Five Reasons to Fall in Love with Marrakesh

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Things looking a little bleak? Spice up your spring with a memorable Marrakesh break, with a flight time of only three and half hours and average April temperatures of 20°C, the Red City is a top destination for a long weekend. This beguiling city has much more to charm you with than the infamous snake charmers of Jemaa el-Fnaa, and is a treasure trove packed full of hidden gems. Here are five reasons why you might just fall in love with Marrakesh.

1. It’s the home of the hammam

If Wowcher is the home of daily deals, then Marrakesh is home of the hammam – and whilst we do have some pamper-tastic spa deals, for the authentic hammam experience it’s got to be Marrakesh. With hammams nestled around every corner and an abundance of argan oil, there’s no better place to luxuriate and pamper yourself. But with so many on offer, it can be hard to know where to start. Les Bains de Marrakech is a good place, combining traditional techniques with decadent surroundings. Try ‘the relaxing one’ for a few hours of pure bliss. The package starts with a 45-minute hammam, followed by a  body scrub with sugar, beeswax, sesame and apricot, a clay body mask with rose and finishes with a one-hour relaxing body massage.

Les Bains de Marrakech

Les Bains de Marrakech

2. A city of culinary adventures

The exotic cuisine of this fiery city will melt your heart as well as your taste buds, and the restaurant scene is enough of a reason in itself to visit.  If you want to be overwhelmed by a traditional (albeit a bit touristy) Moroccan dining experience, head to Dar Marjana. From the central fountain dripping with rose petals to the eight-plate Moroccan salad starter, Dar Marjana is an experience you will remember! The set menu includes five very generous courses based on traditional Moroccan cooking, free-flowing wine and of course a digestif of Mahia, a spirit made from figs and herbs. Expect to be seduced by a menage of entertainers including belly dancers and Moroccan guitar players throughout the night.

Lamb tajine, traditional Moroccan dish

Lamb tagine, traditional Moroccan dish

If you’re after something more peaceful, the restaurant located within the Eden-like Les Jardins de la Medina is a tranquil spot to dine on exquisite food amongst orange-grove gardens. If you fancy a Moroccan party, Azar or Comptoir Darna, both stay open till 3am, and if you’re all tagined-out, head to Chez Mado for top notch seafood and French cuisine in a relaxed setting. If you’re looking for a roof restaurant with a bit of soul, head to Café Clock for hipster vibes a la Marrakesh. Street art, live music and cooking classes attract a young crowd. If you fancy learning to cook in true Moroccan style, taking a cooking class can be a delicious way to spend an afternoon, classes at La Maison Arabe or Amal come highly recommended.

Dar Marjana

Dar Marjana

3. The souk, an Aladdin’s cave

You can’t go to Marrakesh without taking a trip to Jemaa el-Fnaa, the central market square which dates back to the 11th Century. The best place to view the show is from one of the overlooking roof restaurants, sip on a mint tea and absorb the buzzing atmosphere and sounds of the souk from above, or hit ground level and get lost in the never ending streams of stalls in the souk. Save some space in your suitcase to fit in that Moroccan tea set, colourful crockery and other veritable finds. If you’re part of the argan oil haircare clan, you can get it here from the source, and don’t forget about the jasmine oil body products and exotic oil burner blends. Two nearby sights worth a visit include the majestic Bahia Palace and El Badi Palace, not to mention Koutoubia Mosque.

Jemaa el-Fnaa

Souk life: Jemaa el-Fnaa

4. Jardin Majorelle, Yves Saint Laurent and the scent of jasmine

This stylish garden created by painter Jacques Majorelle in the 1930s, was bought by designer Yves Saint Laurent in 1980 after he became enchanted by it and wanted to help save the garden from being turned into a hotel. The vibrant colours, art-deco style and unusual cacti are sure to get your creative juices flowing. Waterlily pools and the scent of jasmine make this a romantic spot. Aptly, the garden is also home to La Galerie Love, a collection of prints created by Yves Saint Laurent starting in the 70’s to mark each year.

Jardin Majorelle

Jardin Majorelle

5. Reach new heights in the Atlas Mountains

To complement the beautiful architecture, the natural scenery is pretty breathtaking too! Marrakesh lies perfectly surrounded by the Atlas Mountains, and while you’re topping up your tan you can admire snow-tipped peaks. If you fancy a bit of adventure, many tour companies offer day trips to the Atlas Mountains where you can hike to waterfalls and visit Jbel Toubkal, the highest peak in Northern Africa at 13,665 feet.

Atlas Mountains

Atlas Mountains

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