Places Around Marrakesh, Marrakesh
The city of Marrakech has many sights and sounds and flavours to it. However the best places to escape all the noise is to head out of the centre about 20 mins outside into the palmaraie or the palm grove of marrakech. The best way to embrace and to enjoy the best views and the scenic location is on a quad bike or even a horse riding tour. These activites take place outiside the city in a vast empty land with the best way to see the city from the outside whilst enjoying the tour on your ride either high speed quad or a nice stroll on the famous berber/arab horses.
I have been a number of times to morocco and will be arriving in marrakech on 19th september. Im told right now it is around 34 degrees, it gets pretty nippy at night so take something warm, take an umbrella coz they do get sudden downpours, ver short but heavy. Taxis are cheap in general but arrange the price before you get in coz they tend to charge higher prices to tourists. Most places serve Halal food and range from cheap to expensive. Marrakech is very central to take tours. From the voyage du routiers (bus station) buses are cheap and go often. I myself will be staying three weeks in ouarzazate, this is 5 hours from marrakech and cost around 8 euros. Ouarzazate is the Hollywood of Africa, Babel, Gladiator, kingdom of heaven is currently being filmed there and right now prince of persia is beining filmed. You can tour the film studios and there are a few castles to visit, accomadation is cheap there, the locals are the most friendly of all morocco and many can speak a little English.The cach ride from marrakech will take you through the Atlas mountains..its superb views all the way which maked the trip seem much quicker than 5 hours.
Be careful when shopping in marrakech they ask extortionate prices and usually you can bargain down to 50%of original asking price...there are many tourist police in marrakech as many tourists get cheated but if you have your wits abut you you will be fine.Have fun!
Fondest memory: Eating Harira soup in place jemna fna and buying chebakia from the cheeky chappy Hassan in the souk there.
Favorite thing: One of the things that you must not miss trying, is the freshly squeezed orange juice. And they are cheap! There are plenty of push cart stores selling orange juice...you can't possibly miss it when you are at the square. So how then do you choose which store to buy from...well...for me I did the best I could to stand around, looking for the friendliest vendor. But then I decided on something else...the best looking vendor of them all....and lucky for me he's also the friendliest and the nicest...does posses the charming smile of actor Matthew Mccounaughey...a bonus for me...strangely the orange juice is juicer and sweeter than the others...hmmm wonder why I kept coming back for more...heheh! Burpp!
AIT BEN HADDOU
This wonderful kasbah near Ouarzazate is one of the best kept in Morocco. It has been background of many Hollywood films: Gladiator, Lawrence of Arabia, the Jewel of the Nile.... Not many people live still here, just 6 families, living from carpet-making and agriculture (and from the tourists too).
There is a new town at the other side of the river, where most of the inhabitants have moved. There are the hotels and restaurants.
To visit, cross the dry river (there are camels to cross too) and enter by the right side, where the souvenir shops are. You can hire a guide, but there's no need to.
To get there, leave Ouarzazate by the road to Marrakesh. After 23 kms there is a little road (paved) to the left, there are signs showing it.
TAOURIRT KASBAH (Ouarzazate)
This is one of the best preserved kasbahs we saw. It's in the center of Ouarzazate, to the east, close to the Club Mediterranee.
You can visit the interior and the roofs, from where you can have a beautiful view of the valley and palms around.
Here is where all the roads end, that's what they say. After this point, the Sahara begins, you can only go forward in 4x4 or camel!! There are nice landscapes, dunes endless seas... It's aprox 50 kms from Zagora, if you leave at 14:00 you can make an afternoon trip and come back before the sun sets (don't drive by night there!).
Favorite thing: join an excursion/ take a side-trip and explore the Ourika Valley located in the High Atlas Mountains near Marrakech. The one hour or so drive there is beautiful and you'd even catch a glimpse of snow-capped mountains (!!) in the distance. You won't regret it, I guarantee.