This tour was a great idea at the start of our visit to Marrakech. We did it on the first morning, and met our guide Mustapha at the Café de France in the main square at 9AM. It allowed us to get our bearings on the first day. The tour lasted about 4 hours and provided a fascinating first taste of the Medina of Marrakech. Our group was small, only 5 of us in all, which was great because we could ask questions. Our guide was very nice, with excellent English, and made the tour very interesting. He provided enough detail to keep us interested but without bewildering us.
Among other things, we visited the Bahia Palace where you should watch out for the storks nesting on the pillars in front of the Palace! They provide a great photo opportunity. Inside, the palace there are some super friendly cats wandering around which I found charming. We also visited a bakery where locals bring their bread to be baked in a huge oven, and a pharmacy that sold spices and oils where we were given mint tea and offered a short massage for a few dirhams. A tour of the souks was particularly fascinating, as we watched tradesmen of all kinds making goods from leather and metal. The guided walk through the souk provided us with the only opportunity to go in there without being constantly pestered by the stallholders!! The tour finished up in the Museum of photography, where a lovely exhibition of photographs depicted Moroccan culture over the years. Overall, I would happily recommend this tour and our lovely guide. We all enjoyed it.
The Marrakech Discovery tour is for you if you want to enjoy the magic and chaos of the this wonderful city in a controlled setting. As a solo traveller on a weekend break, I was pretty chuffed to have been on this tour.
The pick up point was the Jemaa el Fna square at 8:30 am. (I did call and confirm this, as they offer a pick up service for hotels outside the Medina) First stop was the Koutoubia Mosque. Ali's commentary was concise and interesting and laid down the expectations for a good day. Entering via the stork gate (Bab Agnaou) we headed to the Saadian tombs. From there, walking through the Jewish Quarters (the Mellah) we headed to the Bahia palace, apparently a modest replica of the Alhambra. A detour via the quaint Maison Tiskiwin led us to the mid way point, a most sumptuous lunch at the Dar Nejjarine. At all these places Ali and Aziz would give a brief overview of the site and then encourage the group to explore the place by themselves, always at hand to answer any questions. The lunch was excellent and though being a vegetarian, I had my dietary needs catered to.
We then headed back to the square and dived in to the souks. Our next stop was the spice centre, though the demonstration of the various products was long and could get presumably boring for people not interested in spices and oils, we were served mint tea, which was most welcome after the hearty lunch.
Through the souks we reached the magnificent Ben Youssef Madrasa, once a pillar of religious learning. The last item on the agenda was shopping, for the interested. This was a big collection of the items under a single roof, maybe at a higher price, but you still could indulge in bit of haggling without encountering aggressive sales tactics. A final assembly at the square and I headed back to the airport with fond memories.
Cons: Group size was about 25, but I would say that for under £30, it was excellent value for money.
Merci/Shoukran to Ali and Aziz.
Doing what: Marrakech Discovery Tour
We paid £11 each for this trip to Viator who squeezed us onto a coach full of Thomson clients most of whom will have paid £16 each. Thomson customers checkout Viator at home before booking with your holiday company in location. The walking tour of palaces and monuments was excellent value partly because our £11 included transport to and from the medina, entrance fees into the Saadian Tombs, Bahia Palace and a Museum but moreover for the outstanding guide. This ageing rockstar or self confessed last hippie in Marrakech was very informative and highly entertaining
Doing what: Marrakech Palaces and Monuments Tour
We did not feel that our tour guide's English was that good. He was hard to understand and spoke very fast. We felt that there was more to know about each of the places and we were not told enough of the history. There was a lot of emphasis on going into shops to buy things in the marketplace, and not enough emphasis on the history. Having said that, the Photography Museum is a must see and we really liked the Bahia Palace.
The tour of Marrakech was exceptionally well-organized with knowledgeable guide. The morning tour included the Koutoubia mosque, the Saadian Tombs, the Bahia Palace and Berber museum. After an excellent lunch of traditional Moroccan foods, we visited the areas medina, an herbalist and finished at the Djemaa el Fna square with free time. It is a walking tour, but a bus brought us from place to place as we were a large group (50 people). Transport from hotel was a great plus!
Doing what: Marrakech Discovery Tour
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