One of our recommended things to do in Marrakech
As from last month, we at Riad Sapphire and Spa are offering our guests a unique way to visit the Red city. The ‘calèche’ is an age-old form of transport and is a fabulous way to see Marrakesh from the comfort of your own horse and carriage. It’s a good idea to go late afternoon just before the sun goes down and you’re tired from walking but would still like to see more.
We offer a scenic tour (approx. 75 minutes) which includes the Winter Garden district (Hivernage), La Mamounia, the Royal Palace, the Mellah (Jewish quarter), King’s Palace, the old Pasha of Marrakech’s residence, Koutoubia mosque and finishing by the main square, Place Jemaa El Fna’. Prices are £15 per person (minimum 2 people). We can’t guarantee the drivers speak English, so a guide would need to be booked if you wish commentary in English.
In addition, we can also book a romantic calèche ride to your pre-booked restaurant for the evening. Prices are £10 per person (minimum 2 people) per trip. Please note, no carriages can be booked after midnight as the horses have to go to bed!!
A UK charity – Spana regularly checks the condition of the calèche horses in Marrakech, so one can rest assured they are well looked after…
Learn all about growing and harvesting saffron – the most expensive spice in the world.
Harvesting takes place through the month of November – take advantage of our 20% discount offer on our lovely suites in Riad Sapphire and Spa and enjoy some warm, sunny weather.
Have an interesting day out on an organic farm at the Paradis du Safran
For lovers of the stars – come and visit Marrakech between November 19th and 29th, 2015.
After the resounding success of the two festivals Astronomy in Ifrane and Rabat. It is the turn of the ochre city to welcome lovers of the science of the universe for the 16th edition of the Festival of Astronomy in Marrakech.
Lots of workshops
For more information
Maison de la Photographie in Marrakech
is launching a new exhibition
LE MAROC DE JEAN PIERRE EVRARD
from October 7th to 23rd 2015. Black and white photos of buildings in Marrakech. Jean Pierre has been a friend of the Maison de la Photographie since its opening and he decided to donate the photographs in this new exhibition, a selection of beautiful prints taken since 1995.
Private workshops for Moroccan crafts –
Atelier d’ailleurs in Marrakech
Atelier d’ailleurs in Marrakech is an organization that offers many courses on Moroccan handcrafts. You can learn or practice your skills in embroidery, pottery, metal working, tadelakt, woodturning, Moroccan cooking…. You name it, they probably have a course on it. Small, private groups ensure you have lots of hands-on guidance and practice.
For a truly authentic experience of Marrakech combine these private workshops with a stay in our riad in the heart of Marrakech medina.
You can book direct from our website www.riadsapphire.com and we can help organize your workshops.
In the Ensemble Artisanat near the main square.
tel 212 (0)6 72 81 20 46
The first Café Clock opened in Fez, Morocco and now there is one in Marrakech. A great place for cultural exchanges as well as a cup of coffee and a place to rest.
Cafés are spring up all over the medina of Marrakech – and a welcome addition they are too.
There is local artwork on the walls alongside vintage items, street art and a program set up for cultural exchanges and the promotion of aspiring artists. Every Wednesday there are jam sessions for musicians – anyone can bring along their instrument. There is traditional Marrakchi storytelling with an English translator on Thursday nights. Saturday nights offer live concerts. You can also find classes for yoga, darija, oud, calligraphy and oriental dancing …
More than your average café. In the Kasbah area of the old city.
224 Derb Chtouka
05 24 37 83 67
Polo is a sport famously played by kings and noblemen. Dating back to a time when royal guards and elite troops practised it as a form of cavalry training, it is still popular with wealthy Moroccans today.
Marrakech is home to North Africa’s first polo resort, Jnan Amar Marrakech (www.jnanamar.com). There, in the southern corner of this large retreat, is a smartly designed equestrian complex. The stable can hold up to 104 horses, and there is a Riding Academy where you can learn to play polo with professional trainers in the outdoor practice field.
On the 19th of April this year there will be a high-profile event at Jnan Amar Marrakech in aid of the Eve Branson Foundation – a Moroccan charity serving disadvantaged communities in the High Atlas. Several VIPs will be in attendance.
You can apply for an invitation here: http://evebransonfoundation.org.uk/assets/2014_Morocco_Save_The_Date_V8-1.jpg
A great way to get active and see Morocco’s countryside is to get out and about on the country’s rivers. One of the best ways to do this is by booking a trip with Dutch-owned company Berber Rafting. A white water rafting and adventure company, most tours involve taking guests to the mountains, trekking on Mt “Jebel Toubkal” (4167 m), Africa’s second highest peak after Mt Kilimanjaro and rafting on the thundering Ahansal River. This is also an unusual way to get up close to traditional Berber villages which might otherwise be hard to access.
Their website is a wealth of information on rafting in Morocco and as well as listing plenty of inspirational itineraries also has some tips on what to do is someone in your party goes ‘man overboard’ and what to pack. The rafting season tends to start just as soon as the snow melts.
Founder of Cinema Maroc Houda Lakhdar is an expert blogger and a graduate of the Higher School of Visual Arts, Marrakech. Well known on the indie film circuit, Lakhdar’s short film “Zahra” – produced in 2012 – made its debut at the Spring Festival of Arab Cinema in Paris as well as at the Festival of Mediterranean Short Films, Tangier. So, given all this, Lakhdar is well placed to run a successful blog on the Moroccan film industry.
The website Lakhdar runs, Cinema Maroc, covers most aspects of Moroccan film and is a must-visit for movie-buffs. There is a News section which informs visitors to the site about what is happening right now – usually interviews and events – and a Ranking section which reviews films, normally independent ones. The Archives section is crammed full of factoids about actors, little-known films and interviews with local film stars.
The website is regularly updated here www.cinema-maroc.com and you can follow on Twitter too @CinemaMaroc
The museum of the Art of Living is a must-visit in the Medina. Located close to Bab Taghazout, this picturesque museum was once the home of the 19th century Marrakchi poet, Ben Omar.
Lovingly restored in 2006 by Abderrazzak Benchaabane – who spent four-years renovating the property – the museum reopened its doors in 2010.
Today, tourists pour into the museum, which is spacious and cool and is spread over a generous 500m2, across six rooms. This is a great place to learn about Moroccan culture in the comfort of air-con. Inside there are displays of textiles, rugs, paintings all giving a broad overview of the traditional Berber lifestyle. One room is a dedicated reading room – which provides ample respite from the heat and crowds.
The other key place to relax is the Arab-Andalusian style garden and terrace on the rooftop, which offers outstanding views.
Eagle-eyed visitors may notice some similarities with the design of the Majorelle Gardens which was also restored by Abderrazzak Benchaabane, at the request of Yves Saint Laurent. Overall, this is a chic, well-conceived place to spend an afternoon. Recommended.