Marrakech lies on a large plain at the foot of the snow-capped High Atlas Mountains. This makes staying in Marrakech the perfect city to begin your visit to Morocco or an ideal base for exploring the country, particularly the High Atlas, Sahara region and Atlantic coast. Surrounded by its original fortified city wall Marrakech entices you into its midst - allow it to absorb you into its soul and we are sure that, like us, it will become one of your favourite places.
Incredibly popular, and ever growing in number, riads are traditionally refurbished houses of various sizes in the centre of Marrakech's mediaeval medina. These fabulous properties are designed to be cool in the Moroccan heat and inward-looking so will surround a private courtyard or garden which is most often open to the Marrakech sky and are known as riads (or Dars).
Rediscover the World was one of the first UK tour operators, back in the 1990s, to offer riads as part of a different holiday experience; we have continued this with similar properties across the whole of Morocco. At least one of us here at Rediscover has visited each of the Riads featured on our website so please feel free to discuss your requirements and budget and we will be happy to make recommendations - naturally such properties are likely to be a matter of personal taste and preference but we are confident that there is a riad to suit everyone.
There are many excellent hotels in the city that we would recommend for those who wish to have the wide range of facilities that only hotels can provide such as large swimming pools, gardens, a choice of restaurants, gym, parking, etc. If you just want a good hotel prior to departing on a tour of Morocco then we are confident that one of our personally selected hotels will be ideal.
Marrakech has many faces to offer the visitor - the fabulous historic and labyrinthine Medina of the Almohads, the more recent majesty of the Bahia Palace, the tranquility of its many famous gardens and the sophistication of its modern boulevards, cafes and riads. Today Marrakech has become a thriving metropolis with chic night spots, top restaurants and a very modern atmosphere in places, all of which emphasises the immense historical context of the Medina and its focal point, the Djemma el Fna.
Any tour of Marrakech should begin by exploring the Medina followed by a visit to the Djemma el Fna (Marrakech's main square - translates as "assembly place of the dead") in the shadow of the renovated Koutoubia Mosque. Enter further into the labyrinthine souk for some serious haggling and you will be immersed in the sights, sounds and aromas of this mediaeval market place. In the evening the Djemma el Fna changes quite dramatically and comes alive with a plethora of al fresco dining stalls such as those selling spicy sausages, fresh fish and chips, traditional Harira soup and even snails, all washed down with plenty of sweet mint tea of course - sheep's heads are perhaps only for the very hearty traveller though. All the time you will be surrounded by acrobats, snake charmers, fortune tellers and entertainers of all kinds.
Head straight to the Ben-Youssef medersa, a Koranic school which, in the past, took in hundreds of students in this setting favourable for uplifting the soul. Don't miss the Marrakesh Museum which is close by in the medina; it has been installed recently in the 19th century M'Nebhi Palace. You will be able to admire eight centuries of Moroccan arts and crafts - the Chrob or Chouf fountain is a must-see. This impressively sumptuous work has a wooden front dating from the 16th century. Take in the tanners' quarter which is situated a little to the east. There you will leave for an exotic journey to a world where the smells and colours will carry you away.
You can find foodstuffs, fabrics and handicrafts in the medina and its souks which are enclosed by the fabulous 12th century ramparts. Here everyone attends to their affairs, as they have for centuries. You can find some calm in the Arabo-Andalusian garden which houses the Saadian Tombs. You should visit the richly decorated rooms of these two mausoleums which are just below the superb minaret of the El-Mansour mosque. There is an unrestricted view of the rooves of the city from the terrace of the El-Badi Palace which is nearby. From the northern corner you can admire the ancient minbar (pulpit) of the Koutoubia mosque. This pulpit is beautifully ornamented with delicate sculptures and marquetry.
The Marjorelle Gardens house a collection of plants from the four corners of the earth flourishing among elegant ornamental lakes and an Art Deco villa. You may leave this enchanted spot in one of the many horse drawn carriages available in the city and take a trip to the Palmeraie; from there, continue to the Menara, one of Marrakesh's symbolic places - this elegant building is surrounded by an immense ornamental lake (Marrakshi families come here to enjoy this cool spot during heat waves). You can enjoy an ice cream, a pastry or a cool drink in one of the establishments in Gueliz, the modern part of Marrakech. Luxury shops, banks, tearooms and cafes. Marrakesh is a city full of life and enthusiasm.
