The Great City
Marrakech is the most important former imperial city in Morocco's history. It has become a melting pot of nationalities from all over the world, converging in the vibrant “ochre” or “red” city. It is located near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains, and is the third largest city in Morocco, with a population of around 1 million. Like many Moroccan cities, the city of Marrakesh comprises both an old fortified city (the medina) and modern neighborhoods. It is served by Menara International Airport, a rail link to Casablanca and the north, and an excellent road infrastructure connecting it to cities like Agadir, Essaouira, Rabat, Fez, Tangier and Ouarzazate.
Marrakech has the largest traditional Berber market (souk) in Morocco and also has one of the busiest squares in Africa and the world, Djemaa el Fna, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. The square bustles with acrobats, story-tellers, water sellers, dancers and musicians. By night food stalls open in the square turning it into a huge busy open-air restaurant.
Marrakech has always attracted media attention for its exotic, vibrant atmosphere and wonderful history and architecture. Celebrities and fashion icons such as Yves St Laurent, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Alain Delon, Bernard-Henry Lévy and Charles Aznavour have visited Marrakech regularly, which has contributed to put it on the map as a top tourism destination.
Marrakech offers a wide range of activities to suit everyone’s needs. Some of these activities include shopping in the old town souk (a maze of covered market streets), visiting the Djemaa el Fna square or any of the amazing Palaces and Monuments including the sweet smelling gardens of Bahia Palace, Koutoubia Tower, the largest mosque in Marrakech with a 70 meter high minaret and the Saadian Tombs. The new town, with its pavement cafés, trendy boutiques, modern art galleries, gardens and boulevards is also an option. Otherwise, relax at a hammam or enjoy the flavors of Morocco in one of many restaurants in this city known for culinary richness.
The nearby area around Marrakech offers activities such as hiking and climbing across the valleys and summits of the Atlas Mountains, horse riding, quad biking, mountain biking, 4WD tours, ballooning, paragliding, jet-skiing, playing golf in any of the 10 stunning golf courses in Marrakech, skiing in the Atlas Mountains (70 kilometers) and going to the beach in Agadir/ Essaouira (250 kilometers).
The weather in Marrakech is mostly sunny and dry nearly all year round, with over 300 days of sunshine per year on average, pleasant warm summers and mild winters. The hottest months of the year are July and August, but since humidity is usually very low, high temperatures are generally bearable. Winter can bring rain and winter nights can be cold. The warmest average temperature is 37 °C in July & August and the coolest average temperature is 6°C in January and December.