Marrakech or Marrakesh
Travel to Marrakech, Morocco
Travel to Morocco with Morocco travel specialist:
Casablanca Travel and Tours
first feeling one has when entering this particular imperial
capital is of pure enchantment. We are bewitched-falling under
the spell of the place and its people, folk artists to their
very souls who have only one aim in view to make a stay in their
city as entrancing an experience as possible. With its
world-famous square, Jamaâ El Fna, the beacon city of the
Almoravids was founded in about 1070 with a view to controlling
traffic from the nearby Atlas.
It was from this
rudimentary settlement that the earliest conquests were
launched. Abu Bakr, head of the Almoravids, undertook the
construction of a kasbah, nicknamed the "stone castle" only
yards away from the present site of the Koutoubia.
the capital of a vast empire in the reign of Youssef Ben
Tachfine-an empire which, under the Almohades, reached as for as
the frontiers of Libya.
The first Almohades
sovereign, Abdelmoumen began the construction of the Koutoubia
mosque, which his grandson Yacoub El Mansour adorned with a
superb minaret, still standing today. His son Youssef had
reservoirs dug and a spreading administrative district
-Marrakech reached the height of its glory. Built in the same
epoch as Seville's "la Giralda" and Rabat's "Tour Hassan", the
Koutoubia, dating from the 11th century, is a truck masterpiece
of Hispanic- Moorish art. Its minaret rises to almost 70 meters.
The Badii Palace
bas long been regarded as a wonder of the Muslim world. It was
the sovereign Ahmed El Mansour Dahbi who undertook construction
of the palace following his victory over the Portuguese in the
year 986 of the hejira (1578), a victory well-known in the
Western World under the name of the Battle of the Three Kings.
The major construction work went on for sixteen years. Other
marvels to be found in the Red City are the Dar Si Said museum,
containing much quintessential Moroccan art and displaying the
glittering array of gold and marble ornaments collected by Ahmed
El Mansour (1578-1603), greatest of Saadian rulers, the Medersas
Ben Youssef, a coranic school founded in 1570 by Moulay Abdellah
and a truc masterpiece of Merinids architecture, the Agdal
gardens, laid out in the 12th century during the reign of
Abdelmoumen and the Menara, a magnificent artificial lake
fringed with flowers ...
Framed by the snowy
heights of the Atlas, with rose-colored ramparts and a thousand
year old palm grove, Marrakech casts a magic spell. Sumptuous
and exuberant, it radiates splendor and mysticism ; at the dye
merchants, in the explosion of multicolored wools ; at Festival
time, in the rhythm of the music, in the emotion of the dancers
; in the idle talk of the merchants and in the skill of the
jugglers. Enchantment, you feel in the shade of the blue gardens
and in the overwhelming perfection of the Koutoubia.
Marrakech nearby Excursions:
½ day historical tour : Koutoubia
mosque (12th cent.), El Mansour mosque, the Saadians
tombs (16th cent.) , the ruins of el Badia palace
(16th cent.) with its storks on the towers, the
Mellah Jewish quarter, the Bahia palace (19th) , Dar
Si Said palace (19th cent.) transformed into a
museum, Tiskiwin private museum dedicated to popular
arts & crafts, Riad Tamsna dedicated to arts,
handicrafts and literature ( restaurant serving
lunch and tea room), Dar Bellarj Foundation for
culture (expositions, conferences).
½ day or 1 day excursion to
Ourika valley : 65 km/41 mi far. Beautiful
valley in the Atlas mountain, with nice view points
and small pisé villages inhabited by Berber tribes.
Lower down, the Ourika rivers meanders through
orchards, fields and gardens. Souk on Friday at
Jemaa d'Rhmat, on Monday at Tnine l'Ourika.
Possibility to have lunch in an auberge facing the
snow capped mountain and overlooking the river.
1 day to Oukaïmeden : 80
km/50 mi far, winter sports resort 3.273 M/8,700
feet high. Possibility to ski in winter (equipment
for rent). Nice bronze age rock carvings. Trekking
in the region.
