Lawrence and I were lucky enough to get some time off from work to spend ten days in Morocco travelling from Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains and then finishing in Essaouira.
We’ll start with Marrakech where we had 4 days to explore and arrived into our beautiful Riad, Dar Charkia.
We found it through Secret Escapes and I couldn’t recommend it more to people looking to visit Marrakech, great location and very reasonably priced. It’s owned by Michael and Lisa who are Anglo-German and wander around in the mornings over breakfast to catch up and see how your stay is going. I should mention the breakfast is to die for, homemade jams, pancakes, croissants, fruit and omelettes, perfect pre-walking around the Souks fuel.
Then off we went, we spent the days around the centre seeing the main touristy sites and making the most of wonderful bar and restaurant recommendations from friends. One of our favourites for a nightcap on the way home was Cafe Arabe, which houses a beautiful rooftop bar and restaurant, perfect for watching the sunset with a tajine and glass of Moroccan wine.
It’s surprising how many rooftop bars there are nestled within the souks, there’s nothing better than sitting with a glass of wine and watching the sunset over the terracotta coloured buildings. Kosybar was one such location, a little further away but if you’re in that part of town a nice break from the hustle and bustle.
Now our first tourist stop was the Jardin Majorelle, most famously for being bought by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge in 1980 where they transformed it with bright colours and well arranged plants.
It was very nice to visit but not quite as spectacular as we were hoping but worth a visit if you have some time.
Our walk to the gardens was also our first major realisation of how lost we had got in the Souks, by going left instead of right we ended up all the way South in completely the opposite direction. Good exercise for working off the tajines!
Now a must to go visit is La Mamounia, obviously it was way out of our price range to stay the night or even have a full meal but go for just a drink on the terrace and see how the other half live.
Spend some time walking around the gardens, exploring the private villas and pools, just stunning.
Another restaurant we ate at that was recommended was Le Foundouk which unfortunately was rather empty when we went for lunch. Lovely decor and a rooftop to get a nice breeze with a glass of vino.
It wouldn’t be the full experience until you’ve eaten in the main square at Place Jemaa el-Fna. It’s unbelievably good value and you pick from a huge selection and the food just keeps coming.
We were told aim for the stalls which are the busiest and have the most people sat down to eat.
I’ll split this into two posts so as not to bore you any longer, go get yourself a cup of tea and I’ll share with you the rest of our trip.