The Discoverer
The Discoverer
Marrakesh, Morocco
Edition 118   |   3:55 read time
Marrakesh, Morocco | @mattiacarlon1
One of Morocco's four imperial cities, Marrakesh has had many identities throughout its long, storied history. Centuries after serving as the capital of four different dynasties, today the cultural hotspot honors its ancient traditions while also looking — and building — toward the future. If you appreciate extremes, Marrakesh is for you. Where else can you wander a medieval marketplace buzzing with energy before relaxing in a tranquil garden sipping mint tea?
Fun Fact:
Marrakesh’s nickname, “the Red City,” comes from the rose-colored walls that surround its Old District.
#marrakesh | merc67
March — May
Marrakesh is hot in the summer — really hot. Get ahead of the heat by visiting in the spring, when you’ll be warm enough to get a proper sense of Northern Africa while still being comfortable. The nearby valleys will be in bloom, adding color to the already beautiful views, and you may cool down even further with the occasional rainfall in April and May.
Jardin Majorelle | @pixelpann
Shades of Blue
Situated on two-and-a-half acres, Jardin Majorelle is one of the most iconic spots in the city. That's due in no small part to the shade of blue that now bears its name, which is ubiquitous in this botanical garden that first opened in 1923. In addition to the cactus-heavy gardens, there's also a Cubist villa that houses the Islamic Art Museum of Marrakesh, the Berber Museum, and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum.
#medinaofmarrakesh | @laurageissend
Snake Charmers and Henna Tattoos
Now's your chance to see snake-charmers and monkey merchants up close. The maze-like assortment of narrow streets that make up Medina of Marrakesh can be intimidating for first-timers, but this UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most exciting marketplaces you’ll ever explore. With street performers, healers, henna tattooists, and all manner of other merchants, it’s a chance to experience Marrakesh — and, by extension, Morocco — in microcosm. Make sure to also stop through Jemaa el-Fna, which hosted public executions 1,000 years ago (its name translates to "assembly of the dead") but is much friendlier today.
Saadian Tombs | @b_tyce
In This Life or the Next
The final resting place of Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur, the Saadian Tombs were built in the 16th century but lay undiscovered until 1917. Sixty other members of the Saadi Dynasty are entombed here, too, and though somber, it isn’t exactly a mournful place. In fact, with their cedar wood, stucco, and Carrara marble, the tombs are exceedingly beautiful. There are three rooms, the most popular of which features the famous Chamber of the 12 Pillars — a truly grand mausoleum that would even make the pharaohs blush.
The Sahara Desert, Morocco | @emilygoesplaces
Marrakesh by Mule
Marrakesh rests in the shadow of the Atlas Mountains, which are stunning no matter how you see them. Even so, the best way to actually experience those snow-capped peaks is by riding a mule — an experience made even better by the inclusion of a camel trek. There are waterfalls to explore, mint tea to drink, and Berber villages to learn about. It makes for a fun, relaxing day trip, not to mention a great way to catch a glimpse of Morocco’s more tranquil side without straying too far from the city.
Ebru's Discovery
"It was one of those trips I keep very close to my heart. Morocco is definitely a country I will be back visiting soon and this gorgeous Persian Villa will hopefully be my home again."
Riad BE Marrakech | @vanessafooddiary
The Spice of Life
Tucked away in the Rahba Kedima spice square, the Café des Epices is what you might call “shabby chic.” The three-story restaurant overlooks the square and its aromatic scents will have your mouth watering before you've even opened the menu. Luckily, the actual food — a range of sandwiches, teas, salads, omelettes, and tajines — will more than satisfy your cravings. For something a bit more upscale, try the food at Riad BE Marrakech. The ambiance is relaxing and luxurious, and the food is worth every penny.
Villa des Orangers Relais & Chateaux | @tallisjourneys
Relax in a Riad
Like your own private oasis, the Villa des Orangers is a five-star hotel nestled between the Royal Palace and Jemaa El Fna Square. It's also a riad, a traditional Moroccan mansion featuring an interior courtyard, which only enhances the feeling of having been whisked away somewhere not quite real. With three pools, a spa, and a hammam (Turkish bath), it’s almost worth taking the trip just to stay here. Orangers isn't the only restful place to lay your head, however, as Riad Kheirredine is lovely as well. The building itself is as striking as the views, with narrow pools and covered beds sweetening the deal even further.
Marrakech | @brunocesarqg
Touch the Sky
"Take a tour of the Hassan II Mosque, which has the world’s largest minaret. This will leave you speechless, the beautiful architecture of this mosque is something to be seen." – @adrienne___w
Meet the Marketplace
"I loved getting lost in the souk, its colors and scents." – Aurora
Just Between Us Plants
"Just inside the Medina there’s another hidden garden, much smaller but a gem in the chaos of the city, called Jardin Secret. It’s a nice relief during a typical chaotic afternoon in the city." – @giu.braz
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