MARRAKECH WITH KIDS
For this third article, I take you to Marrakech where I had the chance to spend the Easter holidays with my family.
What about Morocco? the people are so nice and welcoming, especially with children, it smells of orange blossom, everything is beautiful and tasteful, and the food is friendly and generous. Before leaving somewhere I always do research by typing "good addresses ..." and I try to anticipate reservations.
On the Internet you will find plenty of nice addresses.
My best advice is to prepare occupations for the children.
The base: a kit of markers and a cardboard sleeve with a packet of white sheets. Then for us the pleasure of the trip begins at the relay H where the children have the right to choose books.
Esmée (4 years old) took 2 large coloring books, and Roméo (8 years old) chose the last volume of the comic strip Emile and Margaux, and a special edition on endangered animals.
I made my best purchase: the book Children's Morocco. I did not know this series and I found that it was really good. It is an illustrated guide to Morocco with anecdotes and games. It's fun and it allows children to have an idea of what they are going to discover.
We spent two nights in the Medina to walk around and visit, then five nights in the Palmeraie to be quieter.
I also wanted us to sleep one night in the Agafay desert which is about 1 hour from Marrakech, but all the camps I had spotted were full (la Pause, beetle, Oxygen).
In the medina there are plenty of magnificent riads but few have family rooms. Some are reserved for adults only.
So we stayed at riad Amber and spices, well placed, very cute, with a beautiful decor and a great roof top.
The first day, we took the children to the place of spices and the souk, we then had lunch at L'What, which stands out in all the good addresses in Marrakech and rightly so. The restaurant is on a roof top, it's delicious and very decorative. And there, sipping an iced tea and admiring the view, the zellige, the jars etc. I was very happy to have brought coloring books and books for the children;).
In the afternoon we went to Secret garden, which is a beautiful botanical garden, lush and exotic. It was for me the alternative to Majorelle Garden that I had already visited (beautiful but there are so many people that it spoils the visit).
In the evening we had dinner at Shabi Shabi, a restaurant run exclusively by women. It is very beautiful and delicious.
When you travel with children, you certainly have to occupy them during aperitifs and restaurants, but you also have to adapt to their characters.
Esme loved the souk, she wanted to buy bracelets, baskets, get henna tattoos...all of it.
Romeo told us the first evening that he hated Marrakech and that he wanted to come home. By digging we understood that the crowd and the mopeds everywhere had stressed him and, oddly, he had been a little shocked by the negotiations in the souk. It made him very uncomfortable.
So on the second day we went to the Palmeraie. We stayed at the hotel the two towers.
There are large family rooms and the setting is soothing: a large garden, trees everywhere, a huge vegetable patch, a few goats, and ponds everywhere with lots of turtles and frogs. Romeo didn't want to leave the hotel anymore and he spent a large part of his vacation watching the turtles.
During the week we were at Museum of Confluences Dar el Bacha, it is a magnificent palace with fountains, moucharabiehs, orange trees.
I'm not sure if the children liked this visit or if it's a parents thing to want to show them things. They played Wolf in the Palace garden and had a good time, that's the main thing.
We also had lunch at family which is one of my favorite addresses. It's a super good and fresh vegetarian restaurant, in a small garden with trees. Decoration, dishes, we want to buy everything... I was satisfied with the recipe book:)
Finally, we wanted to go see the sunset and have dinner in the Agafay desert. We hadn't booked in advance so we went where there was room, at the White Camel.
It's really exotic this rocky and desert landscape. We went for a camel ride, but at 6 p.m. it was still way too hot, we should have done it later.
The dinner setting was quite magical (candles and braziers) but there was a private party in a big tent and it's a shame to hear electro music when you're in the desert.
So much for the story of our week in Marrakech. We gave up the idea of going to the Djema el Fna square or going back to the medina to spare our Romeo;)
I hope it will make you want to discover (or rediscover) Marrakech and that you can draw some ideas from it!