A magical place in which to dream and breathe the genuine traditional soul of Morocco
Surrounded by splendid ochre-coloured ramparts and proud of its glorious history and buildingsMarrakech is the capital of the Moroccan south. A crossroads of culture and a city of immense beauty. Founded by Almohadi in 1062, it has seen a succession of dynasties, while architects, artisans and sculptors of every age have built princely palaces, enchanting mosques and luxuriant gardens.
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Today the city of Marrakech is made up of two souls: the ancient of the medina, the largest in the country after Fès, and the modern, with palaces, restaurants, riads, golf clubs and casinos.
Historic buildings in Marrakech
Koutoubia MosquePhoto: Copyright © Shutterstock
Its millenary history is tangible through the beauty of the buildings such as the Koutoubia Mosque, divided into 17 aisles, with a 69-metre-high minaret, the sixteenth-century Palace of El Badi, built over 25 years with the most precious materials, the Ben Youssef Medersa, with its Andalusian-inspired architecture, and the large artificial lake built more than a thousand years ago in the Ménara Gardens, which is an incredible sight at sunset. Also interesting is the Bahia Palace, which overlooks gardens filled with the perfume of jasmine and orange, and Dar Si Said, seat of the National Art Museum.
Jamâa El Fna Square in Marrakech
Jamâa El Fna SquarePhoto: Copyright © Shutterstock
But the true essence of Marrakech is its squareJamâa El Fna, with its carts brimming with oranges and kernels of toasted wheat, women who have travelled from the Atlas mountains to sell baskets, story-tellers and musicians, healers and palmists; a festival of colours, inebriating perfumes and unique aromas.
The spices. Photo: Copyright © Shutterstock
The souks in Marrakech
A walk in the labyrinth of the souks, realm of the art of haggling, is a wonderful feast for the senses.
Among the enveloping odours of spices and the wealth of colours of the Berber rugs, leather craftsmen still make traditional babouches with ancient methods.
Marrakech features modern hotels, relaxing hammams, luxurious and enchanting riads, excellent and original restaurants and bars that are among the most trendy in the world.
Atlas mountains in Marrakech
Atlas mountainsPhoto: Copyright © Shutterstock
Marrakech also offers a favourable climate and countryside as exceptional as it is diversified, with palms, proximity to the snow-covered Atlas mountains and flower-filled valleys. Seen from the city, the mountains with their imposing size and snowy crests seem unreal and fantastic. At the foot of the Atlas mountains and a few kilometres to the south of the city are the green Valleys of Dadès and Drâa, filled with oleanders, acacias and date palms. 
Moroccan cuisine
It is a varied cuisine that has undergone Berber, Moorish, Mediterranean and Arab influences throughout its long history. In the royal cities of Fèz, Meknès, Marrakesh, Rabat and Tétouan, the chefs perfected the recipes creating the basis of Moroccan cuisine. Among the most famous dishes there is the couscous of Berber origin, the bstalh (or bestilla), the tajine, the rafisa, the shua (Moroccan barbacue), the tanjia and the harira, a soup served with dates. Among the desserts there is the kaab el ghzal a pastry filled with almond paste and covered with sugar, halva shebakia, fried pastry with honey sprinkled with sesame seeds and halva shebakia biscuits. Among the drinks the most popular is the mint tea prepared with a unique technique that enhances the flavor.
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Photo: Copyright © Shutterstock
Photo: Copyright © Shutterstock
Kaab el ghzal
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Mint tea

Text by Luca Lembi
Update by Alisè Vitri
Avion Tourism Magazine
Photos: Shutterstock
Copyright ©
Tourism Board



Where to sleep in Marrakech
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Marrakech is a welcoming city and offers different possibilities for accommodation.

To find the ideal hotel and the best offers you can do a search for the stars but also for districts or landmarks.  


Dwhere to go in marrakech
Monuments of Marrakech
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Take a twilight stroll around the Place Jemaa El Fna, Marrakesh's busy centre. You will find an exotic and Medieval atmosphere with storytellers, jugglers, animal leaders and, above all, fire-eaters whose flaming jets rip through the Moroccan night to the sounds of traditional music. A unique experience, a trip back in time impossible to share elsewhere.

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The Majorelle Gardens house a collection of plants from the four corners of the earth flourishing among elegant ornamental lakes and an Art Deco villa. Yves Saint Laurent's ashes were scattered here. You leave this enchanted spot in one of the many horse drawn carriages available in the city and take the inevitable trip to the palm grove. From there, you continue to the Ménara, one of Marrakesh's symbolic places. This elegant building, which you can recognize by its green tiles, is surrounded by an immense ornamental lake. Marrakshi families come here to enjoy this cool spot during heat waves.

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The Medina and souks offer products, textiles and handicrafts, just below the typical ramparts dating from the twelfth century. Far from the center, there are the Saadian tombs and the Arab-Andalusian garden that offers a moment of relaxation before the visit at the halls of the two tombs with decorated suites, which are close to the beautiful minaret of the Mosque El-Mansour. Nearby, you can admire the view from the terrace of the Palace El-Badi that stands out over the rooftops of the city. In the northeast area, you can see the ancient Minbar of the Koutoubia Mosque, a pulpit decorated with sculptures and marquetry.

Museums in Marrakech
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Place Ben Youssef

The Marrakech Museum was built by Mehdi Mnebhi the late nineteenth century. 

Madame Benjelloun Naymah in memory of her husband and to safeguard the national heritage of the city worked to offer visitors a cultural space where they can make available to the national art and contemporary art from the fourteenth to the nineteenth century.


Excursions in Marrakech
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The Lalla Takerkoust Lake is just 20 minutes from Marrakesh. You can explore its 7 km by pedal boat, motorboat or even jet ski. The Oukaimeden ski resort in the Atlas gives you access to one of the most extensive ski domains in Africa. You can climb Mount Toubkal (4,167m) which is situated to the south of Oukaimeden. In no time, you can leave the heat of the valley for the pure mountain air.

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You can't miss the Marrakesh palm grove. You can drive the 20km to this luxuriant spot where you can then renew yourself. Otherwise you can take a horse drawn carriage to the big ornamental lake in Ménara.

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You can visit the Ourika Valley which is about 30km from Marrakesh: granary for the area, with its fields for different crops laid out like a draughtboard, will often pleasantly surprise you: its waterfalls punctuating the beautiful unspoilt scenery, for example, or the Yagour rock carvingsAsni village, with its very beautiful red kasbah, should be seen. The valley of the same name gives access to some sumptuous gorges. Ouirgane is a very popular spot for Marrakshis.

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