Pick up your hire car and prepare for magical Marrakech to assault your senses and blow your mind.
"We're the most exotic city in the world, a cacophony of sights, smells and experiences, with the best markets and the best food you're ever likely to come across!"
It's exotic, for sure, and a visit to Marrakech is like a rollercoaster ride through a brightly-coloured world that smells bizarre and tastes amazing. While at first it might seem daunting, it's nothing an open mind can't conquer.
It's hectic. Everything seems to happen in public in Marrakech, from eating dinner to complex dentistry.
The locals are proud of their city and keen to show you round - for a fee! But actually the locals are polite and not nearly as pushy as you might have been led to believe.
It is Africa so don't forget your sun hat. But don't expect to spend much time in your Speedos - too much bare flesh will provoke stern frowns from some locals.
After sunset Djemaa el Fna is thronged with food stalls selling grilled meats, veg, snails and deliciously more-ish harissa soup. Practically the whole city swings by for a snack so it's the perfect place to people watch.
The anything goes vibe of Marrakech has made it a haven for celebs since the 60s. Yves Saint Laurent took this love a step further and had his ashes scattered there.
The bodies of several renowned dignitaries were moved to Marrakech in the 18th century to make the city more attractive to visiting pilgrims. And the visitors just keep on coming.
"I knew the youthfulness of the sixties: Talitha and Paul Getty lying on a starlit terrace in Marrakech, beautiful and damned, and a whole generation assembled as if for eternity where the curtain of the past seemed to lift before an extraordinary future." - fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent
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This expansive space is home to every peddler, performer and pasttime known to man. The name translates as 'place of the dead' but don't worry, it's more circus than cemetery.
There is guarded car parking in the centre of Marrakech next to the Koutoubia Mosque, about five minutes from Djemaa el Fna. You can park for up to 24 hours for 36DH.
Dominating the city skyline, this 12th-century mosque is a benchmark for Moroccan design. It's closed to non-Muslims but an evening stroll around the perimeter is a real pleasure.
You can either use the car park at the Golden Tulip Faran Hotel or use the guarded parking in Boulevard Mohammed V. They charge 25DH for a maximum of 25 hours stay.
Think of the most bustling market you've ever been to, treble it and you're not even close. Marrakech's souk is a rambling warren of stalls selling everything from luxurious leathers to exotic spices.
Park your hire car at Boulevard Mohammed for 25DH for a maximum of 25 hours stay.
It may sound like somewhere from a Bond film but this ruined palace is of royal proportions. The name translates as 'incomparable palace' and it's not hard to see why.
No on-site parking is available. But you can use any of the guarded parking nearby which includes Boulevard Mohammed V, by the Koutoubia mosque or any of the hotels on Boulevard Mohammed V.
It's a long way to go just to have a bath but having your back scrubbed while sipping mint tea surrounded by tropical birds beats your average dip in the tub.
There is on-site free parking at the Spa but you have to tip the guards.
High up in the Atlas Mountains this ancient mosque welcomes Muslims and non-believers alike. Offering a rare peek into a historic way of life it's definitely worth the 60-mile drive.
Head south out of Marrakech towards Tahnaout and travel across the Tizi n'Test pass until reaching the small village of Tin Mal. It is a two-hour drive from Marrakech.
These spectacular waterfalls lie 90 miles from Marrakesh but draw visitors from 10 times that distance. Gaze at the impressive drop or bathe in the nearby lagoon.
Head out on the N8 towards and join the 208, continue north west towards Sahrij and Ait Dahmane. You will reach Ouzoud in just over two hours.
Contrary to popular opinion there is snow in Africa every Christmas and the ski slopes around Oukaimeden provide the perfect winter break - great slopes, great views and delicious Moroccan cuisine.
Head south on the 203 and then join the S513 turn right onto the 6035. It should take just under an hour to reach Oukaimeden.
This pretty village in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains is the perfect base for a bit of exploring. Whether you're on foot, bike or horseback you'll find peace and tranquillity in abundance.
Leave Marrakech on the 203, stay on that road for around 40 miles, until you reach Ouirgane. It should take just under an hour.
" Watch out for the narrow roads around the medina. At night, it is legal to drive without headlights as long as you are not going at more then 12mph, so beware of slow moving vehicles! Lastly, it is illegal to drive with any amount of alcohol in your blood and there are traffic police who look out for drunk drivers, so be aware. "