October is a delightful time to visit Marrakech. The sun is shining, the nights are warm, and as it's off-peak, the prices are very reasonable to get there and to stay.
When we arrived in our beautiful riad just inside the city walls of the Medina, our host sat us down with copious glasses of mint tea, and proceeded to give us some hints and tips for our 4 day break.
1) Before taking a trip to the Souks, go to the craft market as the prices are fixed, that way, when you visit the Souks, you'll have an idea of what you should be paying for the wonderful leather goods or the pottery, and you can enjoy the bartering.
2) There's a lovely little cafe in the spice market, with a fab view over the souks, on their roof top terrace. A perfect stop in between shopping and discovering all the scents in the spice market.
3) Go on a buggy ride, but make sure you only pay around 350 dirham (2015 prices), they started at 950, our chief negotiator kept going until we got the right price. It was a great way to see the city (just be careful about being taken to shops you don't want to visit).
4) Don't be nervous about using the map, the locals can see you're tourists, and if they offer to help, just politely decline. It's actually not too difficult to stay on track outside of the souks. Inside the souks, just enjoy exploring, and you'll eventually come out one side and you can figure out where you are.
5) Make time to chill out and enjoy the peace and quiet, if you're staying in a riad in the Medina, you will be amazed at how peaceful it is as soon as you close that heavy wooden door, the hustle and bustle of the Medina just slips away, and silence descends.
6) Our host selected several stalls to eat from in the main square and as they're all numbered, it was easy to remember. And which restaurants served alcohol and which didn't. We had some fantastic food in Marrakech, inside and outside the Medina, delicious lamb tagine by candlelight was one to remember. Ask where you're staying and they'll be sure to recommend some places.
7) Visit the Jardin Majorelle, it's absolutely stunning, the striking blue design across the gardens was incredible, and the cacti and flowers were in such abundance, you didn't know where to look (or smell) first, it's a must when you visit Marrakech.
8) Have a traditional hammam in Marrakech, there are lots of options to choose from, we had one in a delightful riad inside the Medina so not on public show. You need to leave your inhibitions at the door as you'll be wearing just your bikini bottoms while they exfoliate and massage your entire body to the cleanest it will ever be. They're definitely not shy so you don't need to be!
9) And then it's time for a cocktail on the roof overlooking the fantastic views across the city at dusk, it really is magical.
Our Crimson Rose & Oud luxury scented candles transport us back to the heady scents of the city of Marrakech, and remind us what a fabulous city it is, and if you live in the UK, it's just a short hop on a plane to be able to enjoy the souks, spices and sunshine!