In theory, if EasyJet flies somewhere, it’s likely to be bastardised by “stag” parties, screaming children who turn out not to like holidays as much as they like playing in the paddling pool in the garden (quelle surprise) and suchlike. Similarly, your trip is likely to be dominated by the stresses of working out whether you have printed your boarding pass, logged in online, and provided EasyJet with 2000 pieces of irrelevant information about yourself for a flight that is destined to be delayed. Marrakech, therefore, has potential to be disastrous. It offers all of the things that holiday makers seek with relentless determination: sun, culture, and – even better – it’s now only three hours away from London. It is an escape that can be accessed at the click of a mouse. Yet this beautiful is still abundant with charm, and well worth a visit.


Marrakech lies in the shadows of the Atlas mountains, where it houses French, Arab and Berber cultures, making it feel both romantic and bohemian. It is unusual in that three cultures and histories are all so prominent and yet so amalgamated at the same time. Weather-wise, Marrakech has something that we lack in Britain: the sunshine. The best time of year to go is spring or autumn, when temperatures allow for meandering through the souks (always hire a tour guide to direct you) as well as sun-worship. In terms of things to see, Marrakech has enough to whet the appetite of a culture vulture, but not so much that Museum Leg kicks in. The Bahia Palace, Saadian Tombs, Majorelle Gardens are all worth seeing and can be ticked off fairly quickly.


The city is not lacking in luxurious options for accommodation. The Four Seasons is situated away from the hustle and bustle of the city, in amongst verdant gardens of palm trees abundant in songbirds. The hotel successfully straddles the balance of being both family friendly and family unfriendly (ie, you don’t have to hang around with your children if you don’t particularly want to) meaning that you are at liberty to enjoy the excellent sports and spa facilities. Incidentally, the spa is open to all guests with the possibility of booking extra treatments and favour products that are said to be favoured by the current King Mohammed VI. Room rates start at £290 per night excluding taxes.


Tourists flock to the Jemaa el-Fnaa Square for street food which is very cheap (about £8 per person for a substantial meal) and quite good – an authentic experience, so to speak. Probably best for the first night while you settle in to the surroundings. For a less authentic but rather more gourmet experience, try Al Fassia. It’s located a ten minute car journey from the centre with fantastically faux-sumptuous ugly decor but the food is properly delicious. As well as the obvious (and sensible) choices of tagines, the pastilla au pigeon is an unusual delicacy (a meat pie which is then doused in sugar) and a very delicious one. Alcohol is hard to come by and overpriced – best avoided unless you’re really thirsty (it happens to the best of us).