Markets and more in Marrakech
Photo Credit: maik_sv
Marrakech is a city of mysterious allure. It has been featured in countless Hollywood films, novels and many a day-dream of travellers stuck at home. But the reality is even more amazing than any fictitious portrayal, what this vast central Morrocan city has to offer is seemingly endless, and venture out of town and you have the best of North Africa at your feet. This thousand-year-old trading post sustains summer well into our winter so makes an ideal destination for a getaway late in the year and you can visit Casamundo.co.uk for holiday lets in Marrakech.
First things first, when Marrakech is mentioned, markets spring to mind. The extensive network of markets that make up what the uninitiated called the Marrakech Souk contain such a vast array of textiles, handcrafts, food, spices, clothing and more that sensory overload is ensured. Whether you are on the hunt for a handmade tagine cooking-pot or to sample some local Moroccan cuisine the maze of streets and squares lined with market stalls has it all. Even if you are seeking to take in the sights and smells, of which there are plenty, without spending any dirhams, the markets of Marrakech are one of the most spectacular attractions in all of North Africa.
At night these markets still buzz with activity – even more so than in the day – and a whole new side emerges. The smell of fresh cooking mixes in the air with the thick aroma of spice vendor’s stalls, people buzz around; entertainers, snake-charmers and musicians all gather in the marketplaces in the evening. The souks also become meeting places for locals and are a great opportunity to observe another cultures way of life. If the busy market streets are too much then the night time market experience can still be enjoyed with a drink or evening meal from the comfort of one of the many cafes that overlook the market squares from balconies; the lights and colours are spectacular.
Beyond the markets, Marrakech and Morocco have so much to offer the eager adventurer. One of the greatest, most awe inspiring of these attractions is the Ouzoud waterfalls which cascade down the Atlas Mountains. These waterfalls are a gem of outstanding natural beauty, the blue water cuts through the red rock of the Atlas Mountains, scattered with the plant life the water brings. You can swim in the plunge pools and even slip down the natural slides the water creates. The water, and tourists, also attracts the local wildlife, the most notable of which are the friendly – if a little cheeky – monkeys, which only add to the charm of the area. Although this is a day trip away from Marrakech, it is a not-to-be-missed feature of this desert country.
The mosques are another spectacular feature of this historic city. Their beauty and scale is something that can be appreciated by all, however you cannot enter many if you are a non-Muslim and this should be respected at all times. That being said, the Kasbah and Koutoubia mosques are beautiful landmarks and can be appreciated from the outside. Another architectural attraction is the Museum of Marrakech, housed inside the old palace of Dar M’Nebhi, a small fee is charged for entry but the array of Moroccan arts and crafts is a sight to behold.