The world economy has certainly had its problems. Tourism has been affected but Morocco has benefitted from the stability of its government. The result has been its popularity amongst Europeans wanting a flavour of North Africa but conscious of the volatility of other North African countries. As the economic problems are left behind Marrakech is certain to benefit from discerning tourists interested in a different experience.
More than the climate
Some of the coastal resorts have created regular clientele yet Marrakech is different; it is a city in Central Morocco where visitors come for much more than sea, sun and sand. Marrakech is not only the gateway to the Atlas Mountains but its rich history and culture attracts many more people than adventurers and trekkers. They come to see the wonderful architecture, the mosques and museums, the narrow streets of the souks and to taste the rich Moroccan cuisine that has developed over the centuries due to the trading traditions of its people.
Everyone needs a guide because it is so easy to get lost though the friendly locals will be only too happy to give you directions.
Medina Tours will take you back in history in one way yet let you see today’s city and how its citizens live their lives. Souks are magical offerings to relieve you of some notes from your wallet or purse in exchange for leather goods, textiles, carpets or musical instruments.
If you have been captivated by the Moroccan cuisine you may decide to take home some spices. Moroccans have been traders for centuries and their spices have come from far away to be used with the vegetables, fruits, meats and fish that are produced locally.
There is more to the Old City than shopping of course but the Djemma El Fna Square in its midst is a ‘must see’ even if you are not on a shopping expedition. There are singers, musicians and dancers, snake charmers and acrobats at different times of the day. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage site described as a ‘Masterpiece of World Heritage.’
The very atmosphere of Marrakech is worth enjoying, the noise and bustle as the locals go about their everyday lives. Some just spend their time talking over endless cups of tea and every shop will offer you tea; it is sometimes part of the sales process of course but you can always decline to buy.
What you do on your Marrakech holiday will very much depend upon how much time you have. You may be passing through on your way to trekking in the Atlas Mountains and perhaps are just happy to have a guide to take you through the maze of narrow streets. Alternatively if your interest is in history and culture you may want to get an organised tour so that you can get your bearings then explore independently at greater length. Either way you will be more than welcome to contact a specialist tour company to show you round.
Image attributed to Commons.wikimedia.org vincentraal