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The Essence of Marrakech, Morocco

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This article tells the reader about Morocco and what it has to offer to

morocco, luxury, travel, marrakech, red city

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Only a few hours from Europe is a place where you will marvel at the
sights and sounds of a distant land. Boasting a rich history, exotic
adventures, open-air bazaars, and an incredible mix of cultures,
Marrakech will inevitably seduce each of your senses in a very poignant
way. Along with the spectacular scenery, discerning travelers will be
instantly lured by the magic of Marrakech.

For centuries, the land of Morocco has been attracting travelers in
search of adventure and exotic opportunities. The city of Marrakech lies
in the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains only an hour away,
and excursions are adventurous and in traditional Moroccan style: luxury
camping in Bedouin tents, a camel journey lead by a nomad guide through
the dunes, horseback riding through the Atlas foothills where ancient
caravans traversed, or cycling through crumbling 16th century desert
kasbahs (ancient parts of a city).

You can visit a traditional Berber village, take a day hike, or trek
Mount Toubkal, the highest mountain in North Africa. Hot air ballooning
allows you to take in the sites of a diverse landscapes - a beautiful
mountain ranges with cliff-hanging villages, emerald tinted lakes, and
high altitude pastures.

There are plenty of opportunities to shop the souks (marketplaces) and
explore the alleyways of this genuinely romantic city. An ancient
capital, Marrakech offers the largest traditional market in Morocco and
the busiest square in all of Africa. Explorations must be done on foot,
bicycle or horse-drawn carriages in the labyrinthine backstreets of
ancient medinas, where exotic spices waft through crowded narrow
storefronts tempting you to do some serious bargain shopping.

Souks display colorful pottery and carpets and customary creations of
apothecary goods, cosmetics, herbs, jewelry, leather, perfumes, and
slippers, all traditional commodities in this Arabic country. Snake
charmers, musicians, dancers and jugglers line the souks to entertain and
awe tourists and locals alike.

In a land full of wonderful surprises, there are many top luxury hotels
in Marrakech, diverse as the landscape in Morocco.
The Hivernage Hotel & Spa, set in the heart of Marrakech, is a
magnificent hotel surrounded by lush gardens and stunning views of the
Atlas Mountains. High ceilings, marble columns and extravagant fabrics
give this hotel its character.

Amanjena Resort, which translates to "peaceful paradise" was built in
2000, and is the first of the Aman Resort on the African continent. Known
for offering exclusivity and privacy, this resort is set within an oasis
of palms and mature olive trees.

Hotel La Mamounia has quite a reputation, in years past, for conducting
stately dinners for which men dressed in top hats and tails and women,
adorned with jewels, wore long evening gowns. Currently closed through
2007 for extensive renovations, this hotel is set amid tranquil gardens
almost three hundred years old, and is known as one of the world's
grandest and most exquisite hotels.

Marrakech is known as the Red City, or in Arabic as Al Medina al-Hamra,
because of its rose tinted building. With the old city (medina) and the
modern metropolis, population is estimated to be around two million.

Riads (urban houses) are situated around a courtyard and garden, and
represent a traditional dwelling place where residents ca n find peace
from the clamor of the city. The locals are friendly, and their demanding
way of life a constant source of amazement. Men shuffle around in hooded
cloaks and begin each day with an exhilarating call to prayer at the
local mosque.

Becoming part of this culture is inevitable. It is an honor to join a
family to dine within a private riad to eat delicious, slow-cooked
tajines of lamb and flat Moroccan bread. The drinking of mint tea is
customary, as is the exotic art of belly dancing. Eating couscous,
socializing and simply soaking up the hospitality is part of a typical
Moroccan day.

Come and see what this magical country has to offer, from cultural
exchanges to adventurous expeditions, and amazing sunsets that display a
kaleidoscope of colors. From the snow-capped Atlas Mountains to the
endless desert sands, experience a country of dramatic contrasts and a
genuine hospitality. The rich history and traditions of this ancient land
offer something for every taste. For sheer diversity, it would be hard to
imagine a more perfect destination than Marrakech.

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