9 days in Morocco itinerary
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What's included in our 9 days in Morocco itinerary:
The highlights of our Morocco itinerary for 9 days:
Overview of the 9 days Morocco tour itinerary:
On this 9 days tour itinerary, you will discover the main visited attractions and sites in Morocco. The tour starts from Tangier. There, you will not only visit Hercules cave but also the American legation, and the old medina. The second city we will explore is Chefchaouen, the blue pearl of Morocco. After that, we will take you to the cultural city Fes, you will visit tanneries, Madrassas “schools”, and the oldest existing and functioning university, Al Quaraouiyine. Not to mention, we will visit one of the 12 palaces of the King and the garden of Jnan Sbil.
On the fifth day, we will travel across the Atlas Mountains to Merzouga, the Sahara desert. It is the highlight of our Morocco tours, it’s where you will do the camel ride and camping at Berber tents. Also, it’s where you will visit the nomadic family who lives in a handmade tent. Moreover, it’s where we will visit the Gnaoua, the small oasis of Hassi Labied and the lake of Srij.
On the 7th day, we will head to the Grand canyons of Todgha and Dades Gorges. Afterward, we will visit the city cinema, Ouarzazate, we will visit one of the Atlas Studios. Then, we will visit one of the Kasbahs in Morocco, Ait Benhaddou, a fortified Berber fortress. Thereafter, we will cross the Atlas Mountains again to the red city, Marrakech. There, many beautiful sites attract 3 million visitors each year. Therefore, Marrakech is the city of tourists. We will visit the Square of Jemaa El Fna, the Koutoubia mosque and some other attractions.
An itinerary for 9 days in Morocco from Tangier to Marrakech:
Day 1: Arrival to Tangier.
We will start our 9 days itinerary in Morocco by picking you up from the airport of Ibn Battuta or one of the ports. Then, we will take you to your accommodation to relax. Depending on your time of arrival, it’s possible that we take you to walk in the old medina.
Day 2: Tangier to Chefchaouen.
On this day, we will visit the attractions of Tangier then we will drive to spend the night in Chefchaouen. Firstly, we will visit the America Legation, the first building of the US government outside its country, and have a walk in the old medina. Then, we will visit the mysterious cave of Hercules at Cape Spartel. After that, we will drive to Chefchaouen, the blue pearl, city of Morocco. There, we will walk up to the church of the Spanish to watch the sunset and to see Chefchaouen from the top. Later, we will take you to your accommodation.
Day 3: Chefchaouen to Fes.
On the third day of our 9 days in Morocco itinerary, we will be visiting Chefchaouen and we will spend the night in Fes. Therefore, we will walk Chefchaouen to admire its beautiful blue walls. We will head to the Kasbah Museum, the first building of Chefchaouen, it’s where some historical information about the city. After that, we will visit Ras El Ma waterfalls before we head to the square of Wetat Lhmam, where to relax to a glass of tea and the entertainment of the locals. In the afternoon, we will drive to Fes, we will drop you to spend the night in a traditional Riad “hotel”.
Day 4: Fes city tour.
On this day, we will visit the first capital city in Morocco, one of the imperial cities, the cultural Fes. There are many things to do and see here. To start with, we will visit Bab Boujloud the main gate of the 11th in Fes El Bali, the old part. Then, we will get in the narrow streets to visit the Madrassas of Bou Inania and Attarine. Also, we will visit the oldest university in the world, Al-Karaouiyne before we visit the Tannery of Chouara one of the 3 historical Tanneries in Fes. Afterward, we will visit the King’s palace with the 7th golden gates. Then, we will head to the Borj Nord for a panoramic view of the whole city. Thereafter, we will head to the Garden of Sbil for a walk. You are free to experience the Hamam “Traditional hot Sauna” or the massage late afternoon.
Day 5: Fes to Merzouga, the Sahara desert.