½ day tour of the Souks : a
labyrinthine market place organised by trade in
separate but interlinked streets and courtyards.
Souk Smarine for pottery and spices, cloth, Rahba
Kédima for spices and jewellery, 'La Criée berbère'
where auction of goods are organised, souk el Kebir,
souk Attarin, souk Cherratin for leather, wood and
metal crafts, babouches souk , dyers souk, souk
Hadddine for blacksmiths. North of the souks, you
can visit the Almoravides koubba (12th cent.), the
Ben Youssef medersa (16th century coranic school),
the Marrakesh museum in the Mnehbi palace.
½ day tour of the palm grove
: 20 km/13 mi (2 hours) circuit, 100.000 palm trees.
Can be done with vehicle or with a horse drawn
carriage, preferably at sunset time to enjoy the
1 day to Asni/Ouirgane : 60
km/37 mi far. Asni is situated at the foot of the
Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa 4.167
M/13,650 feet in the centre of the Cirque de
Tamaraout. Then the road crosses a low pass and
descends to the green valley of Ouirgane. Souk in
Tahanaoute on Tuesdays.
1 day to Essaouira : port 170
km/106 mi far. Visit the medina, the ramparts, the
Skala, the marquetry craftsmen carving thuja wood
inlaid with ivory, mother-of-pearl, citron or ebony;
the fishermen's port, the silver jewellers, the
Mellah Jewish quarter. Dromedary rides on the beach.
Valley Half Day
Located at the foot of the famous ski station of
Oukaimden, the luxuriant Valley of Ourika rises
gently up to the preliminary hills of the High Atlas
where small typical villages have nested. It is a
pure and magnificent place where silence is only "
disturbed " by birds singing, water streams and
wagtails. Ourika is famous for its pottery, minerals
Ouirgane Half Day
Located at the foot of Toubkal, the highest mountain
of Morocco and North Africa (more than 4500 meters),
the small village of Tahanaout gathers two times a
week (Tuesday and Saturday) the region's farmers for
the big souk. After the visit of the Ghaghia Wadi
Gorges, arrival in Asni ; the realm of amethyst and
the Green Valley of Ouirgane, known as the " Happy
Essaouira, or Old Mogador, is a city that reminds us
of the times when Spain, Portugal and England fought
to maintain control over its coasts. It is a
typically Portuguese harbor with beautiful samples
of the Moorish and Portuguese arts. Essaouira is
known for its artists who work on thuja, its silver
market, the art gallery, the harbor, the islands …
It was also in Essaouira where Orson Welles shot his
Travel through the countryside and breath fresh air,
" the place where you can hear no noise ". Through
the Tizi n'Tichka pass (2260m), one of the most
culminating peaks in North Africa, discover a
remarkable region disclosing magnificence, beauty of
its rich sights and landscapes. Once in Ouarzazate,
visit the Kasbahs of Taourirt and Tifoultout, old
residences of Glaoui (Former Pacha of Marrakesh).
Zagora 2 days
Through the Tizi n'Tichka pass (2260m), visit the
Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou. Lunch in Ouarzazate and
continuation on to Zagora via the "Drâa Valley ".
Alongside Kasbahs, the road crosses a desert region.
Arrival in Zagora, the gate to desert, visit, dinner
and lodging at a 4-stars hotel. On the second day,
visit a Berber village and return to Marrakesh.
