Marrakech has been on my bucket list for ages now, so for my birthday this year I was determined to make it out there. With three friends I booked flights for a long weekend away, but as luck would have it the weather was not on our side.
After weeks of sunshine and great weather, the weekend we went happened to be the coldest and rainiest they had experienced in a while. It rained for most of the trip but we made the most of it and still had a fabulous time!
Read on for some top tips on how to brave the city when the rain clouds come…
1. Embrace The Storm
Stormy weather or not, Marrakech can be a whirlwind of sight, sounds and experiences. Take the good with the bad and you’ll be sure to have a blast!
After a four-hour flight we touched down in Menara Airport, and no amount of immigration forms or eternal queues could dull our excitement.
We had organized an airport transfer and the lovely Abdul was waiting for us outside ready to take us to our Riad. Now let me let you in on a little secret: the driving is CRAZY in Marrakech!! C.R.A.Z.Y. It was only a 15 minute drive to the Medina where we were staying, but would you believe we had an accident in that time?!
Everyone seemed to be hurtling down the roads with minimal care, and our driver was no exception. Abdul was clearly very keen to get us home in record-time so was flying down the highway at great speed. Unfortunately not everyone got the memo: an old cart was ambling down the middle of the road and seemed to take Abdul by surprise. A last minute swerve saved us from running into him completely and thankfully no one was hurt…well except the wing mirror of our mini-bus. Welcome to Marrakech, ay?
2. Get “Mint-Tea” Fresh
There’s nothing like a nice cup of tea to warm you up on a dreary day, and that’s no different in Marrakech. Replace the Earl Grey with fresh mint tea and you’re all set…
As we arrived at the Riad we were warmly welcomed with cups of mint tea in a cosy “salon”. With the temperatures dropping outside, it was exactly what we needed to feel right at home.
We soon learned that the hospitality in Marrakech is unrivalled. We were offered cups of fresh mint tea just about everywhere we went. I must have had about 3 million cups out there, I’m now obsessed with the stuff!
3. Shop Till You (Rain) Drop
Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you can’t shop! I would definitely recommend a trip to Jemaa el Fna square and the souk, regardless of the weather.
We donned our warmest gear and headed out to explore the medina, thankfully there were many covered sections so all we had to do was focus on not stepping in puddles and not slipping in the mud!
Sellers called to us from their colorful shops and stalls trying to entice us to buy.
We couldn’t resist one’s seller’s charm and found ourselves sitting drinking mint tea with (another) Abdul, while he showed off his wares.
We walked on to Jemaa el Fna square, which was bustling with activity. Hawkers selling sunglasses, fruit sellers, snake charmers, some dude with a monkey…all sorts! The rain would not stop us or them, bring on Marrakech!
4. If You Can’t Beat ’em, Join ’em
If you’re going to get caught in the rain anyway, you may as well take the plunge and treat yourself to proper bath…at a Moroccan hammam
A relaxing spa day was just what we needed. Led by one of our hosts from the hotel, we made our way through the maze of alleyways until we got to the Mythic Oriental Spa.
A traditional hammam experience followed by a relaxing massage – we didn’t want to leave!
If you’ve never been to a hammam, or are wondering what the hell I’m talking about, all you need to know is that it’s an experience to remember! I’ll do a post all about it very soon – I’ll just say we were in for a surprise…
5. Party Like You Just Don’t Care
…that it’s raining. Don’t let the rain stop you, there are still fabulous nights out to be had!
One of the hosts at the Riad had recommended a restaurant called Jad Mahal . As we arrived you could tell it was “one of those places”. Everyone was dressed to the nines and it was choc full of beautiful people. Regardless, the vibe was absolutely great and food was delicious!
Their menu is fairly international with French, Thai, and traditional Moroccan cuisine. I opted for Thai food and it was phenomenal! Literally one of the best meals I have had in a while.
What made the evening though was the entertainment. Performers glided through the large rooms, dancing from table to table to the delight of us diners. Cabaret, belly dancing, fire tricks, they had it all!
Then as dinner wound down, the entertainment moved to the stage area where they had a live band singing everything from Journey to Bruno Mars! Better believe we danced our little hearts out, you would never know it was pouring with rain outside.
Once it was time to go home (at Lord-knows-what-time-of-the-morning), we simply hiked up our dresses, covered our heads and legged it from the door to the waiting taxi. No harm done!
Besides, we all need a little adventure in the rain every now and then…