We will leave Fes to the Sahara desert of Merzouga. We will visit many places on the way there. To start with, we will visit the little Switzerland of Morocco, Ifrane. Here, we will make a quick stop at the statue of the atlas lion, carved by a German prisoner to represent the extinct lion in the Atlas forest nearby. Then, we will drive to the forest of cedar trees at Azrou, we will make another stop to visit the monkeys of the Barbary Macaque, magots, or apes. After that, we will drive through the city of the apples, Midelt, depending on time, we could stop to have lunch. Thereafter, we will drive at the pass of Talghomt to arrive at the dam of Errachidia, the source of water for the Sahara desert region. Then, we will stop again at a panoramic view of the Ziz valley, where there are many date palm trees. Actually, it’s one of the biggest sources of dates fruits in Morocco, and an international festival of it is made in Erfoud every October. We will pass by Arfoud and if you are interested to try some Magdol dates fruit, we can make a quick stop. Not to mention, Erfoud is famous for the mineral fossils. Therefore, we could make a stop at one of the museums. Eventually, we will arrive at Merzouga, we will take you to relax at one of its hotels.
Day 6:Merzouga discovery tour.
Our 9 days itinerary in Morocco includes the highlight of our Morocco tours, the discovery tour at Merzouga desert. Therefore, on this day, our driver will take you to discover an old car museum of a Qatari, called Morocco National 4X4 Auto Museum. Then, we will head to Khamlia, a small town about 6km from Merzouga, it’s where the Gnaoua people live. There, you will enjoy their amazing type of music played on drums and castanets. After that, we will take you to visit one of the old MINEs at Mifis, you will see where the French during their colonization got the salt and the kohl. Then, we will take you to visit one of the nomadic Berber families who live in tents, we will get to know them before you experience the same thing later at night. Afterward, we will drive to visit the lake of Srij, it’s where the camels go herding and where the immigrant birds of flamingos.
Depending on time, we could drive to Rissani the commercial city of Tafilalet, where the region goes shopping on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. There, we want you to experience Madfouna, a Berber-Arabic pitta bread. Also, we will take you to visit the parking of the donkeys, where they either sell and buy them or trade them.
In the afternoon, we will visit the small oasis of Hassi Labied, you will see how they water their agriculture through tunnels from the wells. Eventually, we will take you to experience the camel ride, our team of camel experts will be waiting for you near the dunes. Then, they will take you across the Erg Chebbi sand, depending on time, you may stop to watch the sunset or when you arrive at the camp. Overnight will be there.
Day 7: Merzouga to Dades Gorges.
After a wonderful night in the tents, our driver will be waiting for you after you take the camels back to the village. Then, you will continue the tour towards Boumaln Dades passing by the grand canyons of Todgha Gorges. Before, we will take you passing by an old system of irrigation, where there are wells watering the small oasis of Fazna. After that, we will visit those canyons, they are about 15km from Tinghir. There, we will make a stop for about an hour walking, you will admire the height of 300 meters and the river passing through. After that, we will drive to Dades Gorges, we will make two stops. First, we will stop at the monkey toes, mountains because of the wind, and the rain shaped like the toes or the fingers of a monkey. Second, we will drive to the curves of Tissdrine, dangerous curves where Cadillac made an advertisement for its car. Overnight will be in a hotel or Riad in the canyons.
Day 8: Dades gorges to Marrakech.
We will continue our 9 days in Morocco itinerary towards the city of Marrakech. Before, there are many attractive sites we will visit on the way there. To start with, we will drive from Dades through the rose valley, we can stop if you are interested to get some rose products. Then, we will drive to the cinema city Ouarzazate. There, we will stop at Oscar Atlas Studio to discover the movies they made in the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou and Taourirt Kasbah. After that, we will drive to visit the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou, a Berber fortified village at the tip of the High Atlas Mountains. It’s where the commercial Touareg caravans used to commerce before they leave for Europe. Also, it’s where many famous movies were made. For instance, they made a part of the British-American movie the Gladiator and Lawrence of Arabia.
