How to get there. Morocco has 10 international airports. Marrakech is located 240 km south of Casablanca. Marrakech is also served by major airlines. The best connection is through Paris. There are many direct flights served e.g. by Air France, Royal Air Moroc and British Airways. The road system is good and under constant review.
From Casablanca. Flights from Europe to Casablanca or Marrakech cost about 300-500 EUR. From Casablanca it is possible to get to Marrakech by flight (20-30 minutes), cost about 100-120 EUR. There is also the possibility to reach Marrakech from Casablanca airport by train via Casablanca. It is advised to check the connections because the waiting time at the airport is often 2-4 hours.
From Marrakech airport. The conference travel agency offers transfers from the Marrakech Airport to the hotels by car or minivan (50 MAD one way and 100 MAD return).
Morocco. The Kingdom of Morocco, at the conjunction of Africa and Europe, is the most occidental of the Maghreb states – an open gateway between two worlds and two cultures. Morocco covers the total area of 710,000 sq km reaching from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. On one hand by its geographical position, on the other hand by its home and foreign policy, Morocco is a land of forthrightness.
It is an Islamic country rich in mystique, myth and reality. Cities like Tangier, Casablanca, Fez and above all Marrakech combine myth and reality. They have been, for good reason, mythologized. The population is about 30 million out of which about one million live in Rabat, the capital of the country, and about 5 million in the greater Casablanca, the commercial and business centre. 55 per cent of the population are Arabs and 44 per cent Berbers. 99 per cent of population is Muslim, but the cultural climate is tolerant towards other religions. The current reign of Morocco is King Mohammed VI.
The country’s prime produce is leather – said to be the softest in the world. Major industries are agriculture, manufacturing, fishing and tourism. The traveller will find open-air markets throughout the country full with rugs, woodwork, and jewellery.
Marrakech. The town was founded May 7, 1070 and in a less than half a century, it became the capital of a vast empire covering the Maghreb and Muslim Spain under the reign of one of Islam’s most brilliant and original civilizations. The ancient capital of Morocco – even the name itself given after the city – still preserves great monuments of the magnificent dynasties (Almosravides, Almohades and Saadiens). A vast administrative and residential quarter the Kasbach was built under the dynasty of the Almohades. Marrakech was a centre for intellectual and cultural activities and that time the city also became the epicentre of intensive trade of all provinces of the empire.
Framed by the snowy heights of the Atlas, with rose-colored ramparts and a thousand year old palm grove, Marrakech casts a magic spell. Sumptuous and exuberant, this magical city radiates splendour and mysticism.
Nowadays, under the reign of the Alaouite Dynasty Marrakech is rich in cultural and social events and well known both internationally and in Morocco. Marrakech – the Red City – has succeeded in the architectural heritage of these old dynasties. In Marrakech Andalusian clay is back in fashion, and the Tadlakt, an egg based lime coating, is once again favoured in the new clay villas built by the young Moroccan architects.
The Koutoubia, the book merchants’ mosque, remains one of the most beautiful in Islam. Its elegant minaret, a lacework of rose coloured stones, is almost 69 meters high, has never been restored until March 1999.
The Souk displays marvellous traditional handicrafts over the wide area. The enormous quantity of items makes the choice particularly difficult. It is a pleasure to stroll through these covered alleys the meeting point of people from the Atlas mountains and from the South. The famous market square is part of the World Heritage of UNESCO.
Languages. Arabic and French are official languages but English, Spanish and German are widely spoken.
Climate. Marrakech has a dry and sunny climate all year round. In December the temperature is normally warm even in the evening.
Visas. All visitors require a passport. Citizens of the UK, EU, US, Australia, New Zealand and China do not need visas.
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz , Electrical outlet plugs Type C, E and F.
Currency Dirham. 1 MAD = 0.10 EUR.