The name Marrakech instantly evokes exoticism. With this red-hued city clustered around a maze-like medina where artisans have traded for centuries.
It nestles at the base of the Atlas Mountains and boasts some of Morocco’s most striking architecture, including ancient palaces, tombs and Islamic schools that have stood the test of time.
It’s also home to the country’s most eclectic choice of riads - traditional guesthouses with interior courtyard gardens and rooftop terraces where you can hear the call to prayer resonate across the city. As one of Morocco’s most-visited tourist destinations, it’s also moved with the times in developing vegan-friendly restaurants and guest houses where eco-principles are employed. So if you’re looking to explore Marrakech more consciously, here are just a few ways you can skip the all-inclusive resorts and sightseeing tours to discover this city your way.
- Escape the bustle of the medina at La Mamounia. A luxe boutique hotel that exudes tranquillity while offering sweeping views across the city.
- Wander through the beguiling gardens of the Jardin Majorelle, created by no other than Yves Saint Laurent.
- Mingle with the locals while listening to traditional Gnawa music in Jemaa el Fna. The city’s main square which transforms into a live stage each and every night.
- Make a day trip to the whitewashed city of Essaouira. Here you can learn to surf before watching the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean from the city’s ancient ramparts.
- Feast on fresh juices and organic produce at the Earth Cafe. The first vegan-friendly restaurant to open in Marrakech and located a stone’s throw from lively Jemaa el Fna.
- Relax amidst the Eden-like setting of The Source Marrakech. A rural guest house where you’ll be treated to fresh produce from their permaculture garden and can indulge at their wellbeing spa.
- Witness the exquisite architecture and leafy courtyards of the Palais Bahia. Then stare in awe at the intricately carved detailing of the Ben Youssef Madrasa.
- Shop for traditional handicrafts in the labyrinthine souks where silver lamps and hand-woven rugs bump up against spices piled high.