Whether you’re in Marrakech for a weekend or a few weeks, a visit to the Menara Gardens is an absolute must. This tranquil public garden has been a part of city life since the 12th century and continues to be a favourite haunt for locals and visitors looking to escape the hubbub and bustle.
What’s So Special About the Menara Gardens?
The gardens were built around 1130, during the reign of Abd al-Mu’min, who intended them to be an oasis that could be used by city residents to both grow crops and shelter in the heat of the day.
The grounds, which span more than 100 hectares, centre around a huge artificial lake, full of huge carp, created where several canal systems meet and are used to feed the surrounding gardens and orchards. According to local folklore, the water from the lake brings ‘baraka’ or good luck, so you will sometimes see locals filling pitchers here. We don’t recommend drinking the water, however!
As you stroll through the gardens you will see orchards of palm and olive trees as well as numerous fruit trees. Take a moment to savour the smell of the orange blossoms, which give the gardens a delicate scent.
Get your camera primed for the view of the green-roofed pavilion that overlooks the lake. The current building was constructed during the 19th century for use by the sultan and his family and is thought to rest on the remains of an older structure dating from the 16th century. With the backdrop of the majestic Atlas Mountains behind, this is one of the most iconic views in Marrakech.
When is the Best Time to Visit?
As with so many attractions in Marrakech, we always recommend sightseeing either first thing in the morning or later in the afternoon when the sun is not so fierce, on account of the Moroccan climate. The garden is open all year round. In the spring and winter, you will get a clear view of the Atlas Mountains from the lake. At other times the green, pink and black of the olive trees are almost as eye-catching.
When is the Menara Gardens Open?
The gardens open daily from 8am to 7pm.
How Much is Entry?
The best part – there is no admission fee. This, coupled with the size of the gardens, makes them a wonderful spot to enjoy an iconic Marrakech landmark without the need to spend any money.
How Do I Get There?
Located two and a half miles from the riad in the historic Medina & outside the city walls, the Menara Gardens are on Les Jardin de La, Marrakech 40000. The entrance is at the end of Avenue Prince Moulay Rachid.
The easiest way to get there is by taxi, which takes just over five minutes. We will be happy to arrange one for you.