Late afternoon, we will drive across the Atlas Mountains, we will stop at the top of 2260 meters. Then, we will stop at the argan oil cooperative if you are interested to buy some of it. Eventually, we will arrive at Marrakech, we will take you to your accommodation.
Day 9: Marrakech city tour.
The last city we will explore with our 9 days tour in Morocco itinerary will be the red city Marrakech. Therefore, in the morning, we will take you to explore the main sites that made Marrakech the first admired destination by tourists. To start with, we will take you to visit the Koutoubia mosque, the largest in Marrakech. Then, we will head to visit the garden of Majorelle, the French artists. After that, we will visit the Palace of Bahia and the Menara garden. Thereafter, we will head to the square of Jemaa El Fna, the square where they make many activities, like snake charmers and Halka makers “street performance”. There are other sites to visit, depending on time, we could visit the king’s palace…
Eventually, we will take you to your accommodation or to the airport in case of need. And that’s the end of our itinerary for 9 days touring in Morocco.
Recommendation about our 9 days tour in Morocco:
Camel ride in Morocco!
Recommended tour in Morocco!
An experience of a lifetime, a trip that opened landscapes, moments and people, unforgettable feelings, a journey into the past and present of the traditions of the “free men of the desert” through its architecture, its medinas, palm groves and kasbahs, a trip infused with aromas, prayers, textures, and colors, that only through their traditions is able to persist radiating an inexhaustible source of wisdom and knowledge keys to rethink our western culture.
This magnificent sequence of experiences could be possible thanks to the important work of our dear friend Moha, opening his culture, the corner calculating the times, giving directions keys to having the best experience during our trip of 9 days, with hotels and Riads very well located, with services of very good level both in care and in comfort for the rest and the enjoyment of meals in each place. This trip we hope will be the beginning of a new reunion with an inexhaustible Morocco.
Mejor viaje nunca con la mejor conductor nunca
Éramos 6 amigos y queríamos planear un viaje a diferentes lugares de Marruecos. Así que la oficina organiza el viaje por carretera que queríamos a partir de Tánger continúa a las montañas del Atlas, el desierto, Ifran, Fez, Dades y Marrakech durante 9 días y todo esto de lunes a miércoles. Nuestro conductor Youssef fue el mejor punto culminante de nuestro viaje porque nos sentimos todo el tiempo tan seguro en el coche que era muy cuidadoso y suave en su conducción (van era muy cómodo y limpio).
Youssef era tan agradable y gentil y también paciente y flexible. Conocía todas las áreas como su bolsillo, así que nos llevó a los mejores lugares para tomar fotos para comer y visitar y también sabía mucha información sobre todo. Nunca olvidaré este increíble viaje y Youssef por las cosas que nos ofreció además del viaje la positividad para todo. Realmente gracias Touring In Morocco por esta experiencia. Totalmente recomendado a todo el mundo.
You will be experiencing many stunning views with our 9 days tour itinerary in Morocco. For instance, you will visit the blue city of Chefchaouen, you will be amazed by its blue-walls. Also, you will explore the Sahara desert, where there are the best views of the sand dunes.
Our Morocco itinerary for 9 days includes both a pick-up and dropoff service either at the hotel or Airport.
You will be accompanied by one of our professional drivers who speak either Spanish or English. However, you will have a local guide in both Fes and Marrakech.
The best photography location you will visit with our trip is Chefchouen, the Sahara desert of Merzouga, canyons of Todgha and Ait Benhaddou.
Any question concerning our 9 days in Morocco itinerary?
please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or customization concerning this trip. We will be glad to answer any questions you have and the customizations you offer.
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Overview of the destination visited during our 9 days tour itinerary:
Tangier will be the first city we will visit with our 9 days in Morocco tour. It was built in 1320 by Sophax “Sufax”, Berber hero or demigod, in the north of Morocco between the Mediterranian sea and the Atlantic ocean. Tangier is not far from Spain, it’s almost 14 km from the port to Gibraltar which makes it influenced a lot with the Europan culture.
