Day 6: Marrakesh
The sweeping and dynamic history of Marrakesh – an imperial capital in centuries past – is best appreciated with the help of a private guide. Today, begin your tour of the Ochre City with a visit to the Koutoubia Mosque. Constructed in the 12th century, it’s known for its a beautiful minaret which can be seen from nearly every approach to the city due to a long-standing ordinance that forbids any other building in the old city to rise above the height of a palm tree. After viewing Koutoubia Mosque, visit nearby El-Bahia Palace. Translated to English, the El Bahia Palace means “Palace of Brilliance,” and this incredible, ornate and meticulously crafted property is endowed with some of the finest ceramics in the country. This 19th century palace was built over a seven-year period for Ba Ahmed, the son of the Grand Vizier Si Moussa. Featuring a trapezoidal garden, tiled courtyard, and many hidden treasures in the form of antique objects d’art and the palace’s convergence of Andalusian and Moorish architecture, it is a must-see site. Your next stop is one of most coveted archeological sites in Morocco: the Saadian Tombs. Opened to the public in 1917, they are accessed through a narrow passage which leads to an enclosed garden and into two mausoleums that host more than one hundred mosaic-decorated tombs. The Musee De Marrakesh, your next stop, is an important example of Moorish architecture, and the main courtyard and chambers are host to impressive feats of design; elaborate archways, gorgeous stained glass, and a collection of ceramics that are sure to dazzle. Finally, wander through the mesmerizing souks of Marrakesh. With 18 souks selling a dizzying array of handicrafts, textiles, spices, foods, electronics, antiques and everything in between, the souks of Marrakesh are the perfect place to find a keepsake to bring home, or to simply get in touch with day-to-day life in the Red City.