48 hrs. to see it all… Marrakech in a Flash
Pearl of the South, Jewel of the South, The Rose City—just a few of the nicknames Marrakesh has acquired over the years. The pearl and the jewel symbolize its importance as the center of Morocco ever since it was a trading and resting place on the crossroads of ancient caravan routes from Timbuktu. The rose attests to a city still painted entirely in salmon pink, in keeping with the red-clay earth below. Once called Morocco City by foreign travelers, Marrakesh eventually lent its name to the country itself. Part Berber, part Arab, part African, Marrakesh is the heartbeat of Morocco, where palaces and monuments of unrivaled refinement sit calmly alongside the snake charmers and Gnaouan drums pulsing constantly from Djemâa el Fna Square—the most exuberant marketplace in the world.
Places to stay:
There is a place in paradise where peace holds time, where nature and culture know no seams, where comfort and luxury unite in style and where water reflects the blush of clay. This place is Amanjena, Morocco’s Moorish rose, a resort secluded in a private lush haven near the pulsating Medina of Marrakech. With Atlas Mountains in your sights let Amanjena take your hand and treat you to the wonders of Africa’s sun-kissed land.
Dating from the 18th century, Riad Kniza is a small, luxury “Hotel de Charme” in the heart of the old Médina of Marrakech, completely restored by Haj Mohamed Bouskri using traditional materials and artisans to recreate an authentic Moroccan experience as in days gone by.
Set in nine landscaped acres within a private estate, Jnane Tamsna offers a total of 24 ensuite bedrooms spread over three properties: Jnane House, Jnane Moussafir and Jnane Salmia. There are two large and two small meeting rooms as well as numerous sitting rooms, dining areas and outdoor spaces. The grounds feature five pools, a clay surface tennis court, a hammam (Moroccan steam bath) and treatment rooms for massage and beauty therapy.
Jnane Tamsna adopts a minimalist approach to Oriental splendour. Elements of traditional Moroccan style and colour have been adapted to achieve a peaceful, contemporary look. The cuisine is a fusion of Moroccan and modern European, using local produce sourced wherever possible from Jnane Tamsna’s organic gardens.
From individual rooms to exclusive villa rental, Jnane Tamsna offers a rare flexibility. As a private or corporate venue, it blends the large capacity usually only offered by hotels and the absolute intimacy, first-class food and fine service of the best private homes.
upon entering this intimate six-room guesthouse built in the late 1800′s, vivid and brilliant colors will evoke a sense of passion in its guest. This Riad was once home to Chief Architect Muhammad al-Mekki, designer of the famous Bahia Palace. Its has three superior rooms and two deluxe rooms and one suite with a patio view, offering a living and dining area and tranquil terrace for your relaxation.
Truelly a jet-setter well try this set schedule and see if you can survive a crash course of Marrakesh.
DAY 1:Drop your bags off and jump right into a tour…to get you in the mindset of your location.
8:30 a.m.: Full day sightseeing to Essaouira
Essaouira was called Mogador for a long time, inspired by the name of its chef, Sidi Amogdoul. The city is built on a low and narrow sandy peninsula .Strengthened ” à la Vauban “, endowed with walls dividing several internal quarters of perfectly straight streets, dense houses with many floors, Essaouira was described in the past as ( a European fantasy on a Moroccan theme ).
5 p.m.: Visit a sylvan setting
Relax by taking a calèche (horse-drawn carriage) ride over to the Menara Garden in the Ville Nouvelle. You can pick one up near the Djemâa el Fna; the ride should cost about 100 DH. Not only is the half-hour ride a welcome break from the intensity of the medina, but the Menara’s olive groves and elegant lagoon are relaxingly peaceful.
6:30 p.m.: Cook like a local
Work up an appetite by learning first-hand the secrets of Moroccan cooking. Cooking classes are quickly becoming all the rage in Morocco, as the country’s cuisine gets ever-increasing international attention. Most classes last a full day, but Dar les Cigognes, a riad in the medina, offers a quick, one-hour introduction every day at 6:30 for only 150 dirhams. Book ahead to be sure of getting in.
