How on earth are we now reaching the end of 2017? HOW?! I’m sure that I blinked and suddenly we had shot from May to December. 2017 has been a year of very extreme highs and very extreme lows for me but this blog is a happy place used for celebrating the beauty of travel, so I’ll only focus on those nice elements!

Everyone has a “bucket list” of some description, even if you may not call it that. Some people want to own a Ferrari, others want to get their dream job, I on the other hand want to travel to as many corners of the world as physically possible.

This year, I’ve taken fewer trips but they have definitely been more extensive than in previous years. I was flicking through my Instagram photos recently thinking “wow, I’ve done some pretty cool things this year”, so here’s a big old round-up!


The first adventure of the year took Callum and I to Morocco which was particularly exciting as it was my first time on the African continent (little did we know at this point that 2017 would feature two Africa adventures)! We were in Morocco for 5 days and every single day was filled with a different adventure; my favourites being:

  1. Camping under the stars in the Sahara Desert
  2. Riding into the Sahara Desert at sunset on camels
  3. Singing African songs around a bonfire in the Sahara Desert with new found friends
  4. Taking a boat ride under the Ozoud Waterfalls
  5. Exploring the gorgeous tiled palaces and architecture of Marrakech
  6. Getting lost in the sounds, smells and sights of the souks (and trying to resist buying ALL of the gorgeous plates)
  7. Taking lots of Instagram shots in the gorgeous Jardins Marjoelle (the previous home of Yves Saint Laurent)
  8. Driving through