Winding mazes of lively souks, brimming with exotic wares, scents and sounds to tease and confuse your senses; palm fringed pathways and hidden oases, and the vast, breath-taking backdrop of the Atlas Mountains.
It’s a city of contrasts and contradictions, highs and lows, silence and cacophony bristling against each other. At the heart of the old city is the Medina, home to countless markets, spilling with spices, fabrics, foods and trinkets – as well as entertainers of every description, weaving in and out. Whatever your intentions, you won’t leave empty handed.
But there’s much more to Marrakech than the exasperating but good-natured fun of haggling with a Moroccan stall holder over the price of a colourful pashmina.
Step away from the labyrinth of sellers to soak up one of the most intimate and most rewarding traditions of the country – the traditional Moroccan hammam. At once both intensely social and incredibly private, the hammam is a world away from the delicate sensibilities of contemporary Western spas – expect to have every inch of your body (that means every inch) scrubbed, rubbed, oiled and massaged under their well-practiced hands that carry centuries of expertise. You’ll emerge feeling revived, refreshed and lighter – in mind, body and soul.
Once you’ve left behind your worldly cares in the steamy waters of the hammam, then head out to embrace the spirit of adventure that permeates the city’s air. Go for the rooftops – here’s where you’ll catch the immense blanket of stars that opens overhead, barely diluted by the buzz of the city.
Make it up there a little earlier in time for sunset and you’ll be rewarded with the most captivating view of the Atlas peaks. Take your cup of Moroccan coffee – far stronger than any barista back home would ever proffer – rich and infused with spices, the perfect drink to accompany such a heart-rending moment.
Make no mistake. Marrakech will steal your heart like a brazen thief – and never return it.
All you can do is pine, and plot your next return.