A few days in Marrakech
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Well I have just arrived home after 4 great days in Marrakech and boy does it feel cold back in the UK compared to a gorgeous 20 degrees in Morocco.....and in December you can't complain at that!
A nice early start from Gatwick got us in Marrakech by 11am (just over a 3 hour flight) and 30 minutes after stepping off the plane we arrived at our riad in the old town medina. The airport taxi ride takes only 10-15 minutes (after 5 minutes haggling with the taxi driver to get a good price - they started by asking for 200 Dirhams, but we got them down to 100 - about £6, which seemed to be the going rate).
We stayed just a few minutes walk from the Djemma el Fna square, which is said to be the busiest square in the whole of Africa - and in the evening it really does prove its claim.
The old town medina is really very interesting, with its souks and market stalls, but we did spend a bit of time just chilling in one of the parks, which are surprisingly green and lush and well maintained. I would definitely advise staying in a traditional riad, as there is so much hustle and bustle in the town itself that when you walk into the riad they are cool, quiet and offer a very peaceful escape.
Outside of the old town, the new town seems to be going through a lot of development, with lots of new hotels. However, we only spotted one Macdonalds and one pizza hut, which in the scheme of things seems pretty good, with most other places really retaining a local feel. Three places we went to when we were 'splashing out' in the evenings that are well worth a visit are Restaurant Tanzania, Cafe de la Poste and Restaurant Monte Cristo. All serve up a full range of international food for about £20 for dinner and a couple of drinks.
Marrakech really is fantastic, with the days absorbing the history, culture and atmosphere and the evenings enjoying the food and entertainment.
We booked with a local company and they were great. If you need any trips or trekking trips then these guys are good http://www.addictedtotravel.com/travel-experts/morocco_rendez-vous-marocain_155-62.aspx
The trip worked out to be great value as well, as we booked return flights from Gatwick to Marrakech for £100 return with easyjet and kept our luggage light, so did not incur the baggage hold charges. Accommodation in the riads can be as little as Eur40-60 per night for the room, with some of the more private ones still good value at about the Eur120 mark. Definitely worth the trip!