Forget all those bucket-and-spade beach breaks that can be summed up on a postcard . . . Marrakesh leaves you with holiday photographs that demand further explanation. How did you wind up sipping tea with blacksmiths, shedding your skin – quite literally – in a hammam (bathhouse), and busting Berber dance moves in the Djemaa el-Fna? Sipping a sunset cocktail on the roof of an 18th-century riad, you think back over the day’s experiences and, in your mind, try to retrace your steps. Possibly there was a donkey cart dodged or a magic shop stumbled upon among the city’s 3,000 winding derbs (alleyways), but that doesn’t entirely explain your iron lantern, your henna tattoo and your newfound capacity to shimmy.
When to go
Marrakesh is a true “year round” destination. Spring and autumn sees the city at its best with almost guaranteed sunshine and bearable temperatures (days are warm and nights are not too chilly). At the height of summer, daytime temperatures can reach a sweltering 38C and shops and restaurants often close during Ramadan and in August. Winter can be warm and blissfully free of crowds – but remember that temperatures drop dramatically at night.