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Marrakech, Morocco

Magical Marrakech
Exotic Souks and Cool Kasbahs


The rural market at Tahnaoute

On your last day, venture to the High Atlas Mountains. Arrange a car and driver for the hour-long ride to the village of Imlil. En route, you may be lucky enough to catch a rural market in progress at Tahanaoute (Tuesdays) or Asni (Saturdays). From Imlil, a local guide will accompany you either on muleback or on foot on a scenic 1.5-hour trek up through shaded paths past cherry and walnut orchards and overlooking clearings where you will see villagers tending their gardens or grazing their sheep. The trek ends at Kasbah du Toubkal, (former residence of Caid Souktani where Martin Scorsese filmed “Kundun”) where you can have lunch on the terrace, which has stunning views of the surrounding peaks and Berber hamlets, before descending to Imlil village for the drive back to Marrakech.

Water vendor at the rural market

Other alternatives would be a horse or quad bike riding excursion with lunch at Lalla Takerkouste Dam or a cooking class at the Maison Arabe School in the Palmeraie. There are three golf courses in the Palmeraie, and camel and horse riding through the palm groves can also be arranged. Spend your last afternoon back in the souks checking out the antique shops on rue Mouassine, which you can access through Bab Fteuh off the north western side of Djema l’Fna.

Tonight, have dinner at one of the lavish palace restaurants hidden behind anonymous doorways deep inside the Medina. Yacout, Le Tobsil, Palais Gharnatta or Dar Moha are all good choices—bearing in mind that you will need to have reserved a table. All of these restaurants have prix fixe menus at night, some of which include drinks and offer music by Gnawa musicians and/or groups playing Andalusian music. The food and décor are both superb and well worth the price of about 500-700 Dirhams per head, or $55-77.


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(Updated: 06/02/08 HC)

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