Marrakech: A pocket guide
Less than three hours from most European cities and with a near perfect climate year-round, Marrakech is a fabulous destination, whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway or a week of family fun. With fifteen golf courses, an abundance of luxury accommodations and fine restaurants, and countless souks and hammams, the city has become a magnet for luxury travellers.
Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Atlas Mountains in the center of Morocco, Marrakech is the ultimate balance of African, Arabic, and French traditions, an ancient hub that bursts with the colour and excitement of a bustling city. For much of the year, the mountains are covered in snow, making for idyllic views and walks. The snowmelt offers a slow release of water to the valley, giving life to a predominantly dry city.
Marrakech is a city of drama. Known as the Red City for its earth-colored walls, it has a more African feel than other Moroccan cities, such as Casablanca and Rabat. Its streets teem with donkeys, horses, and thousands of motorbikes and bicycles. Snake charmers and henna tattoo girls in Djeema el-fna, the city’s famous market square, add to the crazy atmosphere.
Outside the medina are the affluent neighborhoods of Gueliz (the French quarter) and Hivernage (the hotel quarter). Here you’ll find an abundance of good restaurants and places to stay. Northeast of the city lies the Palmeraie (the story goes the nomad travellers from the south camped there eating dates one thousand years ago and the palm trees grew from the sand). There are many beautiful villas with lovely mature gardens dotted all around Marrakech, but the Palmeraie, a collection of villas within its own golf course, remains the most sought-after destination for villa rental.
Marrakech is serviced by many daily low-cost direct flights from Europe, making it a top choice for quick getaways as well as longer stays.