Marrakech lies on a large plain at the foot of the snow-capped High Atlas Mountains. This makes staying in Marrakech the perfect city to begin your visit to Morocco or an ideal base for exploring the country, particularly the High Atlas, Sahara region and Atlantic coast. Surrounded by its original fortified city wall Marrakech entices you into its midst - allow it to absorb you into its soul and we are sure that, like us, it will become one of your favourite places.
Incredibly popular, and ever growing in number, riads are traditionally refurbished houses of various sizes in the centre of Marrakech's mediaeval medina. These fabulous properties are designed to be cool in the Moroccan heat and inward-looking so will surround a private courtyard or garden which is most often open to the Marrakech sky and are known as riads (or dars).
Rediscover the World was one of the first UK tour operators, back in the 1990s, to offer riads as part of a different holiday experience; we have continued this with similar properties across the whole of Morocco. At least one of us here at Rediscover has visited each of the riads featured on our website so please feel free to discuss your requirements and budget and we will be happy to make recommendations - naturally such properties are likely to be a matter of personal taste and preference but we are confident that there is a riad to suit everyone.
There are many excellent hotels in the city that we would recommend for those who wish to have the wide range of facilities that only hotels can provide such as large swimming pools, gardens, a choice of restaurants, gym, parking, etc. If you just want a good hotel prior to departing on a tour of Morocco then we are confident that one of our personally selected hotels will be ideal.
Marrakech has many faces to offer the visitor - the fabulous historic and labyrinthine Medina of the Almohads, the more recent majesty of the Bahia Palace, the tranquility of its many famous gardens and the sophistication of its modern boulevards, cafes and riads. Today Marrakech has become a thriving metropolis with chic night spots, top restaurants and a very modern atmosphere in places, all of which emphasises the immense historical context of the Medina and its focal point, the Djemma el Fna.
Any tour of Marrakech should begin by exploring the Medina followed by a visit to the Djemma el Fna (Marrakech's main square - translates as "assembly place of the dead") in the shadow of the Koutoubia Mosque. Enter further into the labyrinthine souk for some serious haggling and you will be immersed in the sights, sounds and aromas of this mediaeval market place. In the evening the Djemma el Fna changes quite dramatically and comes alive with a plethora of al fresco dining stalls such as those selling spicy sausages, fresh fish and chips, traditional Harira soup and even snails, all washed down with plenty of sweet mint tea of course - sheep's heads are perhaps only for the very hearty traveller though. All the time you will be surrounded by acrobats, snake charmers, fortune tellers and entertainers of all kinds.
Head straight to the Ben-Youssef medersa, a Koranic school and don't miss the Marrakesh Museum which is close by in the medina; it can be found in the 19th century M'Nebhi Palace. You will be able to admire eight centuries of Moroccan arts and crafts - the Chrob or Chouf fountain is a must-see. This impressively sumptuous work has a wooden front dating from the 16th century. Take in the tanners' quarter which is situated a little to the east. There you will leave for an exotic journey to a world where the smells and colours will carry you away.
You can find foodstuffs, fabrics and handicrafts in the medina and its souks which are enclosed by the fabulous 12th century ramparts. Here everyone attends to their affairs, as they have for centuries. You can find some calm in the Arabo-Andalusian garden which houses the Saadian Tombs. You should visit the richly decorated rooms of these two mausoleums which are just below the superb minaret of the El-Mansour mosque. There is an unrestricted view of the rooves of the city from the terrace of the El-Badi Palace which is nearby. From the northern corner you can admire the ancient minbar (pulpit) of the Koutoubia mosque. This pulpit is beautifully ornamented with delicate sculptures and marquetry.
