Winter Getaway Destinations: Marrakech

Check out marvellous Morocco with our winter sun travel guide to Marrakech

Catching some sun this winter is cheaper than you might think with low cost flights to Morocco departing from Manchester, Liverpool and London Stanstead.

What to do

Marrakech travel guide

The bustling city of Marrakech will be too hot for many during the summer month but temperatures in February and March are most pleasant. During your stay there it’s virtually impossible to miss the gigantic square ‘Jemaa el-Fnaa’ which bursts into life in the evening with performers and restaurants. During the day the pace is a bit slower and it’s the perfect time to pick up dried fruits, fresh juice and exotic spices on the cheap.

Unfortunately non-Muslims are not permitted to enter any of the mosques in Marrakech but you will still here the unmissable calls that blasts from the loudspeakers when it is time for prayer. Sadly the Ben Youssef Madrasa is closed for construction for the foreseeable future but you can still enjoy the outside of the impressive Koutoubia Mosque. You may also want to check out the Photography Museum which has a wonderful selection of photos showing Morocco throughout the years. There is even a wonderful viewing platform on the roof where you can see the Atlas Mountains.

If your budget allows, tours are available to take you to the Saharan Desert in the south of the country. Group tours will cost around £100 each including two nights’ accommodation and a private tour will cost around £250-300 per person (we recommend Original Morocco Tours). The drive is long but you see some magnificent sights on the way there which breaks up the journey nicely. For many the Merzouga tour is the highlight of their Moroccan visit and it’s something that should be seriously considered.

How to get there

Return flights from either Manchester International Airport or London Stanstead can be bought for under £100 on a range of dates in February. If you are looking to go in March then there are no direct flights from Manchester but there is a cheap service from Liverpool which can be booked for just under £100. From Marrakech airport it’s about a 45 minute walk to the city centre or you can take the 19 bus services costing 30 dirham (return ticket, valid for two weeks) or a taxi for around 50 dirham depending on bartering skills.

Where to eat & drink

Not too far north of the train station is Amal Café which serves up tasty food at very reasonable prices, perfect for a cheap taste of some traditional Morocco food. Closer to the heart of the city and Dar Chef is our recommendation. It’s a little more expensive but the set menus still offer good value for money. This well decorated established offers delicious tagine and couscous with both meat and vegetarian options.

Where to stay

It’s riads rather than hotels which are more prominent in Marrakech and their distinctive style can offer you with a wonderfully unique stay. Accommodation in the city is generally of very high quality but the Riar Dar and the Riad Pourpe Medina are two especially good choices. For a slightly more inexpensive option, usually around £24 a night for a double room including breakfast, the Riad Layal Rouge is one to look out for.