13 Jul Five tips for visiting Marrakech during the summer months
By Mandy Sinclair
It’s summer in Marrakech and here at Riad 72 and Riad Due in the medina we are embracing the warmer weather! After all, the local architecture, including Riad 72 and Riad Due, was built to respect the climate so visiting Marrakech during the summer months is pleasant. With not a cloud in the sky, guests are soaking up the sun on the rooftop terrace in between jaunts to through the souks (and dips in the pool at Riad Due). And with fewer crowds, it’s an ideal time to visit all that the Red City has to offer. That is, if you know where to go and when!
Sights built for the heat
Many areas of the souks remain covered, allowing for a pleasant shopping experience (and because it’s a quieter time in Marrakech, greater bargaining power for travellers). While in the Mouassine area of medina, stop by the Secret Garden for a bit of a tranquility and shade in the arcades overlooking the beautifully manicured Islamic gardens.
Sites like Bahia Palace and Musée de Mouassine are built around a central garden, providing a perfect retreat for visitors as they did for the former residents centuries ago. The air-conditioned Museum of Berber Arts provides for the perfect retreat when visiting the Majorelle Gardens although the benches shaded by plants from the around the world provide an exotic escape.
When visiting the Badii Palace, be sure to visit early in the morning. Lack of shade and protection from the sun makes this one hot spot!
Beat the heat in the Marrakech countryside
Escapes to the nearby Atlas Mountains provide not only a change of scenery and glimpse in to Berber life, but also a relief from the heat as temperatures are often considerably lower. We enjoy a day hike followed by lunch in a local home featuring some of the best Berber cooking we know!
For a longer day out, or a few days away, Essaouira captures our hearts. This little seaside village has the perfect laid-back medina for wandering and shopping (and you may just want to pick up a scarf or shawl for the cooler temperatures from one of the local weavers). But the real taste of summer lies in feasting on fresh catches of the day, purchased from the bustling fishing port before being grilled to perfection. Then bellies full, it’s time to let the wind blow through our hair on the beach.
The Sahara Desert and even nearby Agafay Desert are extremely hot during the summer months with temperatures climbing above 50’C. We recommend visiting other destinations within Morocco between June to September.
Enjoy the fruits of the season
At La Table du Riad we have created a fresh menu inspired by the local colours of summer – leafy greens with rabbit, orange melon balls with caramelized figs, and even a tomato cup with citrus perfumed mushrooms and turmeric sauce and grilled prawns.
As for refreshing drinks, fresh juices abound with little juice shops opening up throughout the medina. Or stop in to Kaowa across from Majorelle Gardens for a refreshing drink before returning to the old city. Look out for Panna ice creams available on menus throughout the medina for home-made gelato done right!
Kick it poolside
When we really want to kick back and escape the heat, the Beldi Country Club is the perfect option. Laid-back, bohemian and with a glass factory on site, a day by the pool here also turns in to a bit of a shopping trip.
Slightly further up the road is the idyllic Palais Paysan where the landscapes are gorgeous, the cuisine delicious and the pool trendy. It’s always a stylish afternoon by the pool with breath-taking views of the Atlas Mountains and plateaus at this little boutique hotel.
Guests staying at Riad 72 and Riad Due regularly enquire about what to pack when preparing for their red city getaway so as not to offend while wandering through the Marrakech medina. With the heat turned on, anything that is light and breezy tops our packing list! In fact, we love a flowing kaftan, or a cool pair of sarouels with a tunic. The medina is overflowing with great fashion designers and boutiques like Kaftan Queen in the new city of Gueliz.
Beach cover-ups for relaxing poolside can be found throughout as can trendy baskets with colourful pompoms and stitching from the popular spice souk known locally as Rahba Kdima).
To book a last-minute summer getaway at Riad 72 or Riad Due, please contact us at email@example.com.