Magical Morocco 2012
May 8-17th, 2012

Monday 14 May 2012 MARRAKECH

After breakfast, we will journey out for our guided tour of the second imperial city and its rich monuments such as the Koutoubia minaret, a symbol for the city for 800 years, the Bahia palace with its lovely courtyards and late Moorish architecture, the remains of El Badia palace of the 16th century and the Saadian tombs with the sumptuous royal pavilion.

Koutoubia Gardens - The Koutoubia is to Marrakech what the Statue of Liberty is to New York and the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. Nearly seventy metres in height and visible for miles afar, the Koutoubia is a landmark that dominates the whole of Marrakech, rising from the lowrise buildings of the old town and the plains of the north. Originally built by the early Almohads, this is the oldest and most complete of three great Almohad towers – the other two are the Hassan Tower in Rabat and the Giralda in Seville. Koutoubia Mosque, the most perfect minaret in Morocco and a great piece of Almohad architecture. Built in the 12th Century.

Bahia Palace to put some charm on the visitor’s senses! Originally built in 1867 by Si Moussa, a grand vizier of Moulay Hassan, it was enlarged by his son Bou Ahmed, who added a mosque, a hammam and a garden. The Bahia Palace was recently restored to its former glory and splendour, although some work is still yet to be carried out. You enter the Palace through an arcade courtyard that leads to a small riad beautifully decorated in cedarwood and carved stucco. In the riad itself, there are three adjoining salons leading through elaborate reception halls, pleasure gardens, living quarters and numerous secluded courtyards. You can only visit part of the Palace, as some of it is still used by the royal family. The Bahia palace and gardens were built in the late 19th century, intended to be the greatest palace of its time. The name means 'brilliance'. As in other buildings of the period in other countries, it was intended to capture the essence of the nation’s style: Moroccan and Islamic. There is a 2 acre garden with rooms opening onto courtyards.

Saadian Tombs

The mausoleum comprises the corpses of about sixty members of the Saadi Dynasty that originated in the valley of the Draa River. Among the graves are those of Ahmad al-Mansur and his family. The building is composed of three rooms. The most famous is the room with the twelve columns. This room contains the grave of the son of the sultan's son Ahmad al-Mansur. The stele is in finely worked cedar wood and stucco work. The monuments are made of Italian Carrera marble.
Outside the building is a garden with beautiful tall date palms and the graves of soldiers and servants.

El Badi Palace - meaning the incomparable palace consists nowadays of the remnants of a palace built by the Saadian King Ahmad al-Mansur in 1578. The original building is thought to have consisted of 360 rooms, a courtyard of 135 m by 110 m and a pool of 90 m by 20 m, richly decorated with Italian marbles and large amounts of gold imported from Sudan. The palace, which took approximately 25 years to construct, was torn apart by the Alaouite Sultan Moulay Ismail who used the materials to decorate his own palace in Meknes. The design of the palace is influenced by the Alhambra in Granada

Tuesday 15 May 2012 MARRAKECH

Day at leisure

Many went out this day with Omari our guide to visit other sights and just explore. Others enjoyed the time to just laze around the pool.
Overnight Sofitel Marrakech  


  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row