24 hours in Marrakech
Written by Olivia Gunning-Bennani
Marrakech, the crimson heart of Morocco, is a 1,000-year-old city with an unseen water supply that has allowed it to flourish. Above Marrakech are the marching peaks of the High Atlas mountains, often snowy, a contrast with the city’s celebrated redness, adding freshness to the air. The weather is welcoming almost year-round, with a near-ideal combination of sunny warmth and cool, alleviating evenings.
Enjoy an early horse-drawn carriage tour from Jemaa El Fna square before cars take over the streets. Get acquainted with the city at a gentle pace, visiting ramparts, palaces, and Koutoubia Mosque.
For breakfast, go to the world’s most cherished hotel – La Mamounia. The 100-year-old treasure represents the city’s glamorous history. Enjoy your meal within the splendid gardens.
Discover Marrakech’s avant-garde side at the David Bloch Gallery in Gueliz. Proof that the city’s creative heart still beats, the gallery specialises in the contemporary, with a penchant for street art.
La Maison Arabe’s cooking workshops introduce the secrets of spicing, marinating, and slow-cooking. Enjoy the fruits of your labour fresh from the tagine on the colonnaded terrace.
Order a pavement coffee, à la française at Grand Café de la Poste. This beautifully preserved, impeccably converted post office is an architectural gem and an image of colonial Morocco.
Discovered by Yves Saint Laurent in the 1960s, Jardin Majorelle is an exotic trail of palm and bamboo, vast cacti, and floating lilies that leads to the exquisite indigo of Majorelle fountain.
For a truly authentic-yet-decadent hammam, visit La Sultana’s spa. Here, the ‘Royal Hammam’ will lead you to discover the misty joy of a proper traditional Moroccan scrub with black eucalyptus soap and a clay body wrap.
Marrakech’s fabled medina and circus-like Jemaa El Fna square is a vision at sundown. Filled with henna artists, orange squeezers, artisans, and stalls, amble from vendor to vendor browsing and, naturally, haggling.
Amidst the rooftops sits the Terrasse des Épices. It’s the talk of the town; the menu deftly combines Moroccan and French influences, balancing laid-back cool with consistently good food.
A horse-drawn carriage is a gentler means of exploring. Carriages await next to Jemaa El Fna square.
The best way to discover the medina is on foot, at an unhurried pace.
If your sense of adventure is keen, there are motorised scooters and mopeds for hire on the streets.
The easiest way to travel is by petit taxi. They’re cheap, tan-coloured, and have a meter – insist the driver turns it on.
Distance: 5,813 km
Flight Time: 8 hours
Frequency: 3 flights a week