"With its deep Islamic faith but parallel belief in everyday magic, a Medina organised around craft guilds and medieval methods, doggedly independent mountain tribesmen and ancient cultures, Marrakech is the city for which the word exotic was invented. There is no way so close to Europe that gives such a strong sense of foreigness and mystery as Marrakech does." Marrakech, Time Out [1 904978 45 2]

"Marrakech: the word strikes the ear like a hot desert wind rushing through palm groves. Surrounded by adobe ramparts, set in an oasis, a short flight from Europe, by rights this Red City should only exist in a fevered sultana's dreams and, in a sense, Marrakech is a city built on pure imagination. Above all the Marrakchis are bahja - joyful, vivid, living for the good times." Marrakech, Footprint [9 781903 471814]

"Despite 50 years of French occupation and a brisk trade in tourism, the city has maintained a sense of mystery and old world charm not found anywhere else so close to Europe. The streets remain relatively unchanged, providing a rare insight into the lives of ordinary Marrakechi and catapulting visitors back in time." A Hedonists Guide to Marrakech, Hg2, [978 1 905428 06 9]

"Marrakesh has always been something of a pleasure city, a marketplace where the southern tribesmen and Berber villagers bring their goods, spend their money and find entertainment. For visitors it's an enduring fantasy a city of immense beauty, low, red and tent-like before a great shaft of mountains and immediately exciting. For most travellers, Marrakesh is the first experience of the south of Morocco and its generally more laid-back atmosphere and attitudes. Marrakshis are renowned for their warmth and sociability, their humour and directness and there seems a greater openness too, with women enjoying a more public presence, often riding mopeds around the streets."" The Rough Guide to Morocco, [1 84353 313 8]

Sights and sounds

The route from the nearest main derb (street) to Riad Najmati, passing a couple of local groceries.

Less than an hour from Marrakesh you can be well into the Atlas Mountains.