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Day 1 in Marrakech

Welcome to Marrakech! Upon arrival in Morocco, you will go through customs and immigration. Should you opt to purchase a transfer to your hotel; a representative will be waiting for you as you exit immigration. Arrive at your hotel, check in and do not give in to jet lag! There is so much for you to see and do!

You can start by visiting the plentiful parks and gardens of the city. The one closest to the airport is called Menara Gardens and is one of the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Marrakech. The green-roofed pavilion was the summer home of a past Sultan. Situated between the Old Town and Menara Gardens is an olive grove bisected by Avenue Mohammed VI. The olive grove is called L`Oliveraie and is a living testament to Marrakech`s commercial and agricultural past.

Take the Avenue Guernassa to Rue Bab Irhli and view two of the nineteen gates into the Old Town of Marrakech: Bab Ksiba and Bab El Arhdar. Turning right from the Bab El Arhdar, visitors will enter Agdal Gardens. Agdal Gardens is spread out across 1.5 square miles and is a planned urban green space with citrus trees, fig trees and olive trees, all grown around and watered by pools filled from mountain aquifers in the nearby Atlas Mountains. After walking the grounds of Agdal Gardens, go back to the Bab El Arhdar and pass through the gates. You will now be on the grounds of the Royal Palace, the King of Morocco`s official residence while in Marrakech. (His full-time residence is located in Rabat.)

In the evening, explore the main square, Jemaa el-Fna, as it buzzes with snake charmers, street performers and food trucks. If you wish, rent a carriage called a caleche and tour the streets in and around the Jemaa el-Fna. You can also wait to hire a caleche another day and explore an area of town of your choosing. Return to your accommodations at the end of the evening.

Day 2 in Marrakech

Start the morning bright and early at the leather tanneries of Bab Debbagh, located on the Oued Issli wadi/river. After you tour the tanneries, you can shop at some of the leather handicraft stores. Be prepared to haggle!

Wander the byzantine streets of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Marrakech Medina, and stop in to see the collections at the Musee Boucharoite on the Derb el Cadi. A boucharoite is a colorful rug made piecemeal from recycled cloth, and you can buy your own boucharoite at the shops close by. On Rue Assouel, two blocks over, there is a fountain called Chrob ou Chouf which dates from the 16th century. A social gathering place and quite literally a `watering hole`, the name `chrob ou chouf` means `drink and look` in Arabic.

A few streets over is the new Museum of Women, located on Route Sidi Abdelaziz. Opened in March 2018, it is the first museum commemorating the role of women in Moroccan society. Just 500 feet to the east, there are a number of tourist attractions. As you walk down the Souk Ahl Fes, you will notice the Ben Youssef Mosque and the Madrassa next door. The Madrassa, long since defunct, is open to the public and to non-Muslims as a museum; the mosque itself is off-limits. The Almoravid Koubba, adjacent to the Madrassa, once served as the mosque`s water tower and has become a noted Marrakech landmark in its own right after it was extensively renovated in the 1950s. Across the street is the Marrakech Museum, filled with artifacts which describe the Arab, Berber and Jewish experiences in the city across the generations.

South of these museums is a maze of alleyways that comprise the city`s most famous souk, Souk Semmarine. The souk starts with a patisserie (bakery) and pottery stalls, eventually turning into a spice market for a portion of the way and then turning into a clothing, antique and carpet emporium, selling everything from emerald-green Moroccan rugs to caftans and pashminas. There are two museums to the north of the souk. The museum northwest of the souk is called the Musee de Mouassine. The first floor of the riad-turned-museum showcases Berber artifacts. The second floor is the true gem of the museum, with each room and salon painstakingly renovated and restored to their 18th century glory. To the northeast of the souk is the Heritage Museum, which showcases `Moroccan heritage in all its complexity and wealth`. The rooftop terrace allows visitors with an unobstructed and beautiful view of the medina below.

