Honeymoon Travel Guide: Marrakech, Morocco

Honeymoon Travel Guide: Marrakech, Morocco

Entry No. 30 / Marrakech

It’s time for me to share with you about my trip to Marrakech. Between the fresh mint tea, delicious couscous and getting lost time and time again while shopping in the labyrinth-like souks, there were some good memories made here with my fun and adventurous friend, Kristen. So glad we went and I think Marrakech could be a wonderful spot to include as a blip on an extended honeymoon … hope you agree:

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Just like I expected, the architecture and vibrant colors found in Marrakech wowed me to no end. I felt inspired to bring home some pieces that would hopefully inject a bit of the vitality found here … you’ll see my souk purchases later in the post …

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 One of my favorite spots we visited was Jardin Majorelle. The gardens had fallen into disrepair after the owner’s {Jacque Majorelle} death until 1980 when French fashion designer/icon, Yves Saint-Laurent, rescued the premises with his friend, artist Pierre Berge. The colors were intense and cheerful and the intimate size of the gardens felt therapeutic. Beautiful oasis in the middle of a chaotic city.

P1130292 P1130312 P1130308K&I spent much of our time meandering around the souks {shops selling traditional Moroccan goods along winding cobblestone streets in the Medina}. One of my bigger splurges at the souks was on pillowcases. You can see two of the vintage berber pillows I purchased below – that sweet older guy {who was a huge Bob Dylan fan, hah!} told us that they were cut from vintage rugs and transformed into pillows. I also bought two pillows that were originally part of Moroccan wedding blankets. You can see a glimpse of those pillows in the last photo of this post. I love the sparkle and shine and the stories they hold – fun conversation piece for our home.

P1130368 P1130344 P1130323One night, K&I decided to eat at the night market in the heart of the medina square. As if on cue, tents will pop up around sunset that hold picnic tables along with an open kitchen displaying the fresh produce and food used to make the entrees. And just like in the souks, there are very persistent and persuasive employees trying to entice you to eat at their restaurant … and not their neighbor’s … we were an easy sell and sat down at the first tent. We ordered vegetable couscous and soup and it was very good. You can see the chef preparing our meal above.

I spotted a few animals for sale in the souks including some chameleons {above}. They were also selling tiny baby turtles.

P1130354 P1130378 P1130410While getting lost in the souks, we stumbled upon the Medersa Ben Youssef which we had wanted to visit anyway. Built by the Saadian sultan, Moulay Abdellah around 1565, it’s a stunning example of the golden age of Moroccan architecture.

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K enjoying a fresh OJ in the medina square.

And, last but not least, a BEFORE and AFTER shot:

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Our room at Riad Dar More BEFORE we shopped the souks …

and our room AFTER the souks:

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We both bought several berber pillows, Moroccan-style leather slippers, colorful tassels, bowls and vibrant rainbow-coloured poufs. I also bought a mirror frame built out of a Michelin tire and Kristen bought a beautiful hanging lantern.

CBB’s TOP TIPS FOR MARRAKECH:

The souks. You can’t visit Marrakesh and not visit the souks. They hold an impressive amount of Moroccan goods and I’m sure you’ll find a souvenir {or two … or twenty} to bring home with you. Do your research, though – the quality can greatly vary. And make sure you get some bargaining practice under your belt before your first purchase. The souk shopowners know how to get you to spend more than you want so stick to your guns and know how much you’re willing to part with before you begin negotiating.

The Atlas Mountains. Everyone kept telling us how wonderful an excursion to the Atlas Mountains would be. We simply didn’t have time for it but if you do, it sounds like a lovely escape from the hustle and bustle of the market scene in Marrakech.

Jardin Marjorelle. I really enjoyed this little oasis and would highly recommend it. They had a lovely cafe that could be nice to sit for a spell and savor the beauty of the garden.

Where to stay? We stayed at Riad Dar More and had a very pleasant stay. It was located in a tranquil spot and was a nice escape from the frenzy of the streets and souks. It was also very close to the Jamaa El Fna square which was convenient for all of our souk shopping.

Hammams. Unfortunately, K&I did not have the chance to visit one of the famed spas in Marrakech. If you have time, it sounds like the treatments are unrivaled. Enjoy!

Have you been to Marrakech? If you have any tips, insights, suggestions or comments, I’d love to hear them! Happy Honeymooning! Did you miss the other entries of CBB’s Travel Journal? Click here to catch up!

Photography by Sarah Darcy of Classic Bride blog.

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