Top 7 active honeymoon experiences in Marrakech

Top 7 active honeymoon experiences in Marrakech

From hot air ballooning to hiking, luxury boutique owners Chic Riads suggest their top active experiences in magical Marrakech

It doesn't have to be all about shopping in the souk and steamy hammams in Marrakech - although we do recommend these, and probably in that order! Morocco's rose-pink city also offers a whole host of fun activities for honeymooners and those on romantic getaways to enjoy.

1. Horse riding

The green belt of the Palmerie in Marrackech is well known as the home of golf courses and large, sprawling resorts. Less known, are the curiously named 'Cavaliers of the Atlas', who offer riders of all abilities the chance to head out on a beautiful thorough-bred Arab or Anglo-Arab Sidi-Berni horse. Typical rides are good value and pass by traditional farming settlements and villages. Outings can last anything from an hour to a whole day, and children can join in too.

2. Getting Active in La Palmeraie

Whether you want to go trekking, play tennis, try a camel ride or simply lounge by a pool, the best place to do this (easily from Marrakech), is in either the lush Palmeraie, or in the foothills of the famous Atlas Mountains.

We recommend the private estate of Jnane Tamsna, which as well as being set in beautiful gardens, has lots of activities on offer from tennis and yoga to camel rides. The owners take a keen interest in botany (one is an ethno-botanist) and have created a garden oasis. There are also five swimming pools on-site, so there's plenty of room to spread out with a book after a swim.

Find out more: Book a trip with Chic Riads to Jnane Tamsna or explore more options.

3. Hot Air Ballooning

It's hard to beat a hot air balloon ride, early in the morning and preferably at sunrise. To see the Atlas Mountains from above, and to witness the ochre walls of the city disappear below, is a truly romantic experience.  Take a flight with Maroc Montgolfière , who have been offering scenic flights above Marrakech for 27 years. A typical experience lasts for around four hours and begins with a pick-up from the riad. Then, for around one hour, the colours of the city unfold and dozens of photographic opportunities present themselves. Typically, the ride ends with a delicious, local breakfast, in a traditional Moroccan village. This experience truly does create lifetime memories and we thoroughly recommend it.

4. Hiking in the Atlas Mountains

A perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech, Kasbah Angour is hidden away amidst 10 acres of land. Offering sweeping views of the Atlas Mountains in one direction, and the valley leading to Marrakech on the other, this is a truly romantic and relaxing haven. It may only be half an hour's drive away, but Kasbah Angour feels like another world - beautifully quiet and surrounded by nature in all directions. Treks, which include flora and fauna sightings, can be arranged and we think that walking is one of the best ways to gain a real insight into traditional Berber culture.

5. Cooking classes at Riad Ariha

Nearly everyone that visits Marrakech goes home raving about the freshness of the produce and their newly found love for tagines. After being repeatedly asked if we knew about cooking classes, we decided we just had to offer this activity for our guests, in the comfort of one of our Chic Riads: Riad Ariha or Riad Chi Chi.

Khadija, our cook, shows guests how to prepare typical Moroccan dishes, such as Aubergine Salad (a favourite!), Moroccan Salad a variety of tagines - lemon chicken with olives, beef or lamb with prunes and almonds - and a Moroccan dessert. After the class guests then enjoy their freshly-prepared Moroccan meal in the peaceful courtyard or on the roof terrace. A romantic experience, and one that can be taken home too.

Price including all ingredients, for two people, from Dh 400 (approx. £30).

6. Snap Happy at Maison de la Photographie

If you are at all interested in photography, then a visit to Maison de la Photographie, which first opened in April 2009, is a must-do. Since opening, it has been gradually drawing in crowds who are attracted by not only the extensive photography collection inside, but also the fondouk, or caravan boarding house, that it is housed in.

The collection includes 5000 photos and 2000 glass plates that have been collected over a period of almost 14 years, some dating as far back as 1862, and all offer a rare glimpse of Moroccan life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Spread over three floors, take time to soak it all in, as not only are the photos beautiful in their own right, they also serve as a learning tool for Moroccan history.

Don't miss the documentaries, shot by Daniel Chicult in 1957, which are the first colour movies filmed in the High Atlas. And, finally, head up to the terrace on the top floor to chill-out and enjoy the view with some mint tea.

7. Flea Markets

This might not sound romantic, but trust us once you've found a unique and keenly priced souvenir or even a hand-carved door, you'll be glad you visited Bab el Khemis, or Thursday Gate. Open every day, this market is at its busiest on Thursdays and Sundays.

If you are shopping for the home, look out for old, carved doors called rtaj doors, which can be typically found in riads. They work well as pieces of art in their own right, or as actual doors. We also love the beautiful ironwork used as grilles on windows, found in both our riads. Also, mouchroubia - carved wooden screens - can also be found for a good price, and then there are carpets, art deco pieces from the French colonial period and African artefacts. You may leave with your wallet considerably lighter!

Extra info:

Chic Riads is run by Barbara and Beryl, owners of Riad Ariha and Riad Chi Chi, two boutique riads in the heart of Marrakech. Keen to offer guests a boutique experience with the added promise of authenticity, both have the same aim: to allow guests to have a "real" experience and enjoy a more low-key, affordable kind of luxury in properties that have a strong commitment to conservation and responsible tourism.

Follow on Twitter: @RiadChiChi  and @MarrakchiAriha.

Save on your honeymoon!

To stay with us, take advantage of our 20% discount offer in September, 3 nights minimum stay, secure booking here: http://www.globekey.com/reserve.php?grp=riadariha

 

Image: Dreamstime

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