It all started on an ordinary weekday somewhere in March when my friends and I decided we wanted to go somewhere during the Summer holiday. Morocco came up in all of our minds. But we had no idea if it was actually achievable or if we even would be able to sync our schedules – turns out we are always busier than we think.
Fast-forward to April, when it turned out that we were capable of going and started getting really excited with all the possibilities. You probably know that I love to travel but more than that I love to arrange and plan a trip.
Ryanair flies to Marrakech for an affordable price – we left from Eindhoven because Brussels was unnecessarily expensive. We stayed in Marrakech for 4 days before making our way to the dessert, with a one-night stop in Aït Ben Haddou before flying back from Marrakech airport.
Here’s an overview of our stay in Marrakech.
Our first two nights we stayed at Riad Johara, a cute small riad in the middle of the souks. The hosts were very lovely and gave us suggestions and a map for the city.
Our first day we explored the Souks in the morning, enjoyed a nice lunch at Café des épices and then returned to our riad with half a watermelon to cool off. The pool is really small but since there were no other people there, we could all fit and just relax. We then got ready for the evening and dinner at Le Jardin – more on that later.
After two nights in the previous riad we stayed at this one. It’s out of the Souks and has a nice pool, so it was perfect for two more days of relaxing.
We had read a lot of bad things about the Souks. Like aggressive salesmen and robbers. So we were quite cautious and always held on to our purses and immediately walked away when the people became to pushy. But we didn’t encounter anything threatening or unpleasant. I do have to say that in the beginning it was quite overwhelming. Also the fact that we were in the most touristic spot of Marrakech and barely saw any tourists made us feel a little fragile but after we walked around for a while, we realised it wasn’t all that scary and also began to see A LOT of other tourists..
One of the prettiest locations in Marrakech is Ben Youssef. But that one is closed until 2020 for renovations so we searched for another pretty palace and went to the Bahia Palace. Doing most of our research on Instagram, this seemed a very magical place. When we got there we payed the 2 euro per person fee. Turns out, they never check your ticket so you can literally just walk in there without one – it is definitely not worth 2 euros.
Eevn thought it has pretty corners, there was no information on the palace itself. Only annoying tourists driving you away out of there pictures. Part of the Palace was also being renovated, so that made it lose all of its charm. But once you get to the main ‘square’ it does become better. And the garden is definitely worth it too.
Le Jardin Majorelle
Okay so this was a not so pleasant day… You ready for my rant? Here it goes.
We were going to take the bus to Zagora, since it isn’t possible to do this online at home, I read that you have to search for an agency and just book your tickets there. Well we found ZERO agencies in Marrakech so we weren’t able to book the tickets. I asked the hotel owner and she was happy to fix this for us. Well even though this was a nice lady, we didn’t hear anything from her anymore. We wanted to leave early in the morning but the day before, we still didn’t have our tickets. We started to panic a little bit and tried calling the agency, but nobody answered. Long story short, we had to go to the busstation, from where the buses leave to buy our tickets, our taxi driver suggested this while we were on our way to the Jardin Majorelle. The station is quite far away from the city centre so you have to do this by taxi. Around 4pm we finally arrived in the Jardin and had booked our tickets. As if that wan’t stressful enough, I had a stomachache that day and felt horrible. I just wanted to lay in my bed in the dark really. In the end, it was a nice visit though and I guess every holiday has a stressful day and one where everything goes wrong, doesn’t it?
P.s. You can totally tell from my face that I was NOT having it.
Like I said, we had our dinner the first night at Le Jardin. Even though I wasn’t too excited to visit such a touristic place and was sure it would be highly overrated. Well I couldn’t be more wrong. The interior is gorgeous and to my surprise, it was quite calm.
The food here was really nice but to be honest, I was quite disappointed with the food in Morocco in general. Especially vegetarians can have a hard time enjoying the food. I was so happy when I came home to enjoy my own food again – which is normally never the case!
Les jardins de la Medina
While we were staying in the Riad Shemsi we passed by this restaurant and had no idea what it looked like before stepping in the front door. The riad is located in the more ‘fancy’ area of Marrakech – La Sultana is in the same street. However, it wasn’t really that expensive but the whole atmosphere and service made us feel like very fancy people.
And then we made our way towards the dessert. You can read my experience here.