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Marrakech city guide

About Marrakech

Discover the city of Marrakech, one of the most precious jewels of Moroccan heritage. Founded in 1062, its name comes from the Berber word "Love" which means "country" and "Akouche" which means "God." This land of the gods are approximately 900 500 inhabitants in an area of 6.2km2. Fourth largest city in Morocco after Casablanca, Rabat and Fez, is the first in terms of tourism with over 1 500 000 visitors annually.

Marrakech enjoys an exceptional location. At the foot of the Atlas, it is 2 hours away from the Atlantic Ocean and is considered the gateway to the desert. Beyond its 130 000 hectares of greenery and 180 000 of its palm grove, you can admire the mountains, snowy winter, the High Atlas which stretches for about 700km.

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Climate

The climate in Marrakech is very different depending on time of year. In summer, daytime temperatures are very high, possibly around the 40 ° C, but evenings are usually fresh and pleasant. The winter is mild, rain and sun to go with cooler evenings. Each season has its charm in Marrakech but spring and autumn are ideal because the temperatures are between 22 and 27 degrees centigrade and the flora is full and refreshing.

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The areas of Marrakesh

The city of Marrakech is composed of a multitude of area each with their characteristics and charm: historical, popular, residential, commercial, industrial ... Some are a must when you visit the city.

Gueliz

The district Guéliz, named after the massive Jebel Guéliz located near the old medina, was the first neighborhood outside the walls. With its center in the Avenue Mohammed V, is the ideal place for shopping, watching the passers from one of the many cafes or simply stroll. The neighborhood has in fact a multitude of shops, restaurants, cafes, art galleries and other businesses.

Hivernage

The area of Hivernage is an exclusive area, home to many villas and high class resorts such as Sofitel, Sheraton, Golden Tulip Farah. The heart of this neighborhood is the Avenue Mohammed VI inaugurated in 2004, which offers 5 km from gardens and flower areas. This wide avenue and green houses the imposing Royal Theater, the Palace of Congress and the new and majestic great station.

The Medina

The Medina of Marrakesh, classified as world heritage of mankind, is the historic center of town. Its architecture dates from the seventeenth century. The Kasbah was built in XII century to defend the city. Walls of 8m high still surround the medina for a distance of 19Km. The medina is both a residential and commercial, with its many artisans who take shop. The narrow streets and labyrinth promise charm and scenery are excellent places to find some coolness on hot summer days.

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To see in Marrakesh

The Koutoubia

The Koutoubia Mosque, or Mosque of the booksellers, is the symbol of the city of Marrakech. Built in the twelfth century by Abdelmoumen, ruler of the Almohad dynasty, and completed by his grand-son Yacoub el Mansour, the mosque is the most famous landmark in Marrakech. Its minaret, 69m high, is characterized by its 4 sides decorated differently. It is surmounted by 3 spheres of gilded copper which symbolizes the terrestrial worlds, heavenly and spiritual.

Located in the heart of downtown, close to the Jamaa El Fna is a great landmark in the city of Marrakech as it is the most visible monument. It is recommended to see the Koutoubia night lighting revealing the charms of precision work.

The Badii Palace

El Badi Palace, built in the sixteenth century to celebrate the victory of the Portuguese army in 1578 in a battle called Battle of Three Kings. These 360 pieces were decorated with the most luxurious materials, before the Sultan Moulay Ismail might use what was most precious in this palace to build the imperial city of Meknes in 1696. It remains today a vast esplanade gardens invaded and overcame stork's nest, surrounded by orange and high walls. This landscape will transport you to another time and give you the illusion of time travel

The Bahia Palace

Built in the nineteenth century as a gift from the Grand Vizier for his favorite concubine, his name means the beautiful Palace. This palace is a masterpiece of Moroccan architecture. Spread over nearly 10 hectares, it consists of 150 luxuriously decorated rooms and many beautiful gardens and fountains. Only a small portion is open to the public.

