Wednesday was our last full day in Marrakech and the weather was looking to be great, so we decided it would be the perfect time to visit the Majorelle Gardens and explore the surrounding French Quarter of the city. Other than seeing the Atlas Mountains, the other thing top of the Marrakech checklist for me was the gardens. I’ve seen so many images of them online and they looked so tranquil and beautiful I just had to visit.
Travel to the French Quarter
Luckily, when we woke up the weather was just as fantastic as predicted, a little too fantastic in fact! It was so warm that we decided to forgo the walk across town and jump in a cheap cab. We wanted to use our energy for enjoying the gardens and the French Quarter, not getting lost again in the city!
Les Jardins Majorelle
The Majorelle gardens have a fascinating history behind them. They were once the home of artist Jacques Majorelle, who commissioned the build of the house. He planted the gardens, exploring his hobby of botany. Yves Saint Laurent discovered the gardens in 1966, and eventually bought them in 1980, restoring and maintaining them.
I was so excited about this visit, and in the glorious weather I couldn’t have been more enchanted.
The gardens themselves were breathtaking; bold yellows and blues dominated all the structural work, like paths and plant pots.
There were stunning water features and a vast array of different greenery and flowers.
It was really busy with people practically queuing for different photo opportunities. This definitely took away from the secret escape, but it was to be expected from such a well known tourist attraction on a lovely day!
Entrance: 50DH (€5)
Hidden in the gardens is a former studio, now converted into a museum about Berber culture. Although small, this museum was so interesting. I love the patterns and colours in Berber architecture, jewellery and fabrics so learning the detail behind these and seeing some ‘traditional’ pieces was fascinating.
Photography wasn’t allowed inside, but take it from me; there was a whole wall displaying hand carved, antique doors. They were intricate and worn with age, but some of the most wonderful pieces of architecture I have ever seen.
Entrance: 25 DH (€2.50)
Lunch in the French Quarter
After we were finished at the gardens, we walked to a nearby restaurant for lunch. The contrast between the Old Town and French Quarter was utterly bizarre… The Old Town was all hustle and bustle, crazy winding souks with different sounds and smells, the crowded market place and a constant feel of pace. The French Quarter almost felt like anywhere in Europe, with a selection of ‘Global’ brands like Adidas overlooking our dining table, modern architecture and a quieter atmosphere. We ate a delicious lunch and hid from the sunshine for a little while before deciding to head back to our hostel.
A market surprise
On our way to find a taxi we walked and found a huge square, and in the middle were a bunch of little white tents. We suspected a market, and went to investigate. We were right!
It seemed like a little Artisan market, with a small selection of stalls. I made my first purchase of the holiday, a decorated kaftan top. Beyond the market were some gardens, which we had a little wander in to soak up the sunshine and even more orange trees, before making our way back to the Old Town. It was a lovely end to our time in the French Quarter.