Head to the Jemaa el-Fna for another night of street food and fun, or go to the Gueliz neighborhood for a fine dining experience followed by some drinks. If in season, consider seeing a live classical music concert under the stars at Theatre Royal. Return to your accommodations at the end of the evening.

Day 3 in Marrakech

Begin the morning by viewing Koutoubia Mosque. On select days, non-Muslims are permitted to enter the gardens, but you most likely will be admiring the 800-year-old mosque from the outside. The southern portion of the walled city can be found a half-mile to a mile from Koutoubia; you will pass two of the nineteen gates into the Old Town while sightseeing: Bab Agnaou and Bab Er Robb. Pass through the gate of your choice and visit the Saadian Tombs, where multiple members of the Saadian dynasty were laid to rest in the Middle Ages. Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur of the Saadian dynasty built his showcase palace, El Badi Palace, next door; as a result, dozens of members of this family were born and were buried mere hundreds of feet apart.

Head into the Jewish Quarter (Quartier Jnane Laafia) and tour the Salat Al Azama Synagogue. Opened in 1492 after the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula, this synagogue is one of the oldest Jewish houses of worship in Morocco, if not the oldest. Two blocks away is the Palais de la Bahia, a 19th-century lavish riad once owned by Si Moussa, the vizier to the Sultan, who named it after his wife Bahia. The brother of the vizier owned the riad called Dar Si Said, which was transformed into a museum of Moroccan art, and is the oldest continuously-operating museum in town. Down the street is another museum of art, Musee Tiskiwin, which features not only Moroccan art but collections from bordering countries such as Algeria and Mali. If you have time, head southeast of the city and cross the Oued Issli to visit MACAAL - the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden, featuring works of contemporary art from all Africans, including sub-Saharan Africa. Return to your accommodations at the end of the day.

Additional Days in Marrakech

You will need an entire day to explore Jardin Majorelle, located northwest of the city. Jardin Majorelle is the result of nearly 40 years of hard work as conceptualized by artist Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962). In 1923, Majorelle purchased a four-acre plot which bordered a grove of palm trees, and built his house in the Arab-Andalusian/Maghreb hybrid styles. The stately Cubist villa, built in the 1930s, was designed by Paul Sinoir. The villa now houses the Islamic Art Museum, the Berber Museum, and the Yves Saint Laurent Museum. The garden and the villa have been open to the public since 1947; originally the admission fee he charged visitors helped Majorelle pay for the upkeep on his lushly-cultivated garden. After a period of decline brought upon by Majorelle`s death in 1962, designers Pierre Berge and Yves Saint Laurent, co-founders of the Yves Saint Laurent fashion house, saved the property and bought it in 1980. It is now operated by the Fondation Pierre Berge – Yves Saint Laurent, after Saint Laurent`s death in 2008 and Berge`s death in 2017.

Seven miles north of Marrakech, there is an oasis sprawled out over 50 square miles where over 100,000 palm trees grow. It is called La Palmeraie (French for `the palm grove`). La Palmeraie was built during the twelfth century, during the time of the Almoravid dynasty, and was irrigated using an underground system. La Palmeraie is a well-heeled area of Marrakech, with golf courses, luxury hotels, and villas dotting the desert landscape. Dates and citrus fruits grow from the numerous palms located on vast plantations and in public parks. Tourists should definitely take advantage of the carriage rides and camel rides in the desert at La Palmeraie.

After a camel ride or carriage ride at La Palmeraie, head back to the opposite side of Marrakech and to Oasiria. Oasiria is one of the largest water parks in Morocco. Over 2.3 billion gallons of water fill up the eight different swimming pools and lazy river, which are also host to twenty different attractions such as water slides. There are also 25 acres of adjoining gardens, five restaurants, and a fitness center on the premises.

Your Last Day in Marrakech

Depart your hotel and head to the airport for your return home. If you have purchased a private transfer, a representative will meet you at the hotel in time to take you to the airport for your flight out. We hope you enjoyed your stay in Marrakech!