Marrakesh, with its many palaces set in their own gardens, its sumptuous riads, its souks, spices, and snake charmers is a crossroads between North and South It is a gate to exoticism and a city of contrasts with the ochre- red of its walls, the intense blue of the skies and vibrant green of the palm trees against a background of the snow covered peaks of the Atlas Mountains.
Marrakesh has always exerted a fascination upon Westerners with the images it conjures up of Berber Kasbahs, emperors, sultans and sorcerers. However it is also renowned for the beautiful gardens of the city. You can visit the cool gardens of M.A.J orelle with its deep blue villa, now owned by the French couturier Yves St. Laurent , thegardens surrounding the Koutoubia Mosque, the Jardin Menara which was once the exclusive preserve of sultans and ministers, the Agdal, and the other many places adorned with a pergola or rose garden.
Other sights in the city not to be missed are the palaces of el Badi, the most famous palace in Marrakesh and Palais de la Bahia part of which is still used by the Royal family.
Saadian tombs, a necropolis which was started by the Saadian sultan Ahmed al Mansour in the late 1500’s and “rediscovered” in 1917. are definitely worth seeing
Dar Si Said which now houses the Museum of Moroccan Arts
In the afternoon you can take a well- deserved break basking in the sun or reclining in the shade of the terraces of Riad Zinoun. Or sipping a glass of mint tea at one of the many cafes.
Jemaa el Fna
The renowned square in the medina, has been designated an area of cultural heritage by Unesco. It provides an ongoing spectacle of acrobats, snake charmers, storytellers and magicians with, on the outer edges, the herbalists with their potions, powders and dried animal parts. It is always lively but things really get going in the late afternoon.
Arts and Crafts
In the souk there are plenty of opportunities to watch artisans at work. The ancient craft industries of Marrakesh will tempt you with finely carved and painted wood, openwork copper, ceramics, wrought iron, leather bags and babouche (slippers) and rich carpets and rugs. In the midst of traditionally produced goods you can also find new designs and creations.
Voyage of the senses
Your stay in Marrakesh can be a voyage of the senses the hammam, henna, the spicy flavours of Moroccan dishes and the imposing landscape of the mountains.
The Mediterranean temperament of the Moroccans, passionate, playful, humorous and hospitable, creates a way of living. The famous red city of Marrakesh not only attracts tourists but also personalities of show biz and film world who have made their second home in the riads of the city.
As the day ends………..
At the end of an exciting day the undulating dance of the candles on the terraces of the Riad Zinoun invites you to dream.