The Exotic Essence of Marrakech

A Essência Exótica de Marraquexe

It's the smells, the colors, the landscapes and the people. Are the houses in shades of pink, cats that greet us in unexpected corners and the unique architecture that tells us fables about the past and that enhances the our sensitivity to beauty. The city of Marrakesh is all of this. Exotic and cultural; raw and mesmerizing; charismatic and genuine.

In this place, we exalt emotions and refine meanings. Here, the Life doesn’t stop – and all we want is to stay in motion with it. We walked through enchanted gardens (where palm trees are a constant), strolled through labyrinthine streets, we visit modern museums that portray the life of Saint Laurent , we found places flanked by green nature, we drank tea warm mint and we listen to stories at sunset. It is the quintessential Moroccan – and we don't want to lose sight of it.

Here, each memory lived is unique. The first step to living the experience intensely? Release the European veil and absorb every detail that our eyes can see. Visiting a city that moves at its own pace can be a cultural shock for many, it can even be marked by the antagonism of its character – as it mixes history with modernity – but if you pay attention, we promise you that you will find its most exciting side.

What you really need to know:

If you are thinking of visiting Morocco for the first time alone, follow this advice: draw up a structured plan of everything you are going to do and the places you want to visit. Study accessibility issues and get organized. This country is just an hour away from our capital, but the cultural difference is immense. Therefore, so that you don't feel helpless, it will be much easier to have a guide with you to help you make the most of this experience. Also remember to exchange your money for the Moroccan currency, the diram (10.00 euros are equivalent to 100.00 dirams). You can do this at the airport, before taking your flight.

The medina and the Jemaa El Fna spirit

Right in the heart of this city in western Morocco, we get lost in the inescapable magic of the medina – the place where everything happens –, home to the traditional markets of this Berber legacy, the souks . A city within another city. It is there that we feel, raw, the true meaning of Moroccan blood. And it is the vibrant energies of the people who try to sell us traditional symbols that reveal this. Between unpredictable alleys and hidden squares, we discover more of this medieval place. We pass through Jemaa El Fna Square, which reveals the frenetic soul of the “pearl of the South”, where we come across street entertainers, snake tamers, traditional vendors and storytellers who preserve this ancient culture.

The Majorelle Gardens and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum

Majorelle, a renowned French painter who, in 1922, bought a palm grove where he built his house, is responsible for the existence of the most acclaimed garden in the city of Marrakech. His house, whose walls are painted blue – Majorelle blue – opened to the public more than 20 years later, and later, fashion creator Yves Saint Laurent decided to buy the space, in order to prevent it from being destroyed by a hotel project. Transporting us to a vibrant green energy, this huge garden also houses the Berber Museum. Further ahead, we find the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, where we have the opportunity to delve a little into the designer's life story, contemplating some of his most valuable creations.

Tajine, everywhere

Tajine. On your plate. Anytime and anywhere. Exactly! If you have already had the opportunity to visit this country, you know what we are talking about. If not, get ready, because as soon as you step on this floor you will realize that this is the dish that takes center stage wherever you go. This traditional Moroccan meal – a vegetable stew – is served in a clay container with a cone-shaped lid, and is a delicacy cooked over low heat that, as a rule, favors flavored vegetables and meats cooked at low temperatures. Not everyone becomes a fan, but those who do, it's for real.

The story behind a unique architecture

Exotic, majestic, attractive and eclectic. Morocco's architecture is all of this, being a true mix between contemporary and traditional. The Islamic influence is one of the strongest in the country's architectural style, but the influences of the Arab world combined with the Berber style, which marked the past, are part of the heritage of a culture unlike any other and assume an undeniable weight. The contrasts in the landscape – combined with historical diversity –, the simple lines, the earthy tones, the geometric patterns, the traditional Moroccan tiles and all their color aesthetics are part of this unique canvas. A good part of Moroccan architectural elements are produced by hand by artisans who pass on their art to their descendants. And there are those who believe that this tradition will never die.

When to visit?

This is not an ideal peak summer destination. Prefer to go in spring or even autumn, to avoid the extreme heat that won't let you experience the best of this adventure. October and November are also good months to fly to Morocco.

Where to stay?

There is no shortage of accommodation options in Marrakech. From the simplest to the most sophisticated and luxurious. Staying in a riad – a mansion or house located in the center of the medina, usually arranged around a central courtyard with plants and fountains – will always be a smart choice, as there are many options, for all tastes and different budgets . This will be the best option to give yourself body and soul to this place. On the other hand, we couldn't help but recommend the hotel where Frederica stayed: Be Live . Here, we are treated with utmost kindness and are able to experience moments of peace and serenity. The best part? You will have a swimming pool in your room, to enjoy on a warm, golden afternoon.

Le Palace , one of the best spaces for a special dinner (and night)

The city's hotel zone is truly charming. And at night, it comes to life even more. There, we found a very special – and unforgettable – restaurant, Le Palace (yes, it's as if you were dining inside a palace!). In addition to being decorated in a purely divine way, in an environment that pleases us, all the options on the menu are small, irresistible pleasures. And speaking of pleasure, we cannot fail to mention the best dessert: «Chocolate Temptation». Do we need to say more?


Special thanks: Soltropó, Turismo de Morocco and Be Live Hotels.

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