A stop at Volubilis in Morocco, near Meknes, is essential to admire beautiful mosaics under the unprotected sun, wind and many tourists who tread. Volubilis is one of the most important Roman ruins in Morocco, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One tip, though: It is best, if the visit is made in the summer, to reach the end of the afternoon in order to fully enjoy the site as it is not shaded and there is an overwhelming heat.
The time required for a complete visit of this site is two hours. The many vestiges make it possible to imagine the grandeur and the beauty of the place, which had its hour of glory around the year 40 BC thanks to the Romans.
When visiting Marrakech, a short tour to the souks is required. Whether you are looking for a bargain or simply for the pleasure of the eyes, do not miss such a visit. The souks of Marrakech are definitely a big part of the largest and most beautiful traditional markets in Morocco, there are everything: crafts, cooking, pottery, jewelry, spices, slippers, clothing and much more.
To get to the souks of Marrakech is simple, just go to the famous place Djema El Fna and venture into the medina. The history of the souks is old. These places were favored by the caravaneers who traded their goods before facing the Moroccan desert. The souks – meaning markets in French – quickly became a place of regroupment of the populations which began to be implanted around its last ones.
The unifying force of these improvised markets is therefore authentic! Although the souks have lost their artisanal wealth by the arrival of many products from China, some craftsmen (carpenters, ferroniers etc.) continue to use their traditional knowledge.
In your excursion Marrakech, the activity of the souks mobilizes more than 40 000 craftsmen, specialists in many fields, this so simple and sometimes even is amazing! In all, 18 souks are identified by passing from souk babouches, spice souk, by the souk of carpets, a maze whose goal is to get lost to move only to the rhythm of scents, colors and noises!
A confrontation with the Berber civilization that gives life to these places and attracts you among them. Quickly, you will lose your head among the different products. The solution to the crush? The negotiation, a real game then settles between the Moroccans and the tourists!
As you go, you will go from one souk to another; each one of them is destined for a type of commodity.
Among the most interesting souks to discover you have:
Smata souk (babouches)
The souk Hajjarine (stonecutter souk)
The Chkairia souk (leather bags)
The jewelry souk (gold and silver souk)
The souk El Hadaddine (blacksmiths)
The souk Zrabi (carpets)
To visit the souks of Marrakech the right way, all the pleasure lies in wandering in its narrow streets. Marrakchis are also very available to show you the paths.
THE DJEMAA EL FNA SQUARE IN MARRAKECH
Located in the heart of the Medina, the Djemaa-el-Fna square is both the geographic center of Marrakech and the essential socio-cultural meeting place of the city. It is dominated by the minaret of the Quessabine mosque, between the souk and the Kotoubia minaret. The Djema-el-Fna has not always been the lively and warm place it is today. Indeed, its name in Arabic means “assembly of the dead”, it was the place of strike where the criminals were executed and their heads nailed to the walls and exposed to the eyes of the passers-by.
This is where you get to the souks with its narrow streets lined with small various stalls, public writers, marabouts, sellers of grigris and even tooth pullers. Around the square, you will have access to various out-of-the-ordinary services such as clairvoyant consultations or magic recipes.
During the day, snake-charmers, henna tattoo artists and also monkey owners who offer to take pictures with their animals rub elbows with jugglers, musicians and acrobats. Even amateur boxing matches take place sometimes! Also, you absolutely have to visit the many terraces lining the square to enjoy a few moments of cool head space and to taste delicious gazelle horns accompanied by a mint tea.
One of the best hours to admire the place from these cornices is really when the sun begins to set, and where the stalls activate their furnaces to prepare the evening meal. The very nice looking smoke, the tamtams, and the glow of the loupiotes that illuminate the sentry boxes are very well suited to the ritual photo.
At night, the place deserted by the acrobats is overtaken by street restaurants that have delicious typical Moroccan dishes for cheap prices for the whole family. In the evenings, you can enjoy traditional and unpretentious meals at unbeatable prices.