Marrakesh | Adventure Travel Guide
Looking for an epic adventure in North Africa? You'll love Marrakesh and the Atlas Mountains.
When you think of the Moroccan city of Marrakesh, the first thing that probably comes to mind are the bustling markets, tasty tagines, and magnificent mosques. What you might not think of, straight away at least, is how well situated it is for awesome outdoor adventures.
Marrakesh is the ideal place to base yourself if you've ever dreamed of mountaineering in the Atlas Mountains, and conquering Mount Toubkal; the highest peak in North Africa at 4,167 metres.
From the heart of the iconic city of Marrakesh, it's only about a 90 minute drive to Imlil. Imlil is a small village situated about 1,700 metres above sea level, and your gateway to the unforgettable scenery on offer in this part of the world.
From Imlil, it's a solid five to six hours hike to the Refuge du Toubkal (about 3,100 metres above sea level). After spending a night here, many people decide to wake up while it's still dark and summit Toubkal as the sun rises.
The views here, sunrise or not, are something that will stay with you forever. If this sort of adventure right up your street, Much Better Adventures offer an excellent four-day/three-night package for £269 that includes accommodation in Marrakesh, accommodation in the mountains, expert guides, airport transfers, hiking meals, and mules to carry your luggage.
Alternatively, why not check out Marrakesh's thriving outdoor activity scene just outside the city walls? Dunes and Desert Exploration are highly recommended on TripAdvisor, and can hook you up with that adrenaline fix you're after. They offer quad biking adventures, camel riding, buggy touring, and even stand up paddle boarding.
Where To Stay
When you're staying in Marrakesh, you can't go far wrong with one of the city's numerous riads. Riads, if you're not familiar with them, are traditional Moroccan houses with an interior garden/courtyard. They're historic, atmospheric, and offer some of the nicest and best value accommodation in the city.
Riad Anya and Riad Sidi Mimoune are excellent options in the south of the city, while Riad Papillon are Riad Des Arts are a slightly further north of these and a little bit more in the mixer. There's so many riads to choose from though, you needn't be disheartened if you can't get a spot in one of these places. Just like there's plenty of plenty of fish in the sea, there's plenty of riads in Marrakesh.
Where To Eat
Moroccan food is widely considered to be some of the finest in the world, and with good reason. The smells and flavours of Marrakesh grub will make your mouth water like a rambunctious river after a particularly heavy night of a rainfall.
La Cantine Des Gazelles is that winning double act of cheap and delicious, and is well worth your time and money. Other highly recommended restaurant options in the city are Amal, Dar Anika Kitchen, and Naranj. Alternatively, you could take a chance and explore the food markets. After all, isn't exploration and experimentation what travel's all about?
Where To Drink
You might have heard, because Morocco is a Muslim country, that getting a drink in Marrakesh is nigh-on impossible. And while there's certainly not a Wetherspoons on every corrner, you can get your hands on a beer if you know where to look. The Kozy Bar, for example, sells alcohol and has an amazing rooftop terrace where you can watch the sun go down.
What The Locals Say
"Salam alikome is hello, and shukran is thankyou. The Majorelle Garden in the north of the city is very pretty. There's a memorial to the fashion designer Yves St-Lauren there that's really nice."
Anya (Owner of Riad Anya)