In one of the most enchanting sites, taste Moroccan
dishes while watching a beautiful show featuring, to
name but a few, the oriental belly dancer, the local
folkshow and an atmosphere of the 1001 nights in a
genuine Moroccan palace located at the heart of the
Fantasia Dinner &
the fantasia is a warrior ceremony opposing various
groups of horse riders, Each group quivers under
light, and the riders point their long rifles to the
sky, shout out simultaneously and leave behind them
a cloud of dust, before spouting their " black
baroud of honor ". During dinner, made up chiefly of
harira, méchoui and couscous, you will have the
opportunity to appreciate the Berber folkshow, the
performance of jugglers, the flying carpet, the
belly dance and, last but not least, the fantasia
The first Aman
resort on the African continent, means "peaceful paradise." (Aman
is Sanskrit for "peaceful," while jena means "paradise" in
Arabic.) Located in Morocco, Amanjena’s 34 pavilions and seven,
two-story maisons are set within an oasis of palms and old olive
trees. Earth-toned Marrakech, with its gardens and its souks,
its art and craft and compelling culture, is just seven
kilometers away. The resort is situated alongside an 18-hole
golf course with a second course, a royal golf course, less than
a kilometer away. Amanjena looks out onto the snow-capped High
Atlas Mountains, the highest range in North Africa.
A stunning hotel
situated some 7 kilometers outside Marrakech, the Amanjena is
built in the traditional style of a Moroccan palace. It hosts 34
walled gardened 1 bedroom pavilions, four large 2 bedroom
maisons each with plunge pools and three maisons jardin. Open
fireplaces and king size beds seem to be a standard feature.
range of excursions on hand are impressive and the
very efficient and polite staff make make the
Amanjena a welcoming if not expensive place to spend
time. Excursions include horse-carriage rides,
hiking as well as gentle walking through Berber
Hidden at the end of a secluded road in the center
of Marrakech is the beautiful Maison d’Arabe. A
spectacular gem in the heart of the Medina, this
stunning new hotel comprises 11 rooms each one
individually designed with eye-catching silks and
traditional antiques. There is no restaurant and no
menu here, but instead you choose what you want to
eat for each meal and it is created for you
personally!Right in the
heart of the Medina of Marrakech lies a charming and
highly original hotel, lavishly
decorated with Moroccan antiques, oriental carpets and
exquisite good taste. Originally a restaurant created by
two remarkable French ladies in the 1940s. La Maison
Arabe's present incarnation as a delightful small hotel
is the work of an Italian aristocrat, who transformed
the highly renowned hostelry into ten enchanting suites
Moorish layout has been maintained, with all the rooms
set around two shady patios complete with gently
gurgling fountains. Bejeweled
lanterns hang in graceful archways to cast splashes of
ruby, emerald and amber light, while original artworks
(both antique and contemporary) epitomize the unique
style of the house.
Mellow ochre walls and traditional brass pots and lamps
offset classic Moroccan blue furnishings.
The romantic bedrooms and
suites - evocatively named after characters from 1001
Arabian Nights -are all individually designed in rich
colors and sumptuous fabrics to create a feeling of
opulent indulgence further enhanced by the luxurious
Breakfast and afternoon tea are served in the patio courtyard,
La Maison Arabe no longer serves dinner, the main square with its range
of temptingly exotic restaurants is just a 5 minute walk away.
For warmer weather guests can also now take advantage of the
hotel's own pool and bar, situated in a private garden about a
ten minute drive by shuttle van.
Roseraie , Asni
Roseraie is located in the heart of the Berber Mountains of the
High Atlas at an altitude of 1.000 meters . The hotel is 60 km
from Marrakech. The altitude will offer the perfect climate.
Cool in summer, mild in winter, its pure air will revitalize
you. Secretly hidden in the middle of 25 hectares of natural
parkland, far away from stressful city life, it will be the
ideal retreat for nature lovers.
La Roseraie. Surrounded by
picturesque Berber villages and yet only an hour's drive from
Marrakech, this pretty retreat lies in fifty acres of vivid
gardens set against a stunning backdrop of snow-capped peaks and
rushing mountain streams. Heavily scented roses, ancient olive
trees, lemon groves and carpets of wild flowers set the scene
for a deeply relaxing escape cushioned from the pressures of
La Roseraie is an
attractive melange of subtle pink and red buildings mid-way
between Mediterranean and Arabic architecture. Accommodation is
in forty cottage-style bedrooms and suites, all of which are
furnished with rustic chic enhanced by local influence. Private
terraces lead to the gardens and most junior suites have cosy
log fires for the cooler winter evenings.