The Marjorelle Gardens house a collection of plants from the four corners of the earth flourishing among elegant ornamental lakes and an Art Deco villa. You may leave this enchanted spot in one of the many horse drawn carriages available in the city and take a trip to the Palmeraie; from there, continue to the Menara, one of Marrakesh's symbolic places - this elegant building is surrounded by an immense ornamental lake (Marrakshi families come here to enjoy this cool spot during heat waves). You can enjoy an ice cream, a pastry or a cool drink in one of the establishments in Gueliz, the modern part of Marrakech. Luxury shops, banks, tearooms and cafes. Marrakesh is a city full of life and enthusiasm.
The Lalla Takerkoust Lake is just 20 minutes from Marrakesh and you can explore its 7km by pedal boat, motorboat or even jet ski. The Oukaimeden ski resort in the Atlas gives you access to one of the most extensive ski domains in Africa. You can climb Mount Toubkal (4167m), situated to the south of Oukaimeden. It isn't a particularly difficult climb provided you are in good physical shape, have hired a certified guide and have done the necessary preparation. You can visit the Ourika Valley which is about 30km from Marrakesh: the granary for the area, with its fields of different crops laid out like a draught-board; its waterfalls punctuating the beautiful unspoilt scenery. Asni village, with its very beautiful red kasbah, should be seen. Ouirgane is a very popular spot for Marrakshis. Don't hesitate to take a break for lunch in one of the many restaurants in the area: another opportunity to savour the delicious local cooking.
Where to stay
The Riad el Zohar has been lovingly restored, keeping many of its original features such as the intricately painted ceilings.
Located in the heart of the historical quarter of Riad Laarouss, a short walk from the famous Djemaa El Fna square.
An high quality gem of a riad; the 18th century Riad Kniza is a real treasure in the heart of the city and is one of our most popular luxury properties.
A larger riad-style boutique hotel set in a quiet area near the Bahia Palace. High quality accommodation and facilities.
This riad-style, opulent hotel has a collection of rooms and suites named after characters from '1001 Arabian Nights'.
The Riad Mur Akush has been beautifully restored, striking a balance between the traditional and contemporary, and exudes understated class.
A small riad offering high quality accommodation, small pool, roof terrace and great food. Stylish French and Moroccan antiques furnish the bedrooms together with hand woven berber carpets and artifac ...
A luxury boutique, riad-style hotel set amongst beautiful gardens with a large pool, restaurant and high quality spa.
Riad Hikaya is a luxury boutique hotel located in the Kasbah, an easy walk from the main square, Jemaa al Fnaa, and the city's other famous landmarks. Ancient traditions combined with contemporary comforts, ...
Incredibly, this luxury riad-inspired hotel is just around the corner from the Djemma el Fna. It stands on the site of a 13th century palace so there are many original pieces of woodwork.
Located just a short distance from the medina the Kech Boutique Hotel & Spa is a state of the art hotel bringing together elements of authenticity and modern comfort.
Things to do
A wonderful opportunity to capture the totally different lifestyle of the hardy Berber people as well as enjoying dramatic and luxuriant countryside.
A full day visiting the coastal town of Essaouira to enjoy a complete change of pace and scenery!
Truly a '1001 Nights' experience - an excellent finale to any stay in Marrakech.
An excursion to the foothills of the Toubkal National Park with fantastic scenery, Berber villages, remote valleys & a short guided hike.
High up in the Atlas mountains is the Lhasa-like 12th century mosque of Tinmal, one of only two mosques in Morocco open to visits by non-Muslims.
Hot Air Ballooning above the High Atlas plains. A flight with an experienced, licensed & fully qualified pilot plus full ground support.
This is a great introduction to the High Atlas; two reasonably challenging guided day hikes and a stay at our Head Guide's gite in Imlil.
A day into the High Atlas, crossing the Tichka Pass and visiting one of the grandest and most famous of all the Atlas fortresses - the Kasbah of Telou ...
Our Marrakech and the Atlantic package allows you to visit both Marrakech - one of Morocco's most vibrant cities, and Essaouira - Morocco's finest working ...
The Marrakech Activity package is ideal for those who wish to get the most out of a short stay in Marrakech; explore some of Morocco's beautiful mountain ...
