This was one of my favorite destinations, although I wish we could have spent a month here instead of just five days. This place was so different than any of the others I had been to!
(1) YSL Gardens (Jardin Majorelle) is a dream for the nature lovers like me. This garden was a work of the famous Yves Saint Laurent who was so inspired by Morocco in his world of fashion. Have a meal or some tea at the café inside the garden.
(2) Ben Youssef Madrasa is an old university that is now only used for tourists. The tile is beautiful and makes for a great picture spot.
(3) Palais de la Bahiaa is another place to check out the beautiful tiling and Moroccan architecture. Right nearby is…
(4) Jemaa el-Fna, a plaza to walk around in the day to do some shopping, haggling, and eating. Then, head back here at night once the music and drumming starts; the square comes alive with a celebration of life.
(5) Café Nomad had a great view of the city on the terrace; if you make a reservation you will be sure to get a spot. Try to go there for sunset and dinner, but if you’re looking for lunch or just some tea check out Earth Café too.
(6) Make sure to order some Moroccan Mint Tea, but be warned, you will probably not be able to have it anywhere else again.
(7) Take extra care to not get lost in the city because it is so easy to do. I downloaded an offline version on Google Maps which was super helpful. Once you have a map walk around the streets of Old Medina…
(8) and while you’re here make sure to check out the Souks where you will find spices and a hundred other Moroccan made items. A teapot and rug were on my Morocco shopping list and I was able to haggled down the price for a great deal.
(9) To take a break from the hustle and bustle of the streets find one of the fancy Riads that offer some spa services, if you’re not already staying at one. Check out Riad Yasmine, BE Marrakech, Le Spa Royal Mansour, or La Mamounia. Relax, have a snack, and take some pictures in these breathtaking places.
(10) Spend a few nights in the desert if you can. We went through a tour company called Kam Kam Dunes where you can buy packages and they take care of all the planning. It was an unreal experience. Highly recommend. Doesn’t get much dreamier then taking a camel ride through the desert or seeing a sky full of stars at night.
(11) The food everywhere we went was so fresh. Make sure to eat plenty of olives and for dessert all I ordered were the fruit platters stacked with melons.
(12) On our way to the desert we stayed in a hotel Xaluca Dades in Ouarzazate. I wish we could have stayed here for a week instead of one night; it was so wonderful and accommodating.
(13) Also in Ouarzazate is Ait-Ben-Haddou the famous city where dozens of productions have been filmed. Gladiator and Game of Thrones are just a couple to use this city and its extras for the beautiful scenery. It doesn’t hurt either that it’s just a little cheaper than Hollywood.
I am so grateful for everywhere I got to go and everything I was able to do. I am writing these little guides so maybe they can be helpful/ inspiring to any of you, but especially so I can look back and remember the crazy opportunities I’ve had.
by Ashton Anderson, Guest Contributor