Christmas in Morocco

Live in the UK / Europe and think having a white Christmas is overrated?

Don’t get me wrong, being an Australian I think having a white Christmas is super magical. However, after going through a number of Christmas markets, trees, lights and mulled wine, you kind of want to do something a little different.

This was when I decided to book myself a trip to Marrakech, Morocco. Now being a Muslim country, you don’t get much of the biblical association (i.e. Christmas in general) but you do get an exciting cultural experience that I can guarantee, is 100% different to what you’ve seen before.

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I was only there for 5 days, however, I do recommend staying a few extra days to visit the Western Sahara desert (perhaps even stay a night or two there!) or going up further north to visit Chefchaouen – famously known on Instagram as the Blue Pearl city, where everything is literally blue!

Here’s my 5-day itinerary:

Day 1: Explore Medina (old city) in Marrakech

  • Ben Youssef – was an Islamic college in Marrakech
    • Address:ย Kaat Benahid, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
    • Hours: 8:00 – 17:00 (not open on Saturdays)
  • Souks & Markets –ย you can find these anywhere near the main square

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  • Jemaa el-Fnaa –ย is a square and market place in Marrakech’s medina quarter (old city)
    • Recommendations:
    • Visit during the evening / night where it is more livelier
    • For great views, go to the rooftop of some of the restaurants that surround the area (there are a few to select from) and watch the sunset go down
    • For an authentic foodie experience, eat at one of the street stalls in the square (there are many to choose from and they usually sell the same thing so they can be quite pushy when it comes to persuading you to go to their stall)

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  • Koutoubia Minaret (Mosque)you can’t go in (unless you’re muslim and there to pray) but stroll through the garden at the back
    • Address:ย Medina Jamaa El Fenna, Marrakech 40000, Morocco

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  • EAT EAT EAT – Tangine (with apricots or prunes), Moroccan salad, mixed grilled skewers, sheep’s head, snail soup etc.

Day 2: Visit the Palaces

  • El Badi Palace – ruined palace that was previously commissioned by the Sultan Ahmad al-Mansur
    • Address:ย Ksibat Nhass, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco
    • Hours: 9am – 5pm

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  • Bahia Palaceknown as the palace of the beautiful, the brilliant
    • Address:ย Avenue Imam El Ghazali, Marrakech 40000, Morocco
    • Hours: 8am – 5pm
  • Saadian Tombsbeautiful architectural structures discovered in 1917ย 
    • Address:ย Rue de La Kasbah, Marrakesh 40000, Morocco
    • Hours: 9am – 6pm

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Day 3:ย Tour of Ouarzazate and Ait Ben Haddou with Road of the Kasbahs

Highlights:

  • Scenic drive over the highest mountain pass of North Africa (2,269m) Tizi-N-Tichka
  • Visit the famous Kasbah Ait Ben Haddou, the fortified clay city listed a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Visit Grandiose Taourirt Kasbah, belonged to the Lord of the Atlas

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Day 4: Atlas Mountains and Three Valleys

Highlights:

  • Travel up to the Atlas Mountains, and go on a camel ride
  • Stop in Imlil Valley for a cup of tea and a piece of cake
  • Hike up to the Ait Souka Village, and enjoy a traditional Berber lunch
  • Visit the home of a Berber family to learn more about their everyday lifestyle
  • Explore Moulay Brahim near the Asni Valley

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Day 5:ย Ouzoud Waterfall Day Trip

Highlights:

  • Visit the Ouzoud waterfalls and enjoy the beauty of the High Atlas
  • Enjoy fascinating panoramic views from the top of the Falls
  • Hiking on the foot to the top of cascades
  • See whole families of monkeys in site
  • Discover the typical Berber village of the High Atlas Mountains
  • Taste traditional Berber tagine in a typical restaurant with panoramic views on the falls

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