The Majorelle Gardens

Property of Yves St. Laurent, this garden was created by the painter Jacques Majorelle in 1931. Lovers of botany, he surrounds his house-studio of a unique garden composed of exotic plants and rare species that he refers to his many travels around the world. It adorns everything from fountains, ponds, fountains and walkways. Open to the public in 1947, this garden features a decor of ultramarine blue light and intense, created by Majorelle himself, who gives us the illusion of being in a table. You can walk in the bamboo forest or admire the collections of palms, cactuses, aquatic plants and flower pots. You can also see different species of birds and you lulled by their songs and soft sunlight. Since the 80s the blue painter's studio houses a museum of Islamic art objects.

The sooks of Marrakesh

The souks of Marrakech are among the most interesting countries. It consists of places, small shops and stalls in a maze of narrow alleys. It is reached by the Jamaa el Fna and there are all kinds of crafts Moroccan, with its 40 000 artisans who work every day. As soon as you enter it through one of many inputs, you will be flooded with scents, sounds, bright colors all over each other, enough to hold all your senses. You will find jewelry, lanterns, slippers, ceramics, carpets, traditional clothing, spices, perfumes, pastries ... The animation that prevails, that there is treasures unearthed, the souks of Marrakech a mandatory step of your stay.

The Jamaa El Fna place

Today so alive and bustling Jamaa El Fna, or "place of the dead" was formerly a place of public executions. Declared in 2001 world oral heritage by UNESCO, the first of its kind Globally, it is a real social hub for centuries. The place is both shop, restaurants, cafes, theater and circus Always filled with a motley crowd, you rub Moroccan tourists, acrobats, snake charmers, musicians, storytellers. We will offer henna tattoos, games of skill, craft, dates and other dried fruits, not to mention the delicious fresh orange juice that you can enjoy for a few dirhams. The night the lights up and is invaded by restaurateurs who take booths all day. It offers varied menus: couscous, tagines, grilled meats, seafood, salad, harira (traditional Moroccan soup) and also more exotic dishes like sheeps head or snails in spicy broth. The atmosphere created by the vapors through the lights, like a mist to the charms of the Orient, the odors that awakens our senses and appetite, sounds, noise of the crowd, Gnawa music, give this experience an air of magic and celebration. Jamaa El Fna square is surrounded by restaurants, luxurious or cheap hotels and is an excellent place to start a visit to Marrakech in carriage.

The tombs Saadian

Era of the great sultan Ahmad al-Mansur Saadi, these tombs were discovered were in the early 1900s. In the mausoleum lie the bodies of sixty Saadian, including al-Mansur himself, his family and his successors. Consisting of 3 rooms, this building restored by the Fine Arts, is an excellent example of decorative art Moorish in its beauty. The mausoleum is the most prestigious hall, decorated with 12 columns and a dome in cedar, hosting marble tombs. Outside lies the graves of soldiers and servants and the garden cemetery. The beauty of architecture and decoration of these tombs dazzled the visitors.

The medrasa ben youssef

Built around 1570, the Koranic school was restored in 1950. This jewel of Moorish architecture allowed for more than 4 centuries of students come to perfect their knowledge in various fields such as theology. It could accommodate up to 900 students arranged in 132 rooms. The prayer hall consists of 3 naves separated by pillars of marble arches surmounted by finely carved ornaments, the nave overlooking a small room with half-moon sumptuously decorated with floral and geometric.

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Handcrafts

For many centuries, the handcraft of Morocco has built a reputation to live up to its talented artisans. The Berbers, the indigenous people of Morocco are the precursors of many areas such crafts as weaving of wool, iron work and silver and pottery. The arrival of the Arabs helped develop other forms of equally famous crafts: Working copper, leather, wood ... The beauty and value of items produced by Moroccan craftsmen has its roots in a great mastery of technique combined with the diversification of ancestral grounds. While drawing on knowledge that is transmitted from generation to generation, artisans are able to demonstrate originality and innovation in the products they offer. Each region of Morocco is known for its homemade specialties. Marrakech offers its leather work, its carpet weaving a high accuracy, jewelry and copper work. You will also find in the souks of the red city a large sample of the craft of other parts at competitive prices. You can visit craft cooperative located in Guéliz and the tanning where you can be introduced to the art of dyeing and leather work.

