Marrakech Weekend City Breaks - Attractions & Sightseeing
Marrakech is a great city break, a destination that is full of secrets, but perhaps the most intriguing is how the imperial city has managed to maintain an air of timelessness despite a century of occupation; first by French colonialists and more recently by tourists. Marrakech began life in the 11th century as a trading station named Marra Kouch (which later morphed into both Marrakech and Morocco) and judging by the medieval scenes that greet you in Djemaa el Fna little has changed in the intervening millennia.
Public life doesn't get much more theatrical than in Marrakech's central square. The city's beating heart is echoed by the pounding of Berber drums and backfiring scooters while its lungs wheeze to the snake charmer's pipe. Acrobats pile up on each others shoulders, storytellers weave spellbinding folklore, dentists pull teeth, doctors fill their prescriptions with live chameleons.and the entire circus never pauses for breath.
The ancient Medina walls hang round the city like a lasso, corralling together the country's finest collection of palaces, mosques and museums. and some of the best boutique hotels on the face of the planet. Built around shady courtyards Marrakech's riads are the envy of the continent; providing achingly hip accommodation that's within most visitor's financial reach. Outside the city walls the big international chains have been at it; helping to transform Marrakech into a family-friendly holiday destination.
Marrakech does luxury well;
Extending beyond the city's accommodation scene to indulgent health spas, golf resorts, world class restaurants and limitless shopping opportunities. In fact, entire weekends have been known to be swallowed-up souvenir hunting in the in the city's fabled souks. Year round sunshine means that Marrakech never closes for business; although during the summer months the city can get stiflingly hot.
Further a field there's plenty to keep more intrepid visitors busy. Just an hour's drive south-east and you're surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the High Atlas and arguably North Africa's best trekking network. Continue east over the mountains and the land becomes parched as you approach the great sand sea of the Sahara - best explored by camel or 4x4 safari. Head west and you soon reach the laid-back fishing port of Essaouira which promises some of the best surf this side of the Atlantic.
However, the 'best bit' about Marrakech is that it's just over three hours form the UK by plane.