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Things to do in Marrakech

Make for the Atlas Mountains

The Atlas Mountains offer a great escape from the city and many tours take you to Imlil, the hub of mountain tourism 90km (56mi) south of Marrakech, for a hike in the countryside.

Spend a night under the stars

Join a multi-day tour that ventures into the Sahara on a camel's back with plenty of photo opportunities. At night, lying on your back and looking up at star clusters is what some would consider the best desert experience. Bring comfortable shoes and a sun hat.

Spice up your life with a cooking class

Moroccan cuisine revolves around colourful and flavourful spices, and one of the best ways to experience it is to take a cooking class. Most cooking classes teach tagine, a type of stew named after the ceramic or clay pot in which it is cooked in, and some chefs even take you shopping around the souks for spices.

Sunset camel ride

The southern edge of Marrakech lies a large expanse of palmeraie (palm grove), and one of the best ways to experience it is on a camel's back during sunset. Many tours also include a visit to a Berber family.

Unwind in a traditional Hammam

Check your privacy at the door and relax in a Hammam, a traditional Moroccan spa. Whether you opt for a public or private hammam, the ritual is the same: an initial lather in savon noir (black olive oil soap), an intimate exfoliation, a hydrating clay mask and a rejuvenating cold room. Going to a public hammam will require you to bring your own soap, exfoliating glove, towel, flip-flops, and a change of clothes.

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Featured Hotels


Riad Dar Aby

Situated just outside the Medina, Riad Dar Aby houses a number of en-suite rooms circled around a bright, tiled courtyard. The daily breakfast of Moroccan pancakes with lashings of jam provides a homely touch, while free Wi-Fi access, optional specialised tours and friendly staff complete the package.

Riad Cherihane

Notable for its vibrant rooftop garden where tortoises laze in sun, the well-priced Riad Chrihane is situated near the northern edge of the Medina, roughly a 15-minute walk from Jemaa el Fna. Though it can be tough to track down, due to its location down a quiet side alley, complimentary Moroccan tea and biscuits greet wearisome guests.

Riad L'Etoile D'Orient

Restored in 2010, this tastefully appointed riad mixes the modern with the traditional, meaning guests can upload snaps of the refined Moroccan decor using the speedy free Wi-Fi service. Just minutes from Jemaa el Fna, rooms here include flatscreen TVs and gorgeous bathrooms. There's also a rooftop terrace to enjoy.

Riad Al Massarah

This riad is the definition of Marrakech cool, with its blend of traditional lofty architecture, handsome custom-made furnishings and ultramodern bathroom fittings by Philippe Starck. Proprietors Michael and Michel are blazing the trail for responsible tourism with clever use of natural light and solar energy, contributions to local charities, and standard-setting wages for staff.

Riyad El Cadi

This elegant guesthouse is a maze of historic riads set around five courtyards and faceted with private balconies, terraces, staircases and light wells. Each of the rooms has its own décor scheme (stay in the cupola-capped Ottoman suite with Turkish tile and latticework harem balcony). It also has a pool with Jacuzzi, subterranean hammam and well-stocked wine cellar.

La Maison Arabe Marrakech

Opened in the 1940s, La Maison Arabe was a popular dining place for the rich and famous (Winston Churchill was a patron). It closed in the 1980s but reopened in 1998 as a hotel with Italian blueblood and African antiques collector Frederic Ruspoli at the helm. His collection is now the centrepiece of the hotel's luxuriously restored suites and rooms.