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Gastronomy

Moroccan foods perfectly reflect the diversity of its people. Like the country, a generous, rich, colorful, fragrant, Moroccan food is meant the result of long traditions preserved and transmitted from generation to generation. The nomads have brought dates, bread and cereals, the Berbers, the tagines (stews of meat and vegetables), couscous and harira (traditional soup, eaten especially during the month of Ramadan) and the Arabs added the finishing touch, the colorful and tasty spices. The use of local products such as olive oil, olives, dried fruit, almonds and hazelnuts and aromatic herbs gives birth to a multitude of flavors that will make your taste buds into ecstasy. In addition to many world-renowned meal (couscous with 7 vegetables, tajine with prunes, harira), you will have the opportunity to taste local specialties such as tanjia marrakchia and pigeon pastilla. For dessert you can choose between many Moroccan pastries made with almonds, pistachios, honey while enjoying the traditional mint tea

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Activities and thing to do in Marrakech

In addition to being a historic, cultural and gastronomic city in Morocco, Marrakech offers a wide choice of leisure. With its extremely varied natural resources, the city and its region offer visitors a spectacular setting and art facilities for practice all types of activities.

Sports

Marrakech offers the ideal conditions and good facilities for various sports such as tennis, swimming, horseback riding, skiing, hiking, climbing, golf ...

Climbing: the village of Armed tracks with level 4 to 6c.

Trekking: Several hiking tours for all levels in the high valleys of more than 4000m from one hours drive from Marrakech to Imlil, Asni Ijoukak or Zat Valley.

Winter sports: with a ski resort Okaimden is one of the most beautiful ski areas in Africa.

Golf : With its sunny climate and its many lush courses, Marrakech offers golf enthusiasts all requirements to practice a high level sport.

Fitness : Discover the charm of oriental treatments based massage with essential oils, black soap scrubs, baths with natural essences ... The city offers a wide range of fitness centers, spas, body treatments, sauna and steam rooms traditional. More than 6,000 m2 are dedicated to well-being and health, in hotel units and independent centers open throughout the years and supervised by trained personnel and specialized.

Outdoors

Outdoors For outdoor enthusiasts, several activities are offered around Marrakech.

Quad : With family or friends to enjoy the sun and discover the wonders of nature at your own pace, nothing better than a trip Quad. Accompanied by a guide or ride free, you will find many deals that will lead you to all parts you must see near Marrakech .

4x4 :Many 4x4 rides are offered by professional guides. Whether for a day trip or a tour of several days, you will have the opportunity to discover the most beautiful natural sites around Marrakech and even push the adventure to the gates of the desert.

Air Activities : For the more adventurous, several choices of activities you will discover Marrakech air. Paragliding, ballooning, gliding are many ways to visit the sky of Marrakech while discovering the beauty of nature at your feet.

Leisure center of Marrakech

Discover Marrakech : For those wishing to explore Marrakech and historical sites, guided tours are offered in several languages. To visit the most picturesque and romantic, a carriage to discover Marrakech and its charms.

Casino : With its two casinos, Marrakech you will experience the excitement of the game until late at night. Greeted in a warm and magical fairy aves the classic table games, poker, slot machines, all to meet gamers.

Night Clubs : Marrakech is famous for its "night life" colorful. Many nightclubs offer theme nights, live performances, DJs renowned, all to make your night the biggest festivals and you create unforgettable memories.

Conferences and Seminars : Marrakech has many advantages for hosting successful conferences, meetings and major exhibitions. The Palais des Congrès in Marrakech and various other conference centers in the city, offering professionals more than 25 000 m2 that can accommodate their conventions and events. Several agencies specialized in the field of events and incentives are recognized internationally for the quality of their work and their organization. The city has already received numerous world congresses successfully, its reputation is well established.

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