Marrakech exudes exoticism. From the red ochre paint that earned it the name, The Red City, to the labyrinth alleys of the Unesco-listed medina to the brightly coloured spice stalls of the souks: it’s a city of romance and intrigue that has captured the hearts of weary travellers for centuries.
At its heart lies Djemaa El Fna, one of the word’s great urban squares. As the sun sinks to a call to prayer soundtrack, food stalls appear, serving every imaginable delicacy from charcoal-barbequed kebabs to the (maybe too exotic…) sheep brains. Snake charmers tease hypnotised cobras from wicker baskets, acrobats and storytellers entertained the crowds, the drums bang and medicine men hawk cure-all-your-ailments potions.
Narrow streets twisting away from the north end of the square lead into a vast maze of markets. This is where Marrakech’s reputation for world-class shopping is evident, with countless stores selling exquisite leatherwork, woodwork, ceramics and, of course, carpets.
It’s a city of great Islamic architecture too; no more so than in the magnificent 12th century Koutoubia Mosque with its iconic spiralling minaret visible for miles around.
For a change of pace from the medina, head to the new town of Guéliz, with its long boulevards lined with pavement cafés, upmarket French restaurants, designer clothing stores and art galleries.
As for accommodation for, few cities can match the luxury converted-riad boutiques of Marrakech with their internal courtyards and gardens. With a luxury holiday to Marrakech from Lightfoot Travel, you’ll receive expert and impartial advice on where to stay and what to include on your bespoke itinerary.