Marrakech holidays...

Most travellers come to Marrakech hoping to find exotic-looking people, ornate palaces and treasure-filled souks. They want to take a magic carpet ride into the world of the Arabian Nights - and to be able to buy the carpet afterwards. Amazingly, Marrakech manages to live up to the fantasy.

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The magic of Marrakech has a lot to do with its setting. It lies at the foot of the High Atlas, on an ancient trade route through the Sahara. You can feel the energy of Africa in the Djemaa el Fna, Marrakech's main square. For almost a thousand years the square has played host to a nightly carnival of singers, tumblers, sorcerers, herbalists, story-tellers and snake charmers. Overlooking the vast open-air show is the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque, the highest and most beautiful building in the city.

Then there are the souks. You can wander down miles of labyrinthine passageways, illuminated by shafts of sunlight, watching cloth dyers, wood carvers, jewellery-makers, leather workers and blacksmiths at work. There are temptations on all sides; Touareg jewellery, trilobites, spices, apothecarist's potions, colonial bric-a-brac, colourful slippers, silk tassels, hanging lanterns, leather bags, wicker baskets and yes, carpets, in every design and colour. Tailored Marrakech holidays will always take you winding down the narrow alleys of the mysterious souks and tempt you to reach for your purse.

Away from the medina is another Marrakech. The peaceful Majorelle Gardens, beautifully restored by Yves St. Laurent; the splendidly over-the-top Bahia Palace; the ancient medressa of Ben Youssef; the fashionable shops, bars and restaurants of Gueliz where you can sip a cocktail surrounded by a crowd as hip as any found in Paris or London. Those on luxury holidays in Marrakech will undoubtedly find themselves in these exclusive surroundings at some point during their stay.

Many visitors choose to stay in one of Marrakech's many riads such as Riad Les Yeux Bleus, Jardins de la Medina, Villa des Orangers, traditional courtyard houses in the medina. Alternatively, you can head for one of the many modern hotels in Gueliz or the chic neighbourhoods such as Hivernage. Examples of such hotels are Hotel Es Saadi, Hotel La Mamounia, Royal Mansour, Hotel Tichka and the Sofitel. Further afield is the Marrakech countryside and country hotels, home to some of the city's smartest hotels and hideaways like Les Deux Tours, Dar Ayniwen, Chez Max, Dar Zemora, Selman and many more. Staying in the Marrakech countryside means a more relaxing lifestyle, fabulous views of the mountains and quick access to Marrakech when you need it.

Lawrence of Morocco have been organising bespoke holidays to Marrakech for decades and there isn't a corner of this stunning city we haven't explored. If you're looking for an exclusive holiday in Marrakech, we know exactly where to take you. From the souks to the countryside, we can give you the tailored Marrakech holiday you're looking for.

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