Haggle–happy souks, pampering hammams and after–dark theatrics
Find yourself exploring winding alleyways, sun–soaked palaces and spice–filled souks in no time with a last minute holiday to Marrakech...
Our last minute holidays to Marrakech are your fast–track pass to Morocco's famous Red City. And, because all of our hotels here are All inclusive, the basics are covered – flights, hotel, food and drink. So all that's left to think about is how to spend your time here. Here are a few ideas to get you started...
There are no shopping centres here – and no price tags. It's all street stalls and shops built into winding alleys in the souks. You can haggle over the price of everything from carpets and rugs to clothes and ornate wooden carvings. For something a little more familiar, Guéliz, the 'new town' has plenty of well–known shops. Expect to find the likes of Zara and Mango.
When the sun goes down, Marrakech comes to life. The main square, Jemaa El–Fna, fills with the scent of spices and cooked meats, while street entertainers keep the crowds laughing. In the newer parts of town there's a more European–style party scene. The Hivernage and Guéliz districts are where the rich and famous let their hair down. It's also home to North Africa's biggest nightclub – Pacha.
The grand duke of Moroccan food has to be tagine – slow–cooked meat or vegetable stew served in a terracotta pot. You'll find it on the menu in most restaurants here. There's also Harira soup, made with chickpeas, lentils, tomatoes and spices like saffron and ginger. Think minestrone with a spicy edge.
It may be a 3–hour drive to the nearest beach, but it's well worth it to kick back on the sands of the northwest African coast. Essaouira is the most popular. It's a big crescent of sweeping sands, backed by a whitewashed town. It's a windy spot, so it's top territory for kite surfing and windsurfing. Just 20 kilometres south there's a more deserted spot at Sidi Kaouki Beach where you'll have the sands pretty much to yourself.
These traditional Moroccan spas will wash, scrub and exfoliate you until you're feeling as good as new. There are loads in Marrakech serving up lots of different treatments. There are no chemicals here – it's all natural soaps and oils. Some do super–luxurious extras like massages and milk baths, too.
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