There are few cities as colorful as Marrakech. With pulsating souks, mouth-watering cuisine and the majestic Atlas Mountains on its doorstep it’s a city bursting with adventure. Watch the desert come to life as the sun rises, get lost in the historic Medina and step inside the magic of the local Riads whilst you get to know this North African gem, all in a quite spectacular 24 hours.
HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE OVER THE AGAFAY DESERT
It’s an early start this morning, but trust us it’s going to be worth it. An unforgettable experience awaits you as you rise at 5am to travel 40km outside Marrakech to the stunning Agafay Desert. Take to the skies in a hot air balloon and watch as the endless Haouz Plains stretch out below you. Float through the tranquil skies and see the world come to life as the desert glows in dazzling reds and the sun rises over the snow-capped mountains. Drift over Berber Villages, lush green palm trees and epic mountain peaks whilst you enjoy the exhilaration of feeling the breeze against your skin as you fly through the clouds. It is an experience you will never forget, and all this before you’ve even had your breakfast.
TOUR THE MEDINA
After a morning in the skies it’s time to come back to earth and explore bustling Marrakech. With its entertaining storytellers and famous snake charmers the Medina of Marrakech is the historic heart of the city and a must see for anyone wanting to observe the unique culture of the country. Lose yourself in the labyrinth of souks, barter for colorful rugs and exotic tea sets and prepare to be intoxicated by the exotic aromas of street food on the stove. You could spend days wandering the hundreds of alleyways that make up the Medina but we recommend getting some local knowledge, pick up a guide who can show you the hidden gems of this mesmerising maze, the colorful (if pungent) tanneries, the local artisans souks and the slightly more sedate Kasbah area of the Medina that house the Royal Palace.
LUNCH AT LE GRANDE CAFÉ DE LA POSTE
Perfectly positioned at the center of the Medina (behind the post office on Place Novembre 6) Café de la Poste is a local institution, as celebrated for its food as its electric atmosphere. Serving delicious French cuisine amongst colonial Moroccan décor Café de la Poste attracts an eclectic mix of locals, in the know expats and even the odd Hollywood heartthrob. Sit back, relax and indulge in grilled skewered lamb and a glass of crisp white wine while watching the buzzing street life of Marrakech pass you by.
WALK AROUND JARDIN MAJORELLE
Wander round the blossoming gardens of Jardin Majorelle and you will quickly see why fashion king Yves Saint Laurent fell in love with the place. Threatened with development in 1980, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge bought and rejuvenated Jardin Majorelle, rescuing it from destruction. This vibrantly colorful yet delightfully peaceful garden took French Painter Jacques Majorelle 40 years to create and it was a labour of love, with 2 ½ acres of cacti, exotic fauna and colorful design decorating the garden and reflecting his personal aesthetic. So come, wander, relax and explore these beautiful grounds, the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of the city streets. Make sure you don’t miss the Berber Museum housed in Majorelle’s former studio; it gives a fascinating insight into this unique culture and includes artefacts from YSL’s personal collection.
EXPERIENCE A TRADITIONAL HAMMAM
We are a big fan of giving yourself a treat on vacation and after the very (ahem) strenuous day you’ve had you deserve one. So it’s time to open the door to one of Marrakech’s most luxurious hotels nestled in the heart of the Medina: Riad Fernatchi. With a glorious rooftop terrace that has picture perfect views over the city we suggest you grab a fresh mint tea and enjoy the view before taking part in a traditional Moroccan Hammam in the luxury spa. Local Hammams are a big part of Moroccan culture with locals spending hours a week cleansing in these huge steam rooms (similar to Turkish baths) whilst catching up on all the local gossip. At Riad Fernatchi you might not get the chat but this is an authentic local experience not to be missed, once you have been exfoliated, massaged and cleansed you will be glowing and ready to explore Marrakech after sundown…
DINNER AT MAISON MK
You’ve cleansed, explored and even ridden in a hot air balloon and now it is time to feast. Bookings are vital at Gastro MK, inMaison MK, where Chef Omar El Ouahssoussi takes guests on a culinary journey combining his Moroccan heritage with his European cooking skills. The result is an exquisite 5 course dinner culminating in a delicious fig tiramisu with mint ice cream you will be craving for a long time after. Dinner can be served under the stars on the rooftop patio or for a little more privacy in one of the restaurants private dining rooms. If you can’t get a table at the exclusive Gastro MK try La Foundouk a renovated coach house with delicious fusion cuisine.
PALAIS NAMASKAR MARRAKECH
It’s been an action packed day and you are probably in need of a good night’s sleep, lucky for you there is no shortage of boutique riads and luxury hotels in Marrakech. But we have chosen somewhere extra special for you to spend the night. Situated just outside the city in the shadows of the Atlas Mountains Palais Namaskar Marrakech has Feng Shui inspired rooms, exquisite design and service second to none. Rooms feature private Jacuzzis, huge rain showers and private terraces, perfect for a night cap as you look over the city as it sleeps. For something extra special you can even charter the hotel’s 14 seater private jet, that will pick you up from any city in the world and drop you off in this unforgettable hotel.
If this has you inspired to visit Marrakech as part of a luxury vacation to Morocco then contact us and we can make it happen. Did we mention all this is under 4 hours from London. City break anyone?