Only have a few days to visit Morocco? Here is a built out guide based on my time there to get the best out of Morocco in 3 days.
Day 1: Tour day
We have arriveddddd!!! We landed around 9am and the weather was surprisingly perfect–bright warm sun with a cool breeze. We find our driver and head off to the Airbnb. (Check out my Vlog post on this trip to see our adorable place). It is the quaintest little house I love it! The decor , the colors, the architecture of it all is so cute. After settling in, Amy and I decided to look for some lunch in Jemaa-el Fnaa. This is the main square within Merrakech. Our airbnb was thankfully only a 5 min walk away. We found a bougie , but worth it place called Cafe de Espices. I ate this chicken sandwich with olives, lemon, and a burst of delicious flavor. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal. Amy had a vegetarian sandwich with tomato, avocado, olive oil and various spices. Although I hate avocado, it looked amazing. The best part is that it had a gorgeous outside terrace and an inside part with a view of the market center; Def a perk!
Jemaa- el Fnaa
The hustle and bustle of an outside market is inspiring to me. I enjoy seeing an entire community selling their art, clothing, music, or delicious home cooked food and fresh squeezed juices. It can definitely be overwhelming as some store owners will continuously ask for your service, BUT that shouldn’t deter you from visiting. The market is HUGE made up of twists and turns where you will find yourself lost in an abundance of trades. The more we walked we ran into the Souks. “Souk” is another word that refers to a market. Here you will find beautiful pieces of jewelry, art, rugs, shisha and honestly anything your heart desires. Scroll through some photos of the market center:
A beautiful palace over 100 years old! The tiles and art of the inside were magical!! I can’t imagine creating something so beautiful for a PALACE. Imagine waking up and you walk outside into this courtyard! Breathtaking and is worth a visit. You should read up on the history too! Scroll through my pictures to see the artistry of this gorgeous palace.
La Jardin Majorelle
This was by far my absolute favorite place of our day. This garden is named after a famous artist Jacques Majorelle. After years of traveling in Europe to study art and architecture, he found himself in Marrakech, Morocco–where he fell in love with the city. He requested a Cuban like villa to be built for him on the border of Palm oasis in Marrakech. As Jacques would travel the world, he fell in love with gardening. His home slowly grew into a beautiful garden as he would bring back flora y fauna. Today it belongs to the foundation in Paris named after two artists, Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge, who kept the garden alive after Jacques death. The moment you walk in, you’re met with a jungle of exotic plants and a view to die for. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many cacti! There were SO MANY KINDS. Which isn’t something I see in Atlanta lol. The contrast of the brightly colored accents and the greenery was perfect. This is a place to relax and enjoy the beautiful things God has created on our earth. Check out my vlog on youtube to see the views of this garden!
Saadian Tombs & Koutoubia Mosque.
The Saadian tombs is a burial ground to the Saadian empire. Sultan Ahmed el Mansour (the 5th and final Saadian ruler) built this place to honor the lives close to him as well as create a beautiful burial tomb for himself. It was a very beautiful place to see, specially the mausoleums. These sacred burial chambers were built with Italian marble, gold and tilework known as Zellige. The detail in design is breathtaking. (See in the video below)
Outside of the Saadian Tombs is the Koutoubia Mosque. We can’t go in given we aren’t Muslim, but it’s nice to see from the outside. What I found interesting is that it’s the highest building in Morocco. I think it’s due to the respect of the religion that no building will be higher. Wherever in the inner city you are, you can see it!
At the end of our tour we found our way to this gorgeous home type restaurant where we again of course sat on the outside terrace. The specialty here are the crepes!! So delicious 😋 we had ours with honey and it was the perfect ending to a perfect day.
Day 2: Hammam Spa & Camels
Today was more of a relaxed day. We began our morning with cafe con leche y croissants (my new favorite meal since I’ve been in Spain)! We then headed to the traditional Spa called a Hammam! On our way there we got sucked into the Souks of Marrakech. I ended up buying a gorgeous hand made mirror (imaged below) and a Shisha–Something I’ve always wanted to buy.
