Welcome to the show! Marrakech is quite a spectacle what ever time of year you head. It’s a sensory overload with incredible sights, sounds and smells in all corners of the Medina.
You can’t visit Marrakech without checking out the Jamna El Fna (main square) where you’ll find monkey trainers, snake charmers, storytellers, food markets and so called “Moroccan dentists”. The big Koutoubia mosque towers over the city and is quite spectacular at call to prayer time.
Head into the New Town to see the new, vibrant and cosmopolitan side of Marrakech. Full of restaurants, nightclubs, designer shops and bars, this is a side of the country you don’t usually associate with Morocco, but somehow it works creating an incredible fusion of western and middle eastern cultures. Film, fashion and music festivals are held throughout the year in this global city so try and coincide your trip with one of these.
Top Tip: Take it easy, realise that you don’t have anywhere you have to be and you probably do have 20 minutes to tell Ahmed that you don’t want to buy his slippers
Where to stay: Riad Assia, Equity point, Hotel Tigmi
Must See: Jamna El Fna at night from one of the panoramic cafes.
Must Do: Get an hour long tour of Marrakech on one of the horse and carts. 200-300dh.
Welcome to the windy city where fresh fish, sunset beers and all day windsurfing are the norm. Like many Moroccan towns, Essaouira is split into 2 parts; a new town and old town. To be honest, the new town is not pretty and should probably be avoided. It’s safe, but not a pleasant place and it doesn’t really have much going on.
The old town or Medina on the other hand is full of boutique shops, interesting characters, rich in history and heaped with restaurants and cafes. The seafront and port are the main centres to head to, where you can get fish, evening drinks, or simply just people watch.
Visit the west of the city to see the old Portuguese cannons and watch the sunset.
Must do: Wind surfing in Sidi Kaudi
Must See: the atlantic from one of the ramparts
Top Tip: Eat at the fish market on the front. Go just after lunch when there are fewer people to get a better price. Remember that it’s always easier to get more for your money, that to get a lower price.
Where to stay: Hostel Essaouira, Hotel Riad Nakhla
Maybe not the easiest of places to get to from the south, but seeing as it’s the most beautiful place in Morocco, it’s definitely worth a visit if you’ve got a bit of time! Hidden in the hills of the riff mountain, Chefchaouen has an air of relaxation and chilled vibes. The medina is painted almost entirely in blue and white making it feel very fresh and the streets are immaculate.
It’s only about a 3 hour drive from Fes, Meknes and Tangier, so it should be high on the list of any Morocco itinerary.
Must See: The waterfalls and one of the many so called “farms” in the hills growing Chefchaouen finest ‘herbs’.
Must Do: Just wander around and take in the most beautiful and picturesque town in the whole of Morocco.
Where to stay: Hotel Riad Rachid (on Av. Sidi Abdelhamid, just outside the medina)