The emphasis at this lovely hotel is on simple, healthy living;
there are three swimming pools, including one inside in the
excellent health and beauty centre and two tennis courts. Riding
and trekking expeditions range from an hour or two to several
days, whilst more sedentary nature lovers can indulge their
senses painting and bird watching or merely gazing at the
glorious mountain scenery.
La Roseraie is an unpretentious glimpse of paradise; in April
and May when the roses are in full bloom, there can be few more
beautiful places on earth to unwind and forget about life in the
2 Freshwater pools, Attractive gardens and sun terraces
2 tennis courts.
Health center with indoor heated pool.
Lounge , Restaurant (open to public) and Snack bar.
Horses, Walks and Treks.
3 Fantastic golfing opportunities nearby in Marrakech
DAR SI SAID MUSEUM
Dar Si Said Museum
Riad Ez-Zaitoun El Jadid
one of Morocco's most beautiful cities stands a sumptuous palace housing
the very quintessence of Moroccan art.
On the ground floor you can find clothes, objects in beaten copper, arms
and Berber jewellery. Splendors from the past?
Not at all, for many of the objects on display are still used and worn
in mountain areas.
The first floor salon impress
with its Hispano-Moorish decoration and elegant furniture in cedar wood.
It is such an accurate reproduction that, at any moment,
you half expect to see a bride in her ceremonial dress return to the
armchair and show herself off to all the admiring guests.
The other rooms are filled with an abundance of carpets. Stop a moment
to examine those coming from the Sahara region, characterized by the use
of leather, and large, simple mats evoking the dry beauty of the
A remarkable collection of door and window frames is to be found around
the courtyard, all encrusted with the most delicate and refined
ornamentation. And in the streets outside you will soon understand that
the town and its inhabitants know how to keep the traditions of their
In the 1920s
the French artist Jacques Majorelle had it made, complete with pools,
banana trees, coconut palms, and houses in a fantastic dark blue color. The
wonderful garden is alive with the sound of birds, its incredible cacti
standing out in sharp contrast against the blue facade of the villa.
The gardens have later been taken well care of the French couturier Yves
Saint-Luarent, who have added a private museum of North African artifacts
and a collection of Islamic art.
The gardens serve as a museum, and is open to the public.
Jacques Majorelle is born in 1886 in Nancy
(France). In 1919 he settles in Marrakech to continue his career of
painter, where he acquires a ground which was going to become the
Majorelle garden. Since 1947 he opens his garden's doors to the public.
Following a car accident, he returns to France, where he dies in 1962.
in 1980 Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent repurchase the garden and
Contrasts, the colors, the
light games seem go out of one of the pictures of Jacques Majorelle. It
was one of the more important collectors of plants of his era, and this
is in this spirit
than enlarges itself from day to day the flore of the garden. Plants of
the five continents are exposed in an enchanting framework. This that
was the workshop of Jacques Majorelle, inspiration place and of
contemplation, shelters today the magnificent art collection Islamic of
Rock Bergé and Holy Yves Laurent. The originality of these places lies
in the combination of a luxurious végétation and architectural elements
allying sobriété and traditional aesthetic Moroccan. The power of the
blue Majorelle participates in the freshness impression and of quiétude.
Displayed in the municipal theatre, this
collection of costumes, jeweler, arms, musical instruments, carpets and
furniture was assembled by Bert Flint, a Dutch
It is a charming little museum of art and popular traditions from the Souss
valley and the Sahara region. It should be noted that another section of the
museum is situated in Agadir.
Bart Flint Museum,
Rue de la Bahia
Avenue Mohamed V, Agadir
Displayed in the municipal
theatre, this collection of costumes, jeweler, arms, musical
instruments, carpets and furniture was assembled by Bert Flint, a deutch
It is a charming little museum of art and
popular traditions from the Souss valley and the Sahara region. It
should be noted that another section of the museum is situated in
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