Around 10 million people from all around the globe travel to incredible Marrakesh every year, and it's easy to understand why so many visitors flock to this major city within the Kingdom of Morocco. Rich in history and culture, Marrakesh offers a uniquely exotic flair with a little something for everyone. Chances are good that your eyes will first be drawn to the Moorish minaret, which is part of a 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque that can be seen from miles away, and then you're off to discover a whole new world of wonders.
Shopping at an Entirely New Level
Those who don't believe it's a real vacation without a shopping adventure are going to flip over Marrakesh's lively marketplace, which is referred to as a souk. Once you've found the medina, which you really can't miss because it's part of a walled medieval city that dates all the way back to the Berber Empire, you'll have access to a densely packed maze of alleys that are filled with souks. Some of the stuff that is offered for sale, such as the monkeys and other forms of local wildlife, should probably be ignored, but there all some wonderful finds at the souks.
The people of Marrakesh have been artistically inclined for ages, and you may just find the perfect pair of handmade leather shoes, beautifully woven rugs, to-die-for silk slippers, tribal jewelry, handmade organic soaps strongly scented with local spices and flowers, tasty local foods, bottles of spices, herbs, exotic oils and fragrances that have never touched your nose before. Each souk is different, and one may be offering hand-sewn silk clothing or hand-carved wooden treasures, and the very next may boast high-end clothing and hip bags. Whatever you find at the souks, you should always remember to negotiate the price because it can almost always come down.
Impressive Street Entertainment
While you navigate the maze of souks, you'll be treated to some forms of street entertainment that you may have thought existed only in the movies. For instance, you are likely to see a snake charmer or several snake charmers who use musical instruments to coax some very deadly snakes out of their baskets. You may also have your fortune told for a price, watch acrobats perform stunts that shouldn't be humanly possible, see the magicians produce animals out of thin air and make them disappear again and listen to some wonderful musical entertainment. Most of this stuff is free, but there's always a place to toss your coins if you're pleased with the act.
Marrakesh is at home in the Sahara Desert, and you can soon learn its wonderful secrets. Of course, you can take a sunset camel ride into the desert and camp in elaborate tents that are set up for you, but the desert offers so much more. Explore the dunes, and enjoy a wild ride on an ATV or a dune buggy, or try out something really different with desert hang gliding or desert parasailing. You can explore the desert your way with a personalized tour from several credible companies.
If you're more interested in mountains than deserts, then you'll want to explore the Atlas Mountains. There are excellent hiking tours available that concentrate on the wildlife, and you'll see such animals as the Cuvier's gazelle, which is in danger of extinction with less than 2,000 still in existence, the Barbary sheep, the Barbary leopard and the Barbary macaque. You may also visit the mountain villages, or hit the trails on a mountain bike.
Those coming to Marrakesh for religious purposes won't be disappointed. There are regular calls to prayer from the many mosques, and there's also an old Jewish district with a popular synagogue.
A Hopping Nightlife
When night falls, the party starts and there are plenty of bars and nightclubs that keep the drinks flowing and the music and dancing going all night long. Those who are feeling lucky may also enjoy the two excellent casinos.
So Much More
You'll need to come see Marrakesh for yourself to truly appreciate everything that it has to offer, and it's a perfect vacation destination for both couples who are looking for romance and families traveling with children. Other excellent activities and attractions include wonderful parks, grand palaces, amusement and water parks, rafting and tubing, cultural and architectural tours, museums and 5-star restaurants that feature authentic Moroccan cuisine.