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Posted by Cayla Capri
Marrakesh Sugar & Spice
Marrakesh cover full
Get punch drunk in the salmon-washed Red-City, where the streets wind like cobras (what are your charms for?) and the markets pulsate with human-hum like Gnaouan drums with their slipper-stomping rhythms (what are your arms for?) You and your lover are going to flip head over babouche for the palace-studded, pinked-out Pearl of the South. Really, Marrakesh will charm the snake right out of your clay pot (no euphemism intended.)
the romance
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Morocco’s heartbeat could use a couple more pumpers to liven up the rhythm: grab your babe and marvel in sync at all the rich and exotic culture Marrakesh’s got to offer. Spend your nights in a traditional Moroccan villa, known as a riad. Many of the riads and hotels in Marrakesh are intimate and simple yet sequined-kaftan luxurious, with open courtyards and rooftop terraces ideal for a romantic tête-à-tête.
the scenery
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Marrakesh’s beauty stems from its picturesque location at the bottom of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. Much of the scenery is enhanced by the stunning architecture of the riads found within the unique labyrinthine city. Take the Marrakesh Express train for a breathtakingly scenic joyride across the land.
the adventure
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To experience an adventure true to Moroccan culture, couples will have a hump of a nice time riding camel-back through the desert. Hot air balloon rides are also popular amongst tourists looking to sight-see omnipresently amidst the clouds. Those looking to release their inner Lara Croft can venture into the Saadian Tombs.
the secrets
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Jamaa El Fna, the town square of Marrakesh, is an exciting tourist spot filled with storytellers, musicians, snake charmers, dancers and food stalls. Couples will enjoy getting familiar with square from dawn to dusk, watching the shows and haggling the merchants. For a delicious meal, there are many numbered stalls to select from: check out stall #32 for their delicious brochettes, and stall #10 for their spicy lamb meat. However, be wary of aggressive vendors and performers who may demand money even for snapping shots. Also, although the food is delicious, it’s best not to drink the water because some of the food stalls are not as clean as those in the Western world. Stall #97 has one of the best reputations in terms of friendliness and cleanliness.
the attractions
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Albeit a bit on the expensive side, the gardens in Marrakesh are definitely worth seeing. Take a walk through Jardin Majorelle, owned by the late designer Yves St. Laurent – you’ll dig all the lovely plant life - then seek out the Islamic art museum (make sure to go early as it tends to get crowded). If you’re looking to spend some quiet, pampered time with your pumpkin, visit the spa Les Bains de Marrakech. Wander through the markets and bazaars to indulge in exotic souvenirs – you’ll go color-crazy for the wild hues of the shoes, ceramics and lanterns.
before you go
What to Expect
Spring: Warm and dry (mid-20s). High tourist season.
Summer: Very hot and dry (30s). July and August have the best deals.
Fall: Warm and dry (high 20s). November has good deals.
Winter: Mild and dry (low 20s)
It is a good idea to dress light and comfortably, but dress modestly (don’t expose too much skin) to avoid unwanted attention from locals.
Moroccan Dirham (DH)
The Lingo
Arabic, French, Spanish
Valid passport
Local Delicacies
Harsha: fried buttery bread made of semolina
Merguez: a spicy lamb sausage