Our Souks and Sahara package is perfect for those who wish to combine the thrill of visiting the Sahara with the excitement of Marrakech.
A fully-inclusive full day private guided tour of Marrakech. Tour includes English-speaking guide, entry fees, lunch in the medina and transport.
A fully-inclusive half day private guided tour of Marrakech. Tour includes English-speaking guide, entry fees and transport.
Relatively easy one day guided walks. A choice of classic routes, charming hidden valleys and plenty of opportunity to meet the Berber people.
4 [or 5] Days
[or private chauffeur journey] - includes kasbah hotels, 4WD & camel excursion into the dunes of Erg Chebbi, the Draa Valley and the Todra Gorge.
[or private chauffeur journey] - route takes you to the desert via the Dades Valley and the Todra Gorge then up through Atlas Mountains to Fez.
Discover the secrets of Morocco’s unique and richly varied cuisine.
"Ruddi at our riad was extremely helpful, informative and went out of his way to make our stay a memorable experience."
j smith, UK, February 2013
"Holiday was amazing. Thanks so much. We booked with Rediscover because when we first spoke you clearly got exactly what we wanted from the trip and that was so clearly the right trip"
M Hyman, UK, October 2013
"Just had to write and say a huge 'thank you' for such an amazing Honeymoon. We absolutely loved Morocco - having some mint tea at home as I type trying to pretend still there! Everything with flights, transfers and tour went perfectly. Both hotels far exceeded our expectations. We are already thinking of when we can next get to Marrakech for a short break so we will be in touch again. Both our parents are seasoned travellers and have often thought of Morocco but not been - after listening to us going on (and on and on) about the wonders of the country, they are both thinking of going for a holiday and we have given your details. Many many thanks for such an amazing Honeymoon in Morocco - just magical."
Mr & Mrs Hall, UK, April 2013
"Just to say thank you very much for organising a very enjoyable trip to Marrakech - everything worked very smoothly and the hotel and weather was lovely."
H McCombe, UK, November 2013
"Thanks for arranging all the logistics of our holiday and for the stunning Riads which you booked us into in Marrakech and Fez. Everything went well and we had a great holiday with good food and excellent weather."
A Caspersz, UAE, October 2013
"I just wanted to let you know that we had a great trip and to thank you again for all of your help. All of the places we stayed at were very nice and so were the guides and the transfer drivers. We especially loved the Tatfi hotel near Ouirgane where we had a nice fireplace inside our room. It was very nice not to have to worry about all of the transfers and booking tours. Happy New Year!"
M Major, UK, January 2014
"Riad Le Trois Mages was just a complete oasis of tranquillity and offers the best hospitality we have ever had the pleasure to experience - Aidan and his team we're just delightful. For us, it was the ideal spot for sightseeing, the roof terrace is a real treat and, importantly for us, it offered a luxury feel without compromising on tradition. We will without doubt be going back to Marrakech and there is no question we will be booking to stay here - just perfect in every way. We didn't want to leave Marrakech or Riad Les Trois Mages!"
Mr & Mrs Hall, UK, April 2013
"The Dar Vedra was lovely inside and the service great a true haven of tranquility in the medina."
M Hopkinson, UK, April 2013
"Well Morocco was amazing and we had an absolutely fab time - so grateful for all your hard work, the riad was amazing - i've never stayed anywhere so luxurious or personal, the desert trip memorable and the whole time relaxing, interesting, cultural and mind blowing. We cannot thank you enough, and we are going to try and get away together without kids more often. We have some great pictures and memories, I will try and put some on the FB site, or if you want me to write a recommendation or anything please let me know."
S O'Brien, UK, June, 2015
"I think it is worth re-iterating what an awesome holiday we had in Morocco. Every aspect of the planning was good, well thought through, and matched to our needs. You know the country really well and that helped us to have the most fabulous holiday. It was a holiday of a lifetime for us, it has provided the most wonderful memories,and it lived up to the billing. Thank you again."
J White, UK, May 2018