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Marrakech as of your starting point!
To get to know the country of Morocco, more in ‘deep’ (more than just one place) and have a more broad idea of how the country in general is, as in cultural aspects, orographical landscape, style of living…
You can opt to make a full route around the whole country that can last as little as 14 days or as much as 3 months (or more if you’re up to extend your visa..).
Marrakech is one of the cultural cities of Morocco, in which more tourists choose to see and know first. Despite being in an Arab country, the city of Marrakech it’s been very westernised, as so many Europeans not only live in the city but also visit the city as tourists on normal basis. You can get to know Marrakech in as little of 3 days if you do non stop visit days, or a week if you take your time and combine visits with working online (my case).
What to see and visit in Marrakech? But before that, where to stay?
Where to stay?
The best option for you is to stay in a Riad. It depends on your budget, but as Marrakech is not that expensive, you can find acceptable Riads starting at 30€, and better ones for 60€. If you have some Booking Genius discount, you can opt for up to 10-15 % discount on the price, or if you know someone owning a travel agency, you can opt for a 20€ discount per night.
The Riad is a typical Moroccan type of house, which owns a patio normally with a pool, but not always, right in the middle of the building. For your stay in Marrakech be more authentic, an stay in a Riad will be a recommendable must!
My personal recommendation for a GOOD Riad, not short on comfort, neither fitting a luxurious standard, will be: Riad Challa. For 60€ per night, you can enjoy of an authentic Riad very close to the Medina of the city.
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What to see and do while your stay in Marrakech?
Jemaa-el-Fnaa and surroundings
The most iconic spot of the city of Marrakech, it is with no doubt the Square of Jemaa-el-Fnaa, from which you can have a view to the fascinating beautiful mosque of Koutubiyya. The square is very vivid and colourful, filled with multiple shop owners, trying to catch your attention to buy its multiple food products, some even carrying monkeys to catch tourists to take pictures with them.
Loss yourself towards the multiple narrow surrounding streets of the Square, specially the ‘Place des Épices’ in which lots of sellers, are offering you to try its products, offering you interesting explanations of how they produce the products that range from multiple species to natural oils and more.
The Mellah or Jewish quarter
As a Jewish-Israeli lover, I could not be missing to visit the Mellah, or Jewish quarter of Marrakech. As a very curious fact, Morocco was the Arab country which hosted more Jews in the history. Before the foundation of the Jewish State, Israel, around 300.000 Jews lived in the country. Nowadays only 2.000 remain, but still the Jewish Inheritance of the country is very considerable. Entire quarters, synagogues, cemeteries…many spots to consider checking to witness the Jewish cultural inheritance of the country.
In the city of Marrakech there’s an important Jewish Quarter also known as Bab Mellah, it is placed next to the Bahia Palace, and it has one important Synagogue I recommend you to visit called as of: ‘Slat Al Azama’, blue coloured, that was associated to the Sephardic Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492 during the Spanish Inquisition who also became as mechoragim Jews who had to coexist with the ones who were native to Morocco the tochavim Jews.
The price of entrance is 1€ (to the Synagogue).
5 minutes from this Synagogue, we can find the Jewish Cemetery, in which more than 20.000 Jews were buried. That costs another 1€.
And finally, you can have a walk around all the markets of the Jewish quarter although nowadays you won’t find many remaining Jews as most of them flew to Israel.
Visitng the 'Jardin Majorelle'
A very relaxing garden in Marrakech, with beautiful blue-coloured houses, it was created by the French painter Jacques Majorelle and preserved by the french designer Yves-Saint Laurant.
The entrance is a bit overpriced, 110 dirham (11€) , and 220 (22€) if you also wanna visit the Yves Saint Laurant house.
The place is very touristic, and queues there can be found even during the pandemic time.
Palais de la Bahia
Price of the entrance is around 50 dirhams (5€) still a bit overpriced, but that is as most touristic visits in the city of Marrakech. To go there and not visit them though it will be a pity, as you may only visit Morocco once in your life, so this may be the perfect time to do it.
The Palace dates back to the XIX century, the architecture of the Palace is islamic or Moresque style. It is also considered as of cultural heritage of the country.
Walk around 'La Place des Épices' and the Souks
This place is only about 10 mins from Jemaa el Fnaa Square, filled with typical artisans and locals selling hand made natural products, from oils, to cosmetic products, species for the food and much more. The talkative sellers will very soon approach you to show you and explain you about the particularities of their products and why you should buy them, but if you don’t feel like buying, just take a look and learn new stuff.
Day trip excursion to the Ouzud Falls
If you wanna see the monkeys jumping to the amazing falls of Ouzud, the second largest falls of North Africa, you must visit here. To go from Marrakech to this nature outstanding place you only have to 3h ride per way.There’s some tour agencies organising day trips to this site of the country, including transport both ways and a guide, for as little as 20€. Lunch will be in addition, and costs 10€ because of the unique views to the falls. Give to the monkeys some peanuts to make them jump over your shoulders, have a boat ride around the falls waters, visit the local communities living in this unique place, enjoy your day there!
Start your trip to the Merzouga Desert, from Marrakech
Marrakech is a perfect spot to start your trip in Morocco as from this city is where most tours to the desert do start. The idea is to spend 2 days on the road, as the desert gets a bit far, see the famous Atlas Mountains, that surround the city of Marrakech and do occupy a good part of the Moroccan territory, stop to take pictures in viewpoints, eat the typical food (Tajine, lots of them, and mint tea of course), visit some Kasbahs, specially the Ain Ben Haddou, the one in which Game of Thrones and Gladiator were recorded, sleep in Ouarzazate, witness a Bereber wedding and continue the road trip next day,
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