Souks, Sunsets & Saint-Laurent

If you are an adventurer who wants to get deep into the hustle and bustle of the City of Marrakech, or even someone who’s looking for a quick get-away to replenish their quality of travel…

…and experience other nationalities’ way of life, keep reading for my top 3 must-do visits…

  1. Jardin Majorelle

Owned by the well-known designer, Yves Saint-Laurent, this twelve-acre jungle was designed by Jacques Majorelle. Both Saint-Laurent and Pierre Bergé bought this garden in order to prevent the land from falling into the hands of yet another hotel complex.

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Yves' and Bergé's House

Yves’ and Bergé’s House

This colour is featured throughout the gardens, and is in  fact the colour of one of Saint-Laurent’s  nail polish colours named Bleu Majorelle. 

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So much greenery, it really is a jungle in the middle of a City!

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Everywhere you look, you can tell that Saint-Laurent and Bergé wanted to make the gardens with their own unique way of composing each section, such as the bridge over the pond.

It is definitely worth putting aside an hour or two to explore why such a successful designer wanted to save this oasis, whose beauty and inspiration can only be explained by a visit.

2. The Souks 

There is such a hustle-n-bustle vibe as soon as you step into the main square, which is surrounded by hundreds of tiny streets lined with the most authentic shops and shop owners. One shop owner tried to get our attention by shouting stereotypical English comments…just imagine an Arab man shouting “’Ello Governor!” and “Shifty-shifty” in his best English accent.

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This place really comes to life at night. In the main square, entertainment ranges from snake charmers to belly dancers.

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I have to warn you that the first hour of being thrown into this you will feel rather discombobulated, lost and maybe a bit scared. This is mainly because you feel out of your comfort zone, but you soon adjust to mopeds dodging you in the narrow streets and snakes being thrust into your face.

Oh, and I would note that if anyone offers a free camel in exchange for your companion, that IS seen as a compliment but the right thing to do is just walk away, even if you are the slightest bit interested in owning a pet camel.

However, we found that the best time to explore the souks was during the day, so I would schedule a day out when the forecast is not so good.

Hundreds of shops are packed with every single colour, shape and size slipper so you can really relive Carrie’s mad moment in Sex And The City 2.

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I would definitely do some research on the Riads you would like to visit as most have cafés or restaurants so you can just pop-in as a break from ALL the shopping and bartering.

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We randomly stumbled upon Dar Cherifa and just followed the signs through the winding streets, so really you need to get lost in Marrakech to find your bearings!

Nomad-der how jam-packed your schedule is you HAVE to make time for a lunch or dinner at Nomad. We went there for dinner and it took us about 1 hour to find it, but it was definitely worth it!

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To start, I had courgette and feta fritters with a mint dip (highly recommend) and for main, a vegetable tagine with couscous.

3. La Mamounia

Known for many things such as Winston Churchill’s stay and also featured in Sex and The City 2, La Mamounia has the grandest look. We only went to have a drink before dinner at Le Comptoire Darna (highly recommend for up-close Moroccan entertainment, whilst digging into yet another scrummy tagine) and a meander around the gardens, but it’s still worth a short visit.

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There is a long pathway throughout the middle of the garden, which is lined with dozens of statues of graffitied-pugs.

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And such beautiful landscape pictures.

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I hope I have given you a little taster on what to expect and what to put in your diary when visiting Marrakech.

Jemima Plume Xx

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