This is your quick and easy guide to seeing Marrakech in a few days. We spent a little over a week traveling through Morocco by car and we ended the trip in this chic and historic city.
There is so much to do and see in Morocco and you should really spend a couple of weeks there, to visit each region. Our two week long trip ended with us spending 3 days in Marrakech.
Where to stay:
I booked our stay at Riad Be Marrakech, before we purchased our plane tickets. I did this for a reason. This Riad is in high demand and sells out quickly. By making our reservation here first, we were able to guarantee the room that we wanted and availability in advance. I booked through booking.com and got a refundable reservation, that we did not have to pay for until check out.
Where to eat:
Where do I begin!the food in Morocco was so good and fresh. On our first night, we had dinner at Le Comptoir Marrakech. This restaurant was so chic and modern. We ate in the indoor garden and the belly dancing show started at 10 pm. We had lamb shank, mango mojitos and some of the best bread. Dinner ran us about $65 total.
Have breakfast with white glove service, at Royal Mansour Marrakech. It’s about $45 per person, but you can choose everything on the menu, including freshly squeezed juices. Buy some Argan Butter to bring home!
Have a fresh juice in the Souk and eat street food! The juice was $2 each for the largest size and dinner, 3 courses was about $17.
What to do:
I will say this, the souk is very large, the merchants are aggressive and you will get lost. Please hire a guide to shop with you. Our guide picked us up and walked us through everything and made sure that we were not harassed and got the best deals for what we wanted.
Book a spa day at La Mamounia (Do this at least 6 months in advance).
The road to Marrakech was a long one, but it was a beautiful adventure. We flew in to Tangier from Barcelona to make the trek. Tangier was the quickest and cheapest entry point into Morocco for us. In order to travel across the country by car, and see everything that it has to offer, planning is key.
I started planning for this trip back in February, before we even bought our plane tickets. I believe that this was a major key to crafting the perfect itinerary. We reached out to a company based in Morocco called “Let’s travel Morocco”. They did not sponsor my trip, they did not give me a discount or pay me to do a review. They are truly an amazing company.
I worked with Abdou to plan our trip. He gave me advice on which airports to fly into, which days to travel on and how long the trip should be. I told Abdou what we wanted to see, and he told us what he thought that we should do and see as well. Together we created one epic itinerary. Nacer was our guide that stayed with us the whole time and he was simple amazing.
Here is what we did, what we saw and the places that we stayed along the way. Contact Abdou to make your travel plans. You won’t regret it.
20 Oct 18 : Tangier – Chefchaouen – Fes.
21 Oct : Fes– Midelt Merzouga Sand Sea of Erg Chebbi.
23 Oct 18 :Skoura Oasis – Ouarzazate – Ait Ben Haddou – Marrakech.
24 Oct 18 : Marrakech – Medina Tour – Airport.
20 Oct 18 : Tangier – Chefchaouen – Fes 6hours
We will pick you from you from the airport or port in tangier and drive you to Chefchaouen, Arrive to the blue town. Chefchaouen is a charming place with strong Andalusian connections. It was here that many Jews and Moors fled during the Spanish Inquisition. Highlights of our day include a short hike to the ruin of the “Spanish” mosque with its fantastic panoramic view; a visit to the Ras el-Ma, where city’s fresh water springs from the mountain; and a stroll through the wonderfully restored kasbah and gardens. Than transfer to Fes City
21 Oct : Fes– Midelt Merzouga Sand Sea of Erg Chebbi7-8 hrs drv
Early in the morning departure at 8am from Fes heading to the Middle Atlas Mountains. The wilderness you cross is incredible diverse and can vary from rocky, sun baked plains, to cedar – clad mountains to deep canyons. In the hills of Azrou you may spot a troop of Barbary Apes. Then we slowly descend into the scenic Ziz valley passing palm groves and green oasis. Yet, again the scenery will be changing into the sandy plains and approaching Merzouga we will see the first sand dunes from the road. The great “sand sea” of Merzouga, a beautiful area of fine, apricot – colored sand that stretches as far as the eye can see.
As evening falls we retreat to the comforts and luxury of our exclusive private desert camp where we will be greeted with mint tea and fresh dates or nuts. The camp is set in a beautiful spot between sand dunes and gives the impression of being alone in the vast African desert while enjoying the comforts of a nomad king. We will enjoy a delicious dinner followed by campfire time beneath the starry African sky. Nothing compares to the millions of stars, silence and peacefulness of the Sahara. We sleep in luxury canvas tents feeling like we walk into one of the stories from the Arabian nights. (D. B)
As evening falls down we enjoy 3 -course dinners and then special entertainment will be provided around campfire with music, drums, and singing from our Berber guides.
