Morocco truly is an all-year-round destination, and spending Christmas or New Year in Marrakech is extremely popular. Many come to escape the cold and dreary weather of the northern hemisphere or to get away from the commercialism of modern-day Europe.
One of the main attractions of spending Christmas and New Year in Marrakech is the fact that the city is in full swing, even on Christmas day (primarily because it is predominantly a Muslim country). Shops, banks,museums, galleries, the souks and many of the tourist attractions are open on Christmas day and through to New Year.
The city isn’t, however, completely immune to Christmas, and you can still find Christmas church services at the protestant or catholic churches in Gueliz. You’ll also find some Christmas themed menus at some of the international restaurants and there are Christmas decorations in some of the modern boutiques and shopping malls in Gueliz.
The weather in Marrakech during winter is surprisingly warm in the daytime (the temperature averages around 19 °C and you can comfortably walk around in shirt sleeves without a coat). However, the temperature drops significantly at this time of year as soon as the sun goes down, so be prepared with warmer clothing for the evenings.
At the Riad El Zohar all of our rooms are kept warm and toasty in the winter, as are our salons and dining spaces. We have lots of cosy nooks for our guests to relax in and enjoy a drink and read or chat.
As for what to do, it’s business as usual in Marrakech, so visitors can wander around the Medina, enjoy the hustle and bustle of the souks, visit the many attractions, such as the El Bahia Palace and the enchanting Majorelle gardens, and take a stroll around the outside of the impressive minaret at the Koutoubia Mosque.
If you can’t quite give up your Christmas, you can find festive goodies, such as buche de Nôel, a French Christmas cake in some of the bakeries. The lanterns in the souks happen to look beautifully festive even though they aren’t Christmas lamps per se.
If, however, you are truly trying to escape from Europe’s Christmas festivities, Marrakech is the perfect winter destination. Swap your turkey dinner for a tagine and immerse yourself in the exotic sights and sounds of this amazing city.
There’s always the option of combining a few days in Marrakech with a spot of skiing. Oukaimeden, fifty miles east of Marrakech, is Morocco’s most noteworthy ski resort. It’s probably not the place for a 10-day ski holiday, as the snow isn’t reliable, but for most of the winter months there are plenty of opportunities for some great skiing. It’s possible to do a day tour to Oukaimeden from Marrakech.
Of course, Marrakech is the perfect place to shop for unusual gifts for all budgets. It’s a Christmas shopping paradise. From leather products, rugs, ceramics, glasses and lanterns to colourful berber breadbaskets, clothing, babouche slippers and spices (Ras el hanout is a Moroccan favourite), there are plenty of options for one-of-a-kind gifts. If you are away over Christmas it’s the perfect opportunity to buy presents for friends and family.
It may be too late for you to visit us this year, but if you really want an awesome Christmas in 2019, we suggest you book with us early as winter breaks around Christmas and New Year here are very popular. Christmas and New Year are our peak season.
To all of our visitors past, present and future we wish you a wonderful festive season and a fabulous 2019. We hope to see you soon. If you have any questions about the Riad or about visiting Marrakech, please drop us an email or call us and we will be extremely happy to help you.