Tangier was the home of Hercules, he built his cave at the tip of the sea about 14 km further southwest. Now, it’s opened for the public since 1920. Therefore, it’s one of the main attractions that tourists head to when they are here in Tangier. The caves opening to the sea is shaped as the map of Africa.
One of the US government building is here in Tangier, it’s the first building of the US outside of its country since 1821. It’s a museum and a library for Arabic studies now in Tangier. Also, it’s listed as one of the US National Register of Historic Places in 1981.
Chefchaouen, Chaouen, or Iskaouen in the Amazigh “Berber” language. The blue city of Morocco was built as a Kasbah during the invasion of the Portuguese in 1471 by Sherif Moulay Ali Ben Rachid. The city is built between two Rif mountains shaped as the goat horns. Therefore, at that time, the Berbers started calling it Iskaouen, changed to Chaouen and Chefchaouen later by the Spanish.
There are many stories about coloring the walls of the city with blue in 1492. First, there are many people who say that the Ghomara, the Jewish, and the Spanish gave it that color in order to protect it from the mosquitos. Others say that it was colored by only the Jewish as the blue color means freedom for them. The other story we hear from the locals when we travel there is that it was colored with blue as the color of the sky.
Besides walking around the city and admiring its blue-colored walls. There are many sites to visit here so as to get to know more about the city.
Firstly, probably the Kasbah museum is the first thing to visit, it’s where you will find a lot of information about the city since the invasion. Also, it’s where you will find many pictures of Chaouen. Not to mention, this Kasbah has about 11 towers.
Second, the square of Wetat Lhmam is not on the other side of the Kasbah, it’s where you can find many restaurants if you want to relax for a glass of tea. Moreover, some locals there make some music in order to entertain tourists.
Third, A visit to the waterfalls of Ras El Ma is worthy, you can go there to try the local’s clothes, they dress them to tourists for pictures. From there, you can hike up to the Church of the Spanish for an overview of the city.
The cultural city, Fes:
Morocco is famous for many different types of cities, some of them are economic, historic, and cultural. Fes is listed to be the first cultural city in Morocco. There are three parts, the modern city, the Jewish quarter and Fes El Bali, the latter is the most visited because it’s the oldest, and it’s where most of the visited attractions. It was founded in 789 by the dynasty of the Idrisid. Among the best things to see and do in Fes we list them below:
- The king’s Palace: You may also hear the term Dar El Makhzen. The king has 12 Palaces in Morocco, two of them are here in Fes. Actually, the one here in Fes is the most visited because it’s architectured with 7 golden gates that attract many visitors. Not to mention, it was built in 1960.
- Bou Inania and Attarine Madrasa: a Madrassa in Arabic is a school, and these two are two of the best example of Moorish architecture. Attarine is referred to as Attar which means spices seller, it was named after the square of Attarine. Bou Inania is coming from the name of the Marinid ruler of Morocco Faris ibn Ali Abu Inan al-Mutawakkil.
- Al Qarawiyyin University: This university was built as a mosque by Fatima Al Fihri in 859 before it turned to be a university in 1963. For that reason, many people consider this university the oldest existing in the world even before Alma Mater Studiorum in Bologna, Italy.
Tannery of Chouara: There are three tanneries in Fes where they leather. However, the best and the most visited is the Chouara. It was built in the 11th century. Therefore, Fes is famous for pure leather stuff like clothes, shoes… a picture is attached.
Ifran with the European alpine-style architecture. This city is the first cleanest city in Morocco and the 12 in the world. It was established since the 16th century. However, the modern city was built in 1928 by the French during their colonization in Morocco. You may be thinking about the name of the city, it is coming from the Berber word Ifri which means a cave and plural Ifrane. The city is located in the Atlas Mountains at a level of 5,460 ft (1,665 m). Therefore, many locals come here during the wintertime to snowboard. Also, the football team of Morocco, the Atlas Lions, come here to train as it helps them a lot.