DAY 2: take in the culture
9 a.m.: Let’s get wet
Start your day with a relaxing hammam, Morocco’s version of a Turkish bath. Go with the locals at upscale public hammams like Hammam Ziani, or have a small one all to yourself by booking an appointment at a hotel’s private hammam. The hammams at La Maison Arabe and Caravan Serai are some of our favorites. (Expect to pay between $65 and $80 for a hammam and massage at an upscale hotel, and as low as $5-$10 at a local hammam.)
10:30 a.m.: On the town
It’s time to see the sights. Start off at the breathtaking El Bahia Palace for a lesson in architecture. Once home to a harem, it’s a jaw-dropping display of the best in Moroccan painted ceilings, ceramics, and garden design. Next, head north to the tanneries for the quintessential postcard shot of men dyeing animal skins as they’ve done for centuries. Next, spend some time in the peaceful courtyard and labyrinthine dormitories of the amazingly preserved Ali ben Youssef Medersa, North Africa’s largest Koranic school. Dating to the 16th century, the delicate intricacy of the stucco plasterwork and mosaics in the courtyard will take your breath away.
1:30 p.m.: Mid-afternoon feast
Immerse yourself in the energy of the Djemâa el Fna, a centuries-old square that is the heartbeat of Marrakesh. The square bustles with bazaars, snake charmers and acrobats all day long and well into the night. It’s also loaded with eateries and is a great place to stop for lunch. Choose from the wide variety of kefta (beef patties), Moroccan salads, beef brochettes, and soups supplemented by bread, olives, and hot sauce. Wash it all down with fresh orange juice or the ubiquitous mint tea. Go easy, though, as you’ll want to leave lots of room for dinner.
2:30 p.m.: Learn the art of the bargain
It’s time to shop. Marrakesh’s souks (covered outdoor bazaars) are the city’s main attraction. The vast labyrinth of narrow streets at the center of the medina is a wonder of arts, crafts, and workshops. Here, you’ll see artisans making rugs on looms and hammering iron into lanterns. There’s an area for almost every kind of product; you can buy babouches (pointy-toed leather slippers) in an infinite number of colors, stock up on spices, and buy silver jewelry for the folks back home. Bargain hard, and compare prices at different stalls before purchasing.
8 p.m.: Eat like a local
Now that you’ve gotten your hands dirty, it’s time for dinner. It’s easy to overdo it with Moroccan food. Many restaurants offer set menus with what seems like an unending succession of courses. Don’t try to finish each one, because even when you think you’re done, there’s always another one on its way. Expect to start with Moroccan salads and small briouates (pastries similar to Indian samosas), followed by a meat tagine, a couscous dish, and almond pastries for dessert. For a splurge, reserve a table at Dar Marjana, Le Tobsil, or Stylia in the medina; both serve copious amounts of traditional Moroccan food in palatial surroundings. For those on a budget, El Fassia, in the new section of town, gets rave reviews for its a la carte home cooking and pleasant atmosphere.
10 p.m.: Party Marrakesh style
Once you’ve digested dinner, it’s time to party. The wealth of nightlife opportunities in Marrakesh has exploded in recent years. Some of the most happening places are a bit out of town on the road to the Ourika Valley, so you’ll probably need to take a taxi. Trendy Pacha (Avenue Mohammed VI, on the way to Ourika Valley) can satisfy even the most demanding dance fiends. It has live music, two restaurants, a lounge, and a swimming pool.
1:30 a.m.: Hit the hay
Bedtime. Head back to the medina and your romantic riad (a traditional mansion house built around an interior courtyard or garden). Marrakesh has hundreds, each decorated in a variety of sumptuous styles. One of the best is Riad Enija, with sunken baths, exquisite tile work, and a fountain-filled courtyard. Counting pennies? Try Riad Amazigh, which has rooms with two levels linked by spiral staircases and a beautiful, candle-lit Berber-inspired dining room.
Get with the VIBE and let us plan out your next adventure to anywhere…Got a place in mind?