We recommend early morning with the sunrise to enjoy a camel trek. We will head off into the vastness of the dunes on a camel caravan accompanied by camelteers. The sturdy camel has been a mainstay of desert life over the centuries, being used to ship the precious cargoes from Sub Saharan African to the trading ports of the Mediterranean coast. You can ride or walk alongside as you slip into the pace of the caravan led by Berber guides and marvel at the awesome spectacle of the desert and the solitude a silence that comes with it. Then return to the camp for a delicious breakfast.
Leaving the desert behind you’ll head up into the Atlas Mountains to the Todra Gorge, a spectacular gash in the hills that surround Tinerhir. The region is dotted with deserted kasbahs, palmeries and mud- brick villages, creating a photographer’s paradise. The cliffs loom above as you approach the mouth of Todra Gorge. Rising to 300m, the honey-colored hues of the sheer face change constantly as the sun moves across the sky. Local Berber people can often be seen moving their herds through the gorge. Heading into the gorge you’ll have the chance to stretch your legs on a walk to fully appreciate the beauty of the area. Rejoining the vehicle you’ll retrace your steps out of the gorge and follow the remainder of the Route des Kasbahs to Skoura , (B. D)
23 Oct 18 :Skoura Oasis – Ouarzazate – Ait Ben Haddou – Marrakech 4 hours
Morning departure to Ouarzazate and to Ait Ben haddou. This is probably the best-preserved fortified Kasbah in the country. With its dramatic walls of red earth, slit windows and crumbling towers, it is a magnificent example of a traditional stronghold. Chosen as a location for Hollywood films such as Lawrence of Arabia, Jewel in the Nile, and more recently Gladiator, Ait Ben Haddou sits upon a lofty pinnacle of rock overlooking a river. Dating from around the 15th century, its importance as a trading post gradually waned, and today’s inhabitants eke a living from farming… and as film extras!. Then we set onto the dramatic drive of Tizi and Tichka that will take us to Marrakech opening the landscapes to some breathtaking views of many Berber villages, snow capped mountains and green valleys. Early afternoon expected arrival to Marrakech.
Overnight in marrakech
24 Oct 18 Marrakech – Medina Tour
Join your guide this morning to explore Marrakech and the delights it has to offer. The tanneries around Bab Debbagh normally work in the morning and still cure leather in a way that has not changed for hundreds of years. There are plenty of other places for you to visit too. You could take in the Palais de la Bahia, built at the end of the 19th century for Si’ Ahmed ben Musa, the Grand Vizier of Soultan Moulay al Hassan. Only part of the palace is open, as the royal family still makes use of a fair proportion of the building. The beautiful courtyards and splendid living quarters provide a picture of a grand bygone lifestyle. Another possibility is the Dar Si Said, housing the Museum of Moroccan Arts. This former royal townhouse now contains beautiful art and craftwork from all corners of the country. Free afternoon to return to the souk and search for bargains, or sit at one of the cafés on the Djemaa el.
October 25 Transfer to the airport for your flight back home, (Marrakech Airport15min from your hotel)
Have you ever been camping before? Well, this was my first time and I did it in style! Believe it or not, I really do enjoy nature and being outside when the conditions are right.
If you plan to visit the desert while in Morocco, it is very important to plan your trip during the right months. Morocco gets very cold in the Winter months, and even gets snow.The best times to visit are in the Spring and in the Fall.
We stayed at Desert Luxury Camp, Merzouga in the Royal Tents. “There are the largest in size 13x10m laden with handmade Moroccan rugs, solid wood king size bed, comfortable seating area, dressing area and full size mirror. Each tent is ensuite with private bathroom that features flush toilet, sink, shower and separate bathtub! In additional we have included small fridge and in winter times electrical heating along with electrical heating blanket is provided.”
The services at the camp was 5 star the whole way. We had gourmet meals prepared, and desert activities like camel rides and sand boarding were included.
The ride to the desert is about 10 hours from Tangier and Marrakesh. We hired a private driver to pick us up in Tangier and we made our way there, stopping overnight in Fez.
This stay can be considered a once in a lifetime opportunity, but I really do hop that I can return for another visit again.
What to consider, when visiting the “Blue Pearl” of Morocco…
Do go early: The blue city, is best shot during the day. It is a long drive to get here, but that does not slow people down from visiting. It can get pretty crowded around noon. Have the place to yourself before the shop owners start moving.
Do shop: I had the best shopping experience in the blue city. I got my favorite pair of harem pants here for $5, and picked up a full sized umbrella for $5.
Do bring an umbrella: It is guaranteed to rain, or mist at some point during the day, because of the city’s position in the mountains. We started out good, then had a downpour for about 45 minutes. We took that time to stop and have a bite to eat.
Do be respectful of the doors in the alleyway: The blue city is not just a city set up for show. People live here within the walls of the old town with their families. I almost fell into someone’s home while leaning on the door to take my photo.
Don’t be loud: Remember, this is a residential neighborhood.
Do eat tangine: We had the cheapest, and one of the best meals in the blue city! My husband and I both ate full meals, with drinks and tip for $10 total.