After being cleaned and pampered, Amy and I headed to eat a light snack. We ended up eating a delicious crepe for only 5 dirham! (about 50 cents) funny enough with the French influence here, there are crepes and croissants everywhere! It was definitely our choice of snack whenever we got a little hungry.
Our next excursion for the day was camel rides !! It was a very cool experience as we were clothed with traditional wear. The ride lasted for about an hour and although the oasis was dry from the weather, it was still very pretty to ride through. Sadly toward the end of our ride we witnessed some of the workers being cruel to the camels. I highly encourage you search for a company that treats their animals well when looking for camel rides.
Aside from that blip, the day was a full success! For dinner, I decided to finally try a tangine (traditional meals of Marrakesh). My travel companion Amy, is vegetarian, so we got the vegetarian kind! Unfortunately, it lacked flavor and wasn’t the best, However I realize it was the restaurant not the dish itself. If I could re-do my dinner choice, I would try to find the best tangine in all of Marrakech.
Day 3: Essauria, Morocco
Our last day!!! Sunday, Amy and I went on a full day excursion to Essaouria–a beautiful beach town on the coast of Morocco. The ride was about 3 hours and our driver made some special stops along the way:
Goat tree? This was an interesting site to see! We weren’t given much information about why the goats were in the trees, but we enjoyed the pictures.
- Afous Argon: Amy and I were tired of stopping and just wanted to get to essaouria, but once we entered this place we were glad we came! Here is where women hand make almond spread, honey, and the different types of argon oil (for cosmetics as well as cooking). We were given a mini tour of the process which is pretty laboring and extremely impressive! We are also given the chance to taste the products – which were very delicious! Sadly we weren’t able to buy any given we had to fly back with only carry-ons. However if you ever find yourself I Morocco, be sure to get some of the natural oils or honey!
Essaouria!!! We finally arrived around 12 and have 3.5 hours to explore. Amy and I walked around and discovered many beautiful sights (scroll through the gallery on the left). We eventually got lost within the many artesenal streets! But alas, we finally found our way to the restaurants for lunch. We ate at Cafe de Merrakesh where I had a Chawrma and Amy got a vegetarian penini. Our meals were so yummy and cheap! About 4 USD for both of us. **Funny story- when we arrived in Morocco we believed the dollar was only worth about 7 Dirhams, therefore we had been eating at very very cheap places (where meals cost about 50 DH or below thinking that was about 7/8$) then we find out it was actually about 1 to 10 ratio! With this excitement we splurged for our last meals.
When arriving in Essaouria you’re greeted with the stark white architecture, slightly resembling the famous Santorini white and blue buildings. Specifically we found this terrace restaurant with a BEAUTIFUL view (Photos below). Here we had some mint tea and coffee and just relaxed enjoying the cool ocean breeze and views. We soon had to say goodbye to Essaouria but not before buying some art.
For our last dinner, we ate at “AQUA” in Jemaa-el Fnaa. I got chicken Kabwe with fries and Amy ate the mozerella sandwich. The food was pretty good!! Well seasoned and of course had a gorgeous terrace. For dessert, instead of our usual crepe, we splurged on some gelato. A cool dessert for the warm night. As the night progressed we headed back to our quant Airbnb and packed for our 8am flight.
Morocco was so good to us!! I personally am very happy that I decided to come. I bought my flight about a week before the trip-super last minute… and it was one of the BEST decisions I have made this semester! I encourage anyone to travel to this country if they ever have the chance. Be sure to go for 7+ days though so you can travel to the dessert! I wanted to go to the Sahara Dessert, but that trips takes about 3 days *sad face*. One day when i’m successful in my career, I will 100% be back in Morocco to explore more. Be sure to check out my vlog on this trip on my youtube page here.