Sam, who you know as the girl that helps us find all those lovely Real Deals you get each week, just got back from a holiday in Morocco that made us green at the gills. So I just had to sit her down and hear all about it!
It all started with finding cheap flights to Marrakech, which was her destination of choice because her and her boyfriend were after a bit of sun, and plenty of activities. The first three days were spent in the city itself, staying at the Riad Les Trois Mages, which gets an “excellent” rating from Sam, particularly for value and service, and she’s stayed in a couple of others on previous trips.
Breakfasts were all about strong coffee and the delicious local bread with homemade jam, not great diet food, but perfect for an indulgent holiday morning. And then it was off to the Jardin Majorelle, owned by Yves Saint Laurent. The gardens are characterised by their stunning blue accents everywhere, and you can also visit the tiny museum which has some of his works in, as well as a small collection of Islamic art.
The next day, the Saadian Tombs were top of the agenda, with their beautiful mosaics, and then it was time to go shopping in the souks. The sheer number of people trying to sell you things can be overwhelming, so be prepared to go back to your accommodation if you get a bit exhausted by it all. Some funky bright pillow cases and spices were on Sam’s shopping list!
As Morocco is an Islamic country, alcohol isn’t served many places, so she had to check out La Marrakchi in the souk, where they serve wine and beer as well as traditional dishes. A delicious vegetable tagine and (I’m sure) a little alcohol later and the belly-dancers were convincing here to balance their tray of candles on her head!
The following morning they said goodbye to Marrakech and headed off to Izmil for a trek in the Atlas Mountains. They booked their own guide, Hassan, who stayed with them the whole way – which was lucky as the altitude sickness kicked in on the first day! Once they were away from the summit though, things improved and after a night at a gîte in a Berber village they were right as rain. Might have had something to do with all the traditional mint tea, lovely bread and “the best tagine ever” as well!
The next two days were spent traversing the mountains, rather than aiming for the summits, and Sam loved the total peace and quiet, as well as the stunning views. With a mule to carry their stuff they were free to enjoy getting away from it all. They returned to their base through loads of tiny little mountain villages and ate more than a few walnuts straight off the trees too!
It was back to Marrakech for one final night, and they braved the free-for-all dining area in the Souk, where tables jostle together and loads of kitchens serve traditional food in the same spot. Hectic but cheap and delicious was the verdict. So afterwards, a stroll to Koutoubia Mosque all lit up at night made for a romantic end to the trip.
Sounds as good to you as it does to us? See if we can help you find some cheap flights to Marrakech.