Marrakesh

DESTINATIONS marrakesh

Marrakesh is Morocco's most intoxicating city. Ever since Morocco's "Jewel of the South" became a trading and resting place on the ancient caravan routes from Timbuktu, the city has barely paused for breath.

Lying low and dominating the Haouz Plain at the foot of the snowcapped High Atlas Mountains (a marvelous sight on a sunny day), the city was stubbornly defended against marauding tribes by successive sultans. They maintained their powerful dynasties and surveyed their fertile lands from the Menara Garden's tranquil olive groves and lagoon, and the Agdal Gardens' vast orchards. Today, exploring the city has never been easier. A crackdown on hustlers who hassle and an undercover Tourist Police mean that you're freer than ever before to wander and wonder.

The medina is Marrakesh's miracle—a happy clash of old and new, in turn beguiling and confusing. Virtually unchanged since the Middle Ages, Marrakesh's solid, salmon-pink ramparts encircle and protect its mysterious labyrinthine medina, hiding palaces, mansions, and bazaars. Pedestrians struggle to find their balance on the tiny cobbled lanes among an endless run of mopeds, donkey carts, and wheelbarrows selling a mixture of sticky sweets and saucepans. But pick up your jaw, take your time, and take it all in, stewing in the Rose City like a mint leaf in a pewter teapot.

EXPLORE MARRAKESH

Gueliz and Hivernage

In addition to office buildings, contemporary shops, and malls—none of which may exceed the nearest mosque's height—Guéliz has plenty of…

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Medina

If you can see the ramparts, you're either just inside or just outside the medina. In some respects not much…

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The Palmery

The expanse of palm groves to the north of the medina is dubbed the "Beverley Hills" of Marrakesh, a place…

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