Don’t expect for your photos to be vibrant without editing: The blue city is beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, but the colors on the walls are not as vibrant as they appear in photos. Just add saturation to your edits.
Do take the local currency and have change: The exchange rate is 10 to 1 there, but it just makes it easier when negotiating and paying for your items.
Do price hagle and offer 50% of asking price.
Do have a game plan if visiting without a certified guide: If your guide is not certified from a tourism company, they can not accompany you into the blue city. They will drop you off at the entrance and come back to pick you up.
Don’t plan to spend more that a few hours there: Other than shopping, eating and taking photos, there is not much else to do.
Do take a few outfits there to change up your look in your photos.
My last recommendation is where to get some of the best pizza in the world! Seriously, this place was voted one of the best pizza restaurants in the world, but the New York Times. Naples is the birthplace of modern pizza, and they are still making the Country proud. 50 Kalo does not open until 7pm, but it is worth re arranging your whole schedule to try it out. Words cannot express how good it was.
We cannot wait to return to Italy, for more great food and shopping!
Barcelona was always a place that I wanted to visit, but not a priority on my list. I was excited to be able to cross it off of my list, as we made our way to Morocco.
We made Barcelona our base in Europe, and spent a total of three nights there.
Where to stay: We stayed at Mosaic by Ona Hotels. This was a boutique hotel in the heart of L’Eixample, midway of Rambla Catalunya street. The hotel was centrally located, and in walking distance to Casa Batlo and Sagrada Familia.
What to do: We really wanted to maximize our time in Barcelona, and hit the “hot spots”. You could spend a whole day just exploring one museum. We visited a total of 4 museums/ landmarks, but only bought tickets to go into 2. We also went to an authentic Flamenco show, and we were amazed by the talent and entertainment. Here are my recommendations:
Palau de la Musica Catalana
Tablao Flamenco Cordobes
What to eat: The biggest piece of advice that we got from the time that we landed in Barcelona, was to not order Paella after lunch, unless you are at the beach and to not eat at any restaurant that has photos of their food posted in the window.
La Boqueria Market was a must see, just because it is a well known landmark in Barcelona. It is crowded, busy, and for show in my opinion. We walked through, had some juice and then headed over to the beach for the good stuff.
La Fonda del Port Olympic is the best place in Barcelona for Sangria and Paella! The service is good and slow (take your time to enjoy your meal), take in the ambiance and leave happy.
Barcelona Tips: Use public transportation!! The subway system in Barcelona is extremely easy to use and very cheap. We were not able to take advantage of public transportation because of our tight itinerary, and it was just easier for us to hop into an uber with all of our luggage. The center of the city is about 30 minutes from the airport with no traffic. We arrived during the morning rush hour and it took us about an hour to make it to our hotel. There are many reports that Uber is not available in Barcelona, but it is. We used both uber and cabify to zip around the city and to make a total of 4 trips to Barcelona’s airport to catch flights to other countries. So here is the con. Those rides add up, and it cost us an average of $35 each way to get to the airport. After it was all over and we were headed back to the states, we had racked up $425 in uber and cabify charges. This was definitely not factored into our budget, but thankfully we were able to take care of it.
Barcelona is an incredibly beautiful and romantic city. Take an extra suitcase to bring home some sangria!
I was recently invited to visit Medieval Times, for the debut of their new show. For the first time in Medieval Times history, a QUEEN is the sole ruler of the land!
The new show features NEW fights, MORE jousting, all new costumes, an originally composed and produced musical score and now a Queen rides out for the first time Medieval Times 35 year history to welcome her guests to tournament.
If you have never been to Medieval Times before, here is a little background information on the #1 dinner attraction in North America. “Medieval Times is based upon authentic Medieval history and is the true story of a noble family with documentation dating back to the 11th Century. Medieval Times began with two dinner/ entertainment complexes located in Majorca and Benidorm, Spain. The first North American Castle in Kissimmee, Florida opened in December 1983. Medieval Times’ Castles have since entertained more than 60 million guests.”
So why is there a woman ruler now, after all of these years? I had the opportunity to speak with the Queen after the show, and this is what she had to say.
“We actually changed the show, based on the audience. We had audience members request more participation from females in the show. About six years ago, our writers began working on the new script after getting so many requests. It is by coincidence, but with the “Me Too” movement going on, it was the perfect time to debut the new show.”
My husband and I visited the first North American Castle in Kissimmee, Florida back in 2007 but this was the first time for the kids. They had the best time! We had the VIP Royal Treatment, which included early entry, a walk on the red carpet, and front row seating. Go to the show hungry! Each ticket comes with a full meal of roast chicken with sides, soup, dessert and a beverage. It is the perfect place for the kids to let loose, get loud and eat with their hands!
The Queen ran the show from beginning to end. My daughter was in awe and has not stopped asking if we can go back to the castle. There are 10 locations across the US. Visit Medieval Times online to plan your visit.