The Lalla Takerkoust Lake is just 20 minutes from Marrakesh. You can explore its 7km by pedal boat, motorboat or even jet ski. The Oukaimeden ski resort in the Atlas gives you access to one of the most extensive ski domains in Africa. Imagine the panorama you will have from a height of 3300m. You can climb Mount Toubkal (4167m) which is situated to the south of Oukaimeden. The climb isn't particularly difficult provided you are in good physical shape, have hired a certified guide and done the necessary preparation. So, in no time, you can leave the heat of the valley for the pure mountain air. Real luxury is to leave the pool, go skiing and then return for a relaxed Marrakesh evening. You can visit the Ourika Valley which is about 30km from Marrakesh: granary for the area, with its fields for different crops laid out like a draught-board, will often pleasantly surprise you: its waterfalls punctuating the beautiful unspoilt scenery, for example, or the Yagour rock carvings. Asni village, with its very beautiful red kasbah, should be seen. The valley of the same name gives access to some sumptuous. Ouirgane is a very popular spot for Marrakshis. Don't hesitate to take a break for lunch in one of the many restaurants in the area: another opportunity to savour the delicious local cooking.
Where to stay
The Riad el Zohar has been lovingly restored, keeping many of its original features such as the intricately painted ceilings.
Located in the heart of the historical quarter of Riad Laarouss, a short walk from the famous Djemaa El Fna square.
An high quality absolute gem of a riad; the 18th century Riad Kniza is a real treasure in the heart of the city and is one of our most popular luxury properties.
A larger riad-style boutique hotel set in a quiet area near the Bahia Palace. High quality accommodation and facilities.
An opulent collection of rooms and suites named after characters from '1001 Arabian Nights'. A Riad Style Boutique Hotel in the heart of Marrakech.
The Riad Mur Akush has been beautifully restored, striking a balance between the traditional and contemporary, and exudes understated class.
A small riad offering high quality accommodation, small pool, roof terrace and great food.Stylish French and Moroccan antiques furnish the bedrooms together with hand woven Berber Carpets and artifact ...
A luxury boutique, riad-style hotel set amongst beautiful gardens with a large pool, restaurant and high quality spa.
Riad Hikaya is a luxury boutique hotel located in the Kasbah; an easy walk from the main square, Jemaa al Fnaa, and the city's other famous landmarks. A harmonious blend of ancient tradition and contemporary ...
Incredibly, this luxury riad-inspired hotel is just around the corner from the Djemma el Fna. It stands on the site of a 13th Century palace and has taken the theme to its heart with many original pieces ...
Located just a short distance from the medina the Kech Boutique Hotel & Spa is a state of the art hotel bringing elements of authenticity and modern comfort together.
Things to do
A wonderful opportunity to capture the totally different lifestyle of the hardy Berber people & enjoy dramatic and luxuriant countryside.
3 Days Desert ONLY / 6 Days Holiday version
A fantastic journey from Marrakech, over the High Atlas to the Sahara & back in 3 days. Includes TWO nights in Bedouin camps - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
A full day visiting the coastal town of Essaouira to enjoy a complete change of pace, air and scenery from Marrakech.
As an excellent finale to any stay in Marrakech, Chez Ali is truly a 1001 Nights experience.
An excursion to the foothills of the Toubkal National Park; the best scenery - Berber villages, remote valleys & a short guided hike.
High up in the Atlas mountains is the Lhasa-like 12th century mosque of Tinmal, one of only two mosques in Morocco open to visits by non-Muslims.
Hot Air Ballooning above the High Atlas plains. A flight with an experienced, licensed & fully qualified pilot; full ground support.
This is a great introduction to the High Atlas; two reasonably challenging guided day hikes and a stay at our Head Guide's gite in Imlil.
A day into the High Atlas, crossing the Tichka Pass and visiting one of the grandest of all the Atlas fortresses and perhaps the most famous - the Telouet ...
Our Marrakech and the Atlantic package allows you to visit both Marrakech - one of Morocco's most vibrant cities, and Essaouira - Morocco's finest working ...
The Marrakech Activity package is ideal for those who wish to get the most out of a short stay in Marrakech; explore some of Morocco's beautiful mountain ...
Our Souks and Sahara package is perfect for those who wish to experience the stunningly beautiful desert region with the excitement of Marrakech.
Our Shopping & Spa package is just right for those who wish to escape not just the Northern European weather but also the pace of modern life.
A fully-inclusive private guided tour of Marrakech (full day). Tour includes English-speaking guide, entry fees, lunch in the medina and transport.
A fully-inclusive private guided tour of Marrakech. Tour includes English-speaking guide, entry fees and transport.
Relatively easy one day guided walks. A choice of classic routes, charming hidden valleys and plenty of opportunity to meet the Berber people.
4 [or 5] Days
[or private chauffeur journey] - includes kasbah hotels, 4WD & camel excursion into the dunes of Erg Chebbi, the Draa Valley and the Todra Gorge.
[or private chauffeur journey] - route takes you to the desert via the Dades Valley and the Todra Gorge then up through Atlas Mountains to Fez.
A chance not to be missed: discover the secrets of Morocco’s unique and richly varied cuisine.
"Loved the Riad in Marrakech - found the receptionist particularly helpful - always available to us. The rooftop terrace was lovely for breakfast (even if breakfast was more limited than perhaps we were expecting) Dinner there was excellent on the first night. I loved the fresh mint in the bathroom - I don't know why!"
Z Berndes, Sept 2015
"My husband and l had a fantastic holiday in Morocco. The Riad in Marrakech (Kniza) especially blew us away. The efficiency of transport links were extremely impressive - with us on the dot of arrangements. We were also very pleased with the way we were dealt with by the administration of Rediscover the world. Thank you so much."
W Bailey, May 2012
"Our holiday was first class, Rediscover the World understood our requirements and delivered. Highly recommended."
M Lillington, May, 2017
"David and I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to you both for organising the most fantastic birthday holiday for us. Everything was so effortless and perfectly arranged. We hope it will be a lot sooner than 9 years to be in touch again for our next trip (and it hopefully won't be so last minute too!). Very best wishes and thanks"
C Padgham, November 2016
"I just wanted to write to let you know that we had an enchanting holiday in Morocco, we are so glad we chose your company as the whole experience, form beginning to end was incredibly easy. We loved every Riad, every new experience. It was our first time in Morocco but we are all in love with the place in very different ways. I particularly loved the Atlas mountains and Jama's amazing hospitality at Tatfi, the freshly grown food and her superb cooking. My eldest daughter loved Ksar Anika, the way we were looked after, the beautiful surroundings, the pool and the opulence. My youngest fell in love with Essaouria and although there is a mustiness to the Riad Mimouna it is such an astounding place, we were given two sea-view rooms and fell asleep to the sound of the waves crashing on the ancient sea wall. We will go back so you will hear from us again. Once again thank you so much."
S Hare, September 2014
"We just wanted to thank you for organising our trip. The holiday was fantastic and wouldn't have been possible if not for you. Marrakesh to Shrewsbury by train seemed like a mad cap idea with all the different elements and travel arrangements. However it didn't phase you at all, you just got it sorted and it all went like clockwork. Thank you again. Tru & Chris x"
Tru & Chris Smith, January, 2015
"Thanks for arranging all the logistics of our holiday and for the stunning Riads which you booked us into in Marrakech and Fez. Everything went well and we had a great holiday with good food and excellent weather."
A Caspersz, October 2013
"We have just got back from our fabulous holiday in Morocco. Thank you very much, everything was perfect. Riad Kniza was luxurious and we were upgraded to a Junior Suite (Johara). It was lovely to meet the owner. We had another nice meal. The staff in all the hotels were really helpful and friendly. Everyone spoke English although, almost without exception, they were relieved when they realised we spoke French."
D Bushell, March 2011
"We were very pleased with the accommodation in all parts of the trip. Riad Daria is truly lovely and the service there is top notch! The local guide for trekking was wonderful; super knowledgeable about his country and the routes, very flexible when my husband decided he was not up to the Toubkal summit, and extremely personable with our 12 year-old son. He also took us to a local market in the countryside on the way to the trekking start point, which gave us an insiders view of rural Morocco and the lifestyle. The mule driver/cook was also amazing. We never expected such well-prepared lunches on the trail and dinners in gites and he was just a lovely person to be around. Only one slight glitch in that we phoned local agent to confirm time for pick-up in Essaouira for Marrakech airport transfer. We agreed on 13h but she sent the driver a text to arrive at 13h25. Was not a problem as the route was fairly open but we were nervous when the driver did not at the time that we had agreed upon the day before. We arrived at the airport in plenty of time."
P Bohl, April, 2015
"Special mention for our final stay in Marrakech (not enough room on the form!!) at Riad Kniza. We have never stayed anywhere that we have been more welcome. Truly felt like our home and the staff were WONDERFUL! Genuinely sorry to leave and will definitely be back, Location excellent, service and food exemplary, and very good value for money. A little haven in the lunacy of this amazing city. Also Kasbah Ellouze - stunning location and brilliant staff. Felt very authentic. Landscape is dramatic and hugely photogenic. Desert trip amazing - we had the camp to ourselves so it felt very personal. Would have perhaps liked to stay an extra night as the dunes are quite breathtaking. Organisation completely hassle-free. Car hire (and Neureddine, the rep) very helpful. Driving pretty much without hitch apart from one bandit incident down south (we had a heads up from your info, so managed to avoid!!) Roads excellent, especially over the Atlas. A really fantastic trip, thank you"
A Freeman, October 2014