I am lucky enough to have two grand-mothers that used to or keep traveling a lot. They understand my travel passion and my thirt to discover the world even if they reproach me often to no stay enough in France… 😉
I enjoyed my yen to leave 10 days in November to take one of them with me.
I didn’t spend any holidays with her since almost 10 years. So, we had to find a formula that is adapted to the both of us. Here is the list of what we wanted and agreed to:
- Some sun,
- Few visits,
- A swimming pool,
- A minumum of comfort (so, surely, I couldn’t suggest so go in a hostel 😉 ),
- A room with half-board or all-inclusive so we won’t have anything to take care of.
We agreed on a Hotel-Club with the all-inclusive formula with the possibility to organise some excursions. She liked the idea so much that she asked to one of her friend to join us! ^^
So, the three of us went to the Riu Tikida La Palmeraie. Located outside of Marrakech, the hotel offered (on top of other services) we had access to a free shuttle between the hotel and the old medina. A travel agent (Mr Fadoul from Ker Maroc) welcomed us and offered us few excursions. Like this we had the opportunity the Ouzoud waterfalls, the Ourila valley or even Essaouira. And we loved each one of them! Every guides we had were amazing! We have learned a lot of things about the history of the country but also about the Berber culture. You find below my personal tips 😉 :
- Majorelle Garden : a must-do on your list, this garden saved from destruction by Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) and Pierre Bergé in 1980 is a real oasis in the middle of Marrakech. The calm there is impressive when you know the brouhaha outside.
Small tips from Léa : buy your tickets at the YSL museum (less people 😉 ) and if you want to do all of them take the “combo” ticket : YSL Museum + Berber Museum + Majorelle Garden (it will allow you to have a special price). And if you are lucky enough you could even visit the garden of YSL villa where he used to stay with Pierre Bergé.
- Essaouira : this city is simply magic. All the buildings are peinted in white. The old fortified has everything to please you: the beach and its activities, the souk and its savours, the harbours and its grilled food…
Small tips from Léa : Taste the catch of the day on the big square close to the harbour, visit a public hammam against few Dh, walk around the Skala and have a drink on top of Riad Salut Maroc and its panoramic view. 😉
- Jemaa El Fna Square: who has already been to Marrakech without going to this famous place? There are so many animations there that you wouldn’t know where to look.
Small tips from Léa : go there at different time of the day, the atmosphere changes gradually. 😉 Be careful on the place, all the vendors, the snake charmers and animals tamer, they are going to try (by different tricks) to attract you to them and to make you pay. 😉
- The Bahia Palace: a manificent palace in the middle of Marrakech that I highly recommand you! No need of furniture to embellish the rooms of this palace, the mouldings and mosaics are largely enough.
Small tips from Léa : Make sure you have enough memory space on your phone or camera (you will need it to take everything in picture). 😉
- The Ourika Valley and the Kik Plateau: we went on a day tour there with Ker Maroc. We’ve learned a lot about the history of the country and the area. We even could visit a Berber family house and drink their famous homemade mint tea. A real delight! And as my grandma said: ” It is a discovery!”
Small tips from Léa : That you are going there with an organised tour or during a road trip, I recommend you to do a small stop on the lake created by the hydraulic bassin of Tensift.
- The souks : whatever the day of the week or the city you are exploring, the bazaars stay the activity that will break your habits in a wink.
Small tips from Léa : Take a guide with you to be sure to don’t get lost. 😉 Keep your bags on the front to be sure no one is stealing you. Go there in the morning to avoid the crowd and buy your souvenirs.
- The Ouzoud Waterfalls: we made another day tour to see these wonderful waterfalls. The 2h30 driving from Marrakech really worthed it! In a arid landscape, we couldn’t imagine a second to see such a cascade. You have the opportunity to see free monkeys walking around, you would walk between the olive trees on their family colors and drink some mint tea looking at the waterfalls.
Small tips from Léa : Take a local guide to see the different point of view of the cascade (around 2h walk), in this way, you contribute to help to local community: most of the families that are living there only rely on the tourism.
In any case, whatever the city or the place that you are visiting, do not forget to give a tip to your guide, private driver or any other touristic help that you could have (most of them rely on them to live). And try the mint tea and other typical dishes. 😉
An article about Marrakech between friends will be online soon… Stay tuned! 😉