi Coast.
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