Marrakech is the Perfect Travel Destination for Summer Shopping, Festivals and Site Seeing

- Melissa Mewdell,

dJemaa El Fna in MoroccoMarrakech is an exciting city no matter what time of year you visit. But, coming to this exotic place in the summer ensures you get the full Moroccan experience. You’ll really see all of the action in Morocco’s famous souks – perfect for shopping – and experience the best of Marrakech’s festivals and historical sites.

July plays host to the Marrakech Folklore Festival and the Camel festival – very Lawrence of Arabia – which celebrates the now dwindling tradition of transport by camel and allows spectators to enjoy the ancient dance of the Guedra.

Also, the famous Imilchil Marriage Festival is just around the corner (40 couples tie the knot all together from August 25 to August 27 in Imilchil). This festival, which is based around a story that makes Romeo and Juliet’s pale in comparison, features traditional Berber music and excellent shopping in the markets for both families involved and excited onlookers.

Koutobia Mosque in MarrakechSite seeing in Marrakech always starts on the Medina and in the city’s major square Jemaa el Fna, which is right at the city center.

For great shopping, head to the souks north of the Jemaa el Fna. Keep an eye on your wallet at all times, and try not to stray away from the main arteries here as it’s easy to get lost. But nothing makes for a better day in Marrakech than haggling in the souks, so have fun!

Even though non-Muslims are forbidden from entering The Koutoubia Mosque (the largest mosque in the city), it’s absolutely gorgeous and can be appreciated from outside and the grounds surrounding it.

The city’s major sites are within walking distance of the Jemaa el Fna. We recommend checking out the Medina-based museums, which are in converted palaces and historic buildings.

Es Saadi Garden Resort in MarrakechFor a quick break from the intensity of the city, check out some of Marrakech’s public and private gardens. The Jardin Majorelle in Gueliz and the Palmeraie are good choices.

If you are going to go to Marrakech this summer, it’s important to book a great hotel. In Morocco, it’s always wise to choose something that’s top of the line to make sure you have a place to escape to if you just need some peace and quiet and time in the shade!

Possibly one of the best hotels in Morocco, never mind Marrakech, is Es Saadi Palace and Villas.

Found in the center of the city, this hotel/resort is actually an eight hectare park. You’ll find a lot of quiet places to enjoy some quality time in the shade on the grounds of Es Saadi, that’s for sure.

With 104 rooms and suites, guests have the option of staying in the Palace or in 10 villas situated in the exotic gardens. Each villa has its own private swimming pool.

We recently wrote about this property because Es Saadi Palace and Villas is running a special promotion, where guests who book ahead get a 50% discount on their stay. If you want to learn more, you can read the review of Es Saadi Palace and Villas we wrote last year!

Ksar Char-Bagh Palace in MarrakechKsar Char-bagh is a private palace outside of Marrakech. Surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Atlas Mountains, this hotel is inspired by 14th century Moorish architecture. Guests are sure to receive an intimate experience at Ksar Char-bagh as only 26 guests can stay at this 12-room hotel at a time.

We particularly enjoy the hammam (Turkish bath) at The Ksar. You’ll feel relaxed, rejuvenated and refreshed after spending a few hours in there!

Read our recent review of Ksar Char-bagh on the Jetsetter!

Resort Amanjena in Marrakech

Another great hotel in Marrakech is Resort Amanjena. Perfect for guests seeking a pet-friendly resort in Morocco, this “peaceful paradise” is found within an oasis of palms and olive trees close to the city. It’s the first Amanresorts property in Africa, and offers a fine luxury experience if you ask us.

Resort Amanjena’s rose walls are truly reflective of Marrakech, which is known in Arabic as “Al Medina al-Hamra”, or “the red city”. With 32 air-conditioned pavilions (made up of a bedroom, living room and spcious bathroom and dressing area), guests are sure to enjoy a cool and intimate experience here.

The Kasbah du Toubkal in MarrakechFor a slightly less hectic and more relaxing vacation in Marrakech, consider Kasbah du Toubkal. This mountain retreat is found in the heart of the Atlas mountains, only 40 miles away from Marrakech, and 1800 meters above sea level.

Here, you’ll get fabulous views of the mountains and Marrakech, peace and quiet and seclusion if that’s what you’re looking for. This resort is perfect for all sorts of trips: day visits, seminars, residential stays or active vacations (hiking and mountain climbing). You will also enjoy the friendly Berber hospitality found at Kasbah du Toubkal.

Dar Ayniwen Hotel Villa in MarrakechDar Ayniwen Villa Hotel is best known for its romantic atmosphere and proximity to great sites in Marrakech and great shopping. At only 8 rooms, this uniquely intimate hotel is perfect for a romantic escape to exotic Marrakech with your sweetheart.

Dar Ayniwen Villa Hotel is found in a five acre park, and is only 20 minutes from the airport and 15 minutes from Medina. Location is what makes this hotel perfect for a quick escape or weekend getaway. Most of the suites open up onto the garden and swimming view, and offer panoramic views of the grounds and the Atlas Mountains.

Noir d'Ivoire in MarrakechEqually as tiny and intimate is Noir D’Ivoire – a nine room boutique hotel in Marrakech. The hotel has an elegant Mediterranean feel and superb hospitality. This hotel is hidden away from the constant hustle and bustle of the busy streets and is the perfect spot to escape to if you want to relax and unwind after a long day of haggling in the souks.

Guest rooms are all named using French names, which is a nice (romantic) touch. The inner courtyard has excellent balconies. One unique thing about Noir D’Ivoire is that it has no guest rooms on the ground floor, providing guests with added privacy and peace and quiet.

And if modern architecture and design is your thing, you’ll definitely want to stay at Naoura Barriere. This design hotel is about as cutting edge as you can get in Marrakech. You’ll find clean lines, creamy walls, and all of the comforts of home at this gorgeous hotel.

Naoura Barriere in MarrakechNaoura Barriere is spread over almost five acres of land and is set within an oriental garden full of white flowers. In the heart of Medina, it’s within walking distance of many of Marrakech’s outstanding historical sites.

We think you’ll love the luxurious suites found at this hotel. Each has a king sized bed, office , dressing room, home cinema surround-sound system, a private butler, a large terrace and a superb view. Wow!

So, however you choose to spend your time in Marrakech this summer, we know you’ll find a festival, activity and hotel that’s perfect for you!

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