Here at Ifrane, many students from around the world come to study at the University of Al Akhawayn, it is one of the best and most expensive in Morocco. Not to mention, one of the king’s palaces is here facing the university.
During our trip of 9 days itinerary, we will make a quick stop at the Atlas Lion statue. There was a German prisoner during the French colonization, he carved this statue in order to gain his freedom. Also, this lion of the atlas is one of the unique types that does not exist in the forest anymore.
The forest of Cedar in Azrou:
The forest of cedar trees in Azrou is surely one of the worthy places to visit with our 9 days tour in Morocco. Here, you will discover many animals that live in the Atlas forest. Among those animals is the monkey, it is one of the unique monkeys that live mostly only in Morocco and Algeria. Not to mention, this monkey has different names like Barbary apes and Barbary macaque. They usually come across the road expecting passengers to feed them or give them water. Also, these animals are used to people, they do not attack or steal people’s stuff like the ones in Asia.
They are photogenic, they would come closer to people if they feel that they are not trying to hurt them. Mostly, these creators stay in families, the parents are equal, they both take care of their babies. Also, if other monkeys from different families try to join, they will be attacked by others.
The dam of Errachidia and Ziz valley:
Errachidia, Ksar souk, or Imtghern in the Berber language. Actually, The name of the city Errachidia was by the brother of the king Hassan. This city was a route for Dakar rally in 2006 and also 2007. Also, it is where there are many military bases since the French colonization in 1912, that is because the border between Morocco and Algeria is not far. Not to mention, it is closed because of political problems about the western Sahara.
There are also Qatari properties here. They come to spend holidays and vacations camping around. Also, they come to hunt birds like the Hubara Bustard.
The Dam is at the tip of the mountains of the Atlas, which makes it full of water all year round. It is called the dam of Hassan Addakhil referring to the founder of the Alaouit dynasty Hassan Addakil. Actually, this dam is the source of water for the region of Errachidia, it is where the Sahara desert gets the water from the tap.
Ziz valley is one of the biggest valleys that is about 282km from Morocco to Algeria. However, the river where there is the source of dates is only about 50km.
Erfoud is the city of the mineral fossils and the dates festival. There are two stories about the name of Erfoud, some say that it is named after the plant Onfoud, it exists in the river. Others say that it was named when two Berbers tried to cross the river and the water was high to the knees, and the knee in Berber means Afoud. And if you want to say the level of the water is to the knee in Berber it would be Ar Afoud. Then they turn it into Erfoud. Arfoud or Erfoud was built during the colonization of the French in 1912.
The mountains near Erfoud are rich in mineral fossils, you can find trilobites, ammonites, and many other types.
The valley of Ziz is not far from Erfoud and as it is one of the biggest sources of dates. Therefore, they make an International festival of dates each October to celebrate the dates.
The best place to do the camel ride and to experience overnight at Berber tents. Merzouga took the name of an Arabic family whose family name is Merzoug. There are some other people who say that Merzouga is named after the Arabic word Marzoq which means wealthy refereeing to the Erg Chebbi sand dunes that attract many visitors each year. There are many separated villages in Merzouga. For example, there is the center Merzouga, Hassi Labied, Takojt, and Khamlia where the Gnaoua dark skin people. It’s located southeast of Morocco, about 50 km from the border of Algeria.
Merzouga is famous for many admired things to see and do. Therefore, during our 9 days tour in Morocco, you will experience the best of them all.
Probably the best thing to do in Merzouga is the camel ride, there are many people who come only for one day or the weekend to experience it. There are many ways to do, you can either book it for the sunset or the sunrise only. Also, there are other people who like to do the trip for a full experience. That’s to say, to spend a night in Berber tents. If you are interested only in the camel ride and camping in Merzouga, check out our packages of camel rides in Merzouga.
Camping at Berber tents:
The other best thing to do in Merzouga is to experience overnight camping at the Berber tents. This experience would let you feel the way Berber nomads live their life. There, the local Berbers play drums for visitors, guide them at night to the best sand dunes to watch the stars and the Milkyway.
Explore the Srij lake:
The Srij is an important lake in Merzouga, it’s where the camels go herding during the day. Also, it’s where you will enjoy a fascinating view of the flamingo birds. A b=visit to this attraction is included in our itinerary tour.
This activity is not included in our tour. However, it’s one of the best things to do in Merzouga. Mostly, to do the ATVs is better when it rains, especially during the winter season, it’s easy to ride on the dunes.
Todgha, Dades and Skoura:
The ochre and red hues in which the Dades Valley merges make it the ideal place to discover Morocco from another angle, that of a wilderness where natural laws take back their rights with dignity.
The valley of the Dades Gorge is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and impressive in southern Morocco. Located between the towns of Boumalne Dades and M’semrir, in the Souss-Massa region, it takes its name from the Dades, a tributary of the Drâa River that winds along an arid and desert landscape to water the many oases that line its banks, but also the fig, date and almond trees. It is also said that the valley produces the best dates in Morocco.
How not to mention the palm grove of Skoura? Legend has it that it was founded in the 12th century under the Almohad dynasty and that it takes its name from the Berber tribe that lived there at that time, the Haskourene.
The one that serves as the first stop on the road of the 1,000 kasbahs, between Ouarzazate and the Tafilalet region, has all the makings of a veritable labyrinth, which is lost over an area of about 50 km². Whether on foot or by car, the walks within it are worthwhile wandering through this maze of palm, olive and almond trees. These fruit trees are located next to houses, some of which date back to the 18th century, thus testifying to the history that was played out in these places.
Its ochre-colored cliffs and its burnt lands with red matt, against which the overwhelming summer heat hits, explain why the Dades Valley is a privileged tourist destination. These gorges, which are about 170 km long, are also famous for their famous “monkey fingers”, impressive cliffs whose shapes, which are indeed the fruit of nature, seem to have been carefully carved into the rock.
Ouarzazate, Hollywood of Africa:
In Ouarzazate, it’s first of all the color that appeals to me. The color of the raw earth, of these adobe houses, the color of Morocco. A soft and warm hue like this city. Shades of orange ochre and pinkish ochre typical of arid soils and deserts. Then, you will be surprised by the soothing atmosphere of the city. It reigns an Olympian calm. Lulled by this benevolent aura, you can wander through the maze of the old town to meet the locals.
There are many things to see in Ouarzazate. The best of them all is to get a ticket to the Atlas studios there, Oscar studio is the most visited. There, you can find mostly all the information about the movie-making in the Kasbah of Touarirt and Ait Benhaddou. Also, you will find materials for making movies. For instance, you can find dolls, cars made out of wood… Actually, if you have been to Hollywood in LA, we don’t recommend you go there as it doesn’t worth it that much.
Second, Ouarzazate is famous for the Kasbah of Taourirt, it was made by the family of Thami Glaoui. This Kasbah is a mysterious maze with 300 rooms. It requires a ticket to explore. Therefore, it’s better to visit the Kasbah of Ait Benhaddou instead.
Ait Benhaddou Kasbah:
The Kasbah is located 30 km northwest of the city of Ouarzazate, in the rural commune of Aït Zineb, in the Amrezgane circle. It is erected on the southern flank of a hill called Taourirt-n-Ighrem, on the eastern bank of the Assif Marghen, in the valley of the Ounila, which was a place of passage for commercial caravans, linking the Saharan regions and the Mediterranean coast.
The geographical location of the kasbah on a major trade route leaves it an object of covetousness of different dynasties that succeeded one another in Morocco. The oral chronicle suggests that the first construction in the Kasbah is Ighrem n-Iqddarn, the place where a Jewish Berber princess presided who ruled until the Sous (note the similarity with al Kahina?).
A document left by the notary of the village reports that the first nucleus of the Kasbah would have been founded by the Ait Aissa or Hmad in the XIIth century, a tribute that will join the general “Ben Haddou” appointed by the Almoravid sultan Youssef Ibn Tachefine, to establish peace in this region, known for its caravan activities and tribal conflicts. Oral tradition also suggests that the region was occupied by the Portuguese, but the oldest remains in the kasbah do not, according to studies, the date back beyond the 17th century.
Ait Benhaddou in the 19th:
During the nineteenth century, the kasbah played an inescapable role in the representation of Makhsen power in the region and was the residence of a succession of high notables. Sultan El Hassan 1st passed through the region to reach Telouat and then Marrakech during his last Harka 1893-1894. He appointed Pasha El Glaoui governor of the south. The Ait Ouaouzguit fought the latter with the exception of the Ait Ben Haddou who had alliances with the Glaoua.
Under the French protectorate, the Kasbah was easily occupied following the support of Thami Glaoui, the new Pasha of Marrakech, and the Ait Ben Haddou was obliged to confine themselves to the kasbah throughout the colonial period, hence its nickname “the Mont Saint Michel des Chleuhs”. It is only with independence that the inhabitants built the new village on the west bank of the Assif Marghen.
Marrakech, the red city:
The Almoravids founded Marrakech in 1062. The city became a religious center with mosques and Koranic schools and a commercial center for the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. Ramparts, palaces, and especially the irrigation system coming down from the mountains is created.
Culturally and architecturally, the Andalusian influence of Cordoba and Seville mixes with the designs of the desert peoples, nomads, and people from the southern Sahara.
Marrakech, capital of the Almoravids, reigns from the banks of the Senegal River in central Spain and from the Atlantic coast to Algiers.
Marrakech and Almohades:
The Almohads took the city in 1147. At the end of a siege the Almoravids are massacred, the survivors flee to the Balearic Islands. The monuments are destroyed.
Descending from the High Atlas Mountains, the Almohads practice orthodox Islam. They build the emblematic Mosque of the city: The Koutoubia (1199). Its twin from the imagination of the same architect as the Giralda in Seville. The irrigation system is perfected.
Then the death of a sultan opens to an uncertain succession and a sure bazaar. Marrakech declines and Fez becomes the capital of the kingdom.
The Golden Age of Marrakech:
At the beginning of the 16th century, under the Saadian dynasty, Marrakech experienced a new golden age.
The capital of sumptuous palaces are built: The El Badi Palace (1578) is a replica of the Alhambra Palace in Granada. Monuments are renovated such as the Medersa Ben Youssef.
Under the Saadian dynasty, Marrakech regained its position as a crossroads between the caravan routes of the Maghreb, the Mediterranean, and sub-Saharan Africa.
In the 20th century:
At the beginning of 1900, Marrakech experienced a troubled period between tribal revolts and European intrigues.
In 1912, France imposes its protectorate on Morocco. The colonial period will see the construction of the western district of Guéliz in the northwest of the Medina of Marrakech.
In 1956, on Morocco’s eastern borders, the Algerian War of Independence broke out. Morocco obtains its independence. Moroccan Jews are worried about France’s disengagement from Morocco and decide to join Israel, France or the United States.
At the end of the 6-day war in 1967, the movement accelerates encouraged by the monarchy and the Israeli government. From 270 000 Jews, only 3000 remain today.
As in Eastern Europe after the Second World War, the face of Morocco is profoundly changed. It is the end of cohabitation that goes back more than 500 years.
Majorelle in the 1920s, Yves Saint Laurent almost 60 years later… Many French and foreign artists settled in Marrakech in the 20th century. Others followed, bought and renovated the riads and gardens (see the Secret Garden) and helped revitalize cultural life.