MARRAKECH & FEZ
Marrakech is one of the most important cities in Morocco. It has 1 545 541 inhabitants and is located at the foot of the Atlas, at 466 meters above sea level. It has numerous monuments World Heritage. It is, next to Meknes, Fez and Rabat, one of the four imperial cities of Morocco. It was founded in 1062 by the Almoravids and was the capital of the Islamic Empire. The city has the largest traditional (suq) market in the country and one of the busiest squares in Africa and the world, Djemaa el Fna is the place where acrobats, storytellers, water vendors, dancers and musicians are cited. At night, the square is filled with food stalls, becoming a large outdoor restaurant. Like other Moroccan imperial cities, Marrakech is fundamentally divided into two parts: the center with the great Medina or old city, surrounded by spectacular bastions of red earth, and, outside the walls, the Ville Nouvelle or new city, built by the French in the years of colonial rule and in continuous expansion. The old city and the new city are separate administrative entities, governed in part by different rules: in the Medina alcohol is prohibited and the buildings cannot exceed three stories high. On the other hand, the rule according to which the exterior of the buildings has to be red-ocher, the natural color of the local land, traditionally used as a building material, is used throughout Marrakech. Hence its nickname "red city." The Medina of Marrakech is full of old palaces and mosques, which as is customary in Morocco, are not open to non-Muslims. Its most emblematic place is the great square of Jamaa el Fna. To the west of the bastions of the Medina extends the Ville Nouvelle, with the neighborhoods of Guéliz and Hivernage; The main artery is Avenue Mohammed V, a wide tree-lined avenue that flows into one of the gates of the old city. In the east direction, finally, is the residential neighborhood of La Palmeraie, a semi-desert area full of palm trees that in recent years has been filled with buildings. The Kotubia mosque is famous above all for its square-based minaret, which was built by Yacoub el Mansour at the end of the 12th century, which represented the reference model for the Giralda in Seville, and for the Hasan Tower in Rabat. The tower is the tallest building in Marrakech and with its 77 meters high dominates the Medina, being able to see at a distance when you reach the city.
Fez is the third city of Morocco, after Casablanca and Rabat, with a population of 1 968 150 inhabitants according to the 2010 census. It is the capital of Islam in Morocco, the region of Fez-Bulmán and the prefecture of Fez. It is located in the region formerly called Hispania Nova. It is one of the four imperial cities called Marrakech, Meknes and Rabat. In Morocco it is considered as the religious and cultural center of the country. Its university, famous for the study of Arabic and Muslim religion, makes it a crossing point for a large number of Moroccan students. The city is divided into three zones, Fès el-Bali, the old area, within the walls, Fès el-Jdid, the new area, where Mellah, the Jewish quarter, and Ville Nouvelle (New Town) are located, the largest area, created during the French colony, in the south of the city. The medina of Fez el-Bali, the largest of the two in the city, is the largest pedestrian zone in the world, and was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1981.
Our Riad in Marrakech
The charm of sleeping in a Riad in the Medina
On your trip to Morocco, when looking for accommodation you have the opportunity to live in the most typical atmosphere of the city by choosing accommodation in a riad within the Medina. Obviously, Morocco offers you great and excellent four and five star hotels, with very good quality / price ratio. But, without a doubt, the best way to live the atmosphere of cities as exotic as those in Morocco is to choose to stay in a riad. The riad are the equivalent of an urban version of the rural houses of Spain. Located in the historic neighborhoods of Las Medinas, they are typical houses of that neighborhood that have been converted into a small hotel establishment. All the Riads chosen for our Tours have a private bathroom and air conditioning. Clean, comfortable rooms with all the necessary services, according to the category you choose, to be able to relax and enjoy your vacation.
What is a Riad?
The riad, which in Arabic means garden, is defined by an inner courtyard, around which the rooms and some common areas are distributed. It is precisely this inner courtyard that usually characterizes the accommodation, and is usually decorated with mosaics and plants and, even on occasion, references to water, such as a fountain or even a swimming pool. They usually have two or three floors at most, and have a small number of rooms (around five). For some of you, especially if you are from Andalusia, the idea of patio houses will come to mind when describing what a riad is, and of course it is not a free association; rather, it is another example of the heritage inherited from Muslim culture.