"Marakesh - Jewel of the south" Marrakesh by mvtouring

Marrakesh Travel Guide: 2,257 reviews and 6,213 photos


We checked in for our flight at Cape Town International Airport and flew
to Marrakesh, with a schedulated stop at Casablanca. Casablanca Airport is very impressive, and provided a good start to our trip to Morocco. I had the pleasure of spending a full week in this lovely, intriguing city.

Pearl of the South, Jewel of the South, The Rose City -- just a few of the nicknames Marrakesh has acquired over the years. The pearl and the jewel symbolize its importance as the center of Morocco ever since it was a trading and resting place on the crossroads of ancient caravan routes from Timbuktu. The rose attests to a city still painted entirely in salmon pink, in keeping with the red-clay earth below. Once called Morocco City by foreign travelers, Marrakesh eventually lent its name to the country itself. Part Berber, part Arab, part African, Marrakesh is the heartbeat of Morocco, where palaces and monuments of unrivaled refinement sit calmly alongside the snake charmers and Gnaouan drums pulsing constantly from Djemýa el Fna Square -- the most exuberant marketplace in the world.
Virtually unchanged since the Middle Ages, Marrakesh's solid ramparts encircle and protect its mysterious labyrinthine medina, which hides sultans' palaces, the ornate mansions of rich merchants, and some of the most colorful bazaars in the Arab world. Late in the afternoon, Moroccans as well as foreigners crowd the Djemýa el Fna to hear storytellers and musicians perform, be wooed by herbalists and acrobats, and watch smoke rise from the outdoor food stalls as vendors whip up a wild array of fried fish, meats, salads, and such Moroccan delicacies as lamb or beef stewed in an earthenware pot and left in hot ashes all day.

This intoxicating city is for the eyes -- a place where even the refined elements have a roughness to them, yet what is rough has its own refinement. Apart from the many things to see and do, one of the most refreshing things about Marrakesh is that time slows down here. The helter-skelter of mopeds, Mercedes, donkey carts, and pedestrians in the streets is really just a mirage; beneath it all, you can feel a languor in the way people walk, the way they take time to stop and talk to each other, conducting their daily affairs much as their ancestors did. With its dramatic beauty and unhurried rhythm, the Jewel of the South can beckon even the most seasoned traveler to stop moving and stay forever.

  • Last visit to Marrakesh: Dec 2001
  • Intro Updated Jul 27, 2009
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Reviews (28)

Comments (19)

  • dobbelking's Profile Photo
    Nov 12, 2010 at 6:14 AM

    Good advise you are giving regarding the plants. Lovely tips.

  • iaint's Profile Photo
    Nov 1, 2010 at 2:31 PM

    thanks for looking @ Dundee; I don't go there so often, so not many updates!

  • Andrew_W_K's Profile Photo
    Jun 29, 2010 at 4:53 AM

    Enjoyed revisiting your Marrakesh pages - I plan to go there next year.

  • Mar 16, 2010 at 9:39 AM

    nice tips & photo's of a great looking city

  • floriangn's Profile Photo
    Mar 4, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    Thanks for ratings, nice page you have here. Like your pages

  • cpiers47's Profile Photo
    Aug 22, 2009 at 12:16 PM

    This looks like an amazing place! Thanks for all the tips.

  • nora_south_africa's Profile Photo
    May 11, 2009 at 3:55 AM

    morocco is one place I would still like to visit...yes Stilbaai is very beautiful town, I live close to Blombos, the coastal village just next to it....

  • karentids's Profile Photo
    Mar 3, 2008 at 10:11 AM

    Great Marrakesh pages and superb photos, wish we had seen your pages before we went, did not know about the fondouks. Morocco is just a fantastic country. Your friend's experience sounds horrendous.

  • Gillybob's Profile Photo
    Oct 29, 2007 at 4:02 AM

    You're so right - the orange juice on Djema El Fnaa is wonderful - so refreshing! Gillybob greetings

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo
    Oct 25, 2007 at 11:27 PM

    Hi Mariana, Nice page, we are considering a tour Spain, Portugal & Morocco, Sept'08. Your page is a great help, hope the weather is not too hot!


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