The souks in Marrakech (Visit Morocco – Moroccan National Tourist Office)
It might not seem like the most obvious place to whisk off the kids for a break but you’ll be surprised at just how easy, thrilling and fun a family vacation in Marrakech can be. In addition to the many attractions, sights and kid-friendly hotels, the sheer exoticism of the place will have the entire family bewitched!
Want to stay out of town? Try the brand new luxurious all suites Royal Palm Domaine Hotel with its stunning kids club and never-ending swimming pool. Prefer to be close to the action? Check into the legendary La Mamounia or the chic Four Seasons Resort where luxury rhymes with family.
Go Green in the Gardens
Jardin Majorelle (Flickr: Anna & Michal)
The Red City’s gardens are the perfect oasis in which to relax, take in the scenery and also find some much needed shade! Amongst the city’s loveliest gardens are the famous Jardin Majorelle with its bamboo forest, cactus collection and beautiful bright blue buildings, once owned by Yves St Laurent. Another must see? The luxury hotel La Mamounia’s manicured green area, overflowing with hot pink bougainvillea, more cactus in many shapes and sizes and even the odd turtle hiding in the lily pads.
Cool Camel Cruising
Palmeraie (Flickr: carpentier_patrick)
A camel ride is almost compulsory in Morocco! A popular area to take a ride is the Palmeraie (Palm Grove) out of town. If you prefer a quieter area, head to lake Lalla Takerkoust at the foot of the Atlas Mountains with a tour operator such as Epic Morocco. The friendly guide will take you to a small farm, which hosts trips without the crowds. Surprisingly relaxing, cruising on camelback is a fun day out for the kids, ending with a cup of mint tea under the tent, Berber style!
Explore the Medina
Sunset on Place Jemaa El Fna (Visit Morocco – Moroccan National Tourist Office)
The chaos of the Medina will have everyone fascinated. Just mind the scooters, donkeys, humans and carts overflowing with goods that jostle along the tiny, winding streets and don’t get lost! Oozing with charm and character, it’s a must see for the whole family. Start with famous central square, Place Jemaa el Fna, home to snake charmers; and head into the magical souks where you’ll enter a literal Aladdin’s cave of wonders and find anything from wooden goods and leatherwear to souvenirs, glass and lanterns, spices and much, much more!
Enjoy the Food…
Tajine (Flickr: Kevin Gessner)
Moroccan cuisine is very kid (and adult) friendly. What’s not to love about the fragrant, hearty couscous with tasty sausages, chicken and stewed vegetables, or the simple yet flavorsome grilled meat skewers? Another great dish to try is the slow-cooked tagine, like the sweet plum and chicken tagine. Delicious! Freshly squeezed orange juice is also a local specialty, best sampled with just baked Moroccan pancakes slathered in honey.
Get up close to the critters
Whether you meet and greet the turtles at the Domaine Royal Palm’s jaw-droppingly beautiful kids’ club, follow a stray kitten through the maze of the Medina, or get up close to a camel, meeting Marrakech’s cool creatures is a must. You can also, of course, get your picture taken with a snake around your neck, if you fancy that kind of thing, or give the bizarre yet rather friendly chameleons in the market (in the herborist’s section) a stroke!
Rowena Carr-Allinson contributed this to MiniTime. Since the arrival of her son in 2011, she has taken him everywhere from Bangkok to NYC, writing family friendly articles en route.
More from MiniTime: