An amazing travel experience if you love culture, food, shopping and new experiences then you should visit Marrakech. A city divided into two, the new city like many other city’s and the old Medina. When entering the Medina it´s like stepping back in time into the story of 1001 nights. I felt amazed, excited and disorientated when entering our Riad (a traditional Moroccan house with interior garden) through a small door in a dirty back ally it was like stepping into a beautiful and peaceful royal oasis. I love the architecture – it´s my favorite. I think the combination of the crazy bustling Medina and the peaceful and luxurious Riads is perfect. You will be amazed when visiting the souks, they are endless medieval looking markets with clothes, food, spices and lamps – its a complete maze and it´s easy to get lost. Be prepared for constant haggling, make sure you have change of money in your pocket for those trying to earn a few coins by leading you the way and trust me you will need help with directions in the souks. We liked the adventure but if you like things to go smooth and tranquil I would advise a guide to lead you trough the souks.
It´s a non drinking culture and therefore not all restaurants and Riads serve alcohol. Most Riads and hotels will give you a restaurant and bar guide where they serve alcohol with your meal. All the restaurants and bars in the Medina with good health and hygiene standard are listed in the guide but please be careful with ice in your drinks if you go to a non listed restaurant.
I think 2-3 days in the Medina is plenty as it is full on, unless you take day trips out of the Medina, they offer many different tours.
- with 4×4
- a camal ride into the mountains
- balloon ride
- For a party you could visit Nikki beach club
- If you love beautiful gardens, you must visit jardin majorelle
- cooking class
- traditional Hammam (spa).
A Hammam is very important for Moroccan culture, most men, woman and children will visit the public bath house several times per month to catch up on Gossip and follow long rituals and help each other cleanse their body´s until their skin is removed from all dead skin cells, revealing a healthy glow. This is also practiced the night before a wedding and of course male and female bathhouses are separate. Tourist Hammams are often private, just for you, your companion and the lady´s helping you. You normally wear a bikini or your underpants.
After stepping into a small steam room, your body will be completely covered in a deep cleansing black soap then you wait a while for the soap to penetrate into the pores. After that you will be rinsed off with buckets of water and scrubbed from head to toe with an exfoliating glove – it feels like being scrubbed with rough sand paper but don´t worry you soon get used to it! Especially when you see all the dead skin rolling off you – you will be left with squeaky clean skin! The best is to book a massage after your Hammam and relax. Personally i found the Hammams in the middle of the Medina offered on the streets more traditional better and cheaper than the Hammams in the exclusive Riads, those treatments are more westernized to our comfort and standards.
Where to stay
A charming 6 bedroom boutique hotel in the Medina. The Riad is so beautiful and the owner and staff are so friendly and helpful. You are guarantied to have a relaxing stay at Altair. After walking all day exploring the Medina i was happy to arrive back at the Riad looking forward to soak my feet in the pool and enjoying their delicious mint tea, or soak up the afternoon sun on their roof terrace. The rooms are from 100 € per night
4 nights incl. flight from Valencia for 450 €