Blogs from Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz, Morocco, Africa


Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech December 11th 2020

When planning to visit Morocco, you may find it hard to decide on the final destination. There are so many beautiful places to choose from! In this article, we will try to help you decide between Marrakesh and Tanger. When compared with most European countries, Morocco seems quite a big one. However, in comparison to its North-African neighbors, it can be called quite a small country. And there are so many things to discover there! When choosing the starting point for their vacation, many tourists end up unable to decide, having so many opportunities to choose from. Iconic Casablanca, mysterious Marrakesh, Tanger - a haven for writers and a giant port, or sunny Essaouira - it is not easy, isn't it? We will try to make it a bit easier by describing the spirit of the ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Essaouira September 13th 2020

On Thursday, October 17th, we arrived in the coastal city of Essaouira from the vibrant city of Marrakesh. As much as I enjoyed that great city, and even earlier visiting the red sand desert climes of the Sahara, I couldn't wait to be near the ocean again. Visiting Essaouira and reveling along her Atlantic shores is a panacea for anyone who, like me, cannot resist the siren call of the sea. Surprisingly, the strong draw I always feel for being near the ocean was nearly eclipsed by the charms of Essaouira’s terra firma. I knew then I would be forever under the spell of Essaouira. It combined all the features I find most interesting about any town – geographical beauty, history, architecture, culture, and most definitely a friendly disposition. Essaouira had all of these. Its medina, ... read more

Yesterday our excursion exploring some of the Ourika Valley had begun early and ended late. We welcomed a somewhat later wake up call on Day 12 (Thursday, October 17, 2019) -- the only problem was the wake up call never came, or did we sleep through it? We’ll never know but we were glad that we had set our own phone alarm just for situations like this. We had to scramble to do some last minute packing to make sure our luggage got placed outside of our hotel room for pickup before breakfast. Thankfully we had taken our showers the night before so we felt reasonably presentable for the day! We enjoyed our last breakfast at Hotel Opera Plaza’s La Rossini Restaurant where we managed to have time for omelets, fruit and coffee which was plenty ... read more

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - Day 11. We could have easily spent our second full day in Marrakesh discovering new sites in the “Red City” or spending more time at our favorite places seen the previous day. But the possibilities of going farther afield to see new sights and gather more experiences won out as usual when I have a choice. In this case a travel video I had seen enticed me to opt for a day excursion into the Ourika Valley. Beginning the day with an early wake up call and light breakfast, we were on the road by 8 am headed to our day’s destination. Traveling south and once more crossing the Plain of Haouz, our route backtracked some of the roads we had taken only days before when we were leaving the High ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz June 12th 2020

16th April to 4th May - We are going nowhere! The daily normal becomes slow, not too stressful! The weather is mixed warm, still sometimes cooler over night! We have one peak over a weekend when it hits 40c a taste of what is to come, and for us and Poppy sake we need to get out before those temperatures become the norm!! But that doesn’t sound or look hopeful, our booking has been changed to the 12th of May still with our destination as Barcelona, but we know that is an issue with Spain still in lockdown. As much as we try some 6 phone calls to GNV (The ferry company) to change the booking to the end destination of Sete in France they are unwilling to make that change! We hang on to the ... read more
Sandstorm hits the campsite
Ready for action
Moulay Boussalham lagoon

Good weather followed us every day so far, and Day 10 of our Moroccan adventure was no different although on this day the humidity could be keenly felt. An ambitious agenda was planned for our first full day in Marrakesh which is not surprising considering how much there is to see and do here. As mentioned in my preceding blog, the noise from the heavily congested roundabout traffic circle next to our hotel could have ruined a good night’s sleep, but didn’t thanks to the two pairs of heavy sliding doors leading to our balcony so our room was quiet. We were joined at breakfast in the Le Rossini International Restaurant by another member of our group. A buffet-style breakfast is served here each morning and included a variety of salads, cheeses, cold cuts, fruit and ... read more
Bahia Palace

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech April 29th 2020

Marrakesh --- just the name conjures up images of the exotic. A colorful tapestry weaving together not only the old and the new, but an intoxicating blend of cultural influences derived from the continents of Europe, Asia and Africa. Marrakesh has been called the “Jewel of Morocco” and it certainly seems to live up to its title. Marrakesh was one of the four ancient Imperial cities, once a celebrated capital that lies only 150 miles from the present-day capital of Rabat. Today this sprawling 4th largest city in Morocco seems to be growing in all directions. Founded around 1070 AD by Abu Bakr ibn Umar, a cousin to the then reigning Berber Almorovid king, Marrakesh was once a very important stop and trade center on caravan routes crisscrossing the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. It was at ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech April 18th 2020

We had arrived in the city of Ouarzazate, the name meaning "without noise,” in late afternoon the previous day. We spent our one and only night here at the lovely Ksar Ighnda which had been a memorable experience for me – the beautiful architecture of the ksar, the lush gardens surrounding the beautiful pool, the exceptionally good dinner, and the small though very comfortable room. It was yet another in the mix of interesting accommodation types chosen by our tour company and the Ksar Ighnda was one of my favorites. We’d had a relatively late wakeup call at 7:30 am on this sunny morning followed by breakfast in the larger dining room which was positioned to have a lovely view to the gardens and pool. After our meal we used the remaining free time to take ... read more

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz » Marrakech February 5th 2020

We settled into a routine most mornings and caught the shuttle bus into the city. The first day in the city was a bit of a culture shock, but we knew now to avoid any contacts with the touts who waited near the bus stop at Freedom Square. Avoid eye contact and look purposeful. It was a steady walk up towards the main mosque and the huge Jemaa El Fnaa Square. The Hotel de Ville or Town Hall is on your left. We always booked the return at 12:30, which gave us enough time and allowed us to return before the suns rays caused the temperature to climb. In the earlier hours, there were much less people on the street and thus less hassle. The locals and indeed many tourists, were wrapped up in a variety ... read more
El Badi Palace, Marrakech
Bahia Palace, Marrakech

Africa » Morocco » Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz February 4th 2020

Morocco is obviously known more for desert than the mountains. However no matter where you stay in the city, any vantage point will reveal a view of snow covered peaks. Yes, snow. It was pleasantly warm in the city - certainly warm enough to entice the tourists to don their bikinis. A mere 2 hours away in the mountains, others were skiing. Winter sports hadn't been something I had associated with North Africa, but yes there is a ski resort up in the mountains. We Brits tend to like the underdog and possibly our most famous Winter Olympian was also the least successful. Success is measured in many ways. Eddie the Eagle might not have won gold, but he won the hearts of a nation. It is therefore worth considering then, just 2 hours away from ... read more
Atlas Mountains
Ourika Valley  Atlas Mountains
Berber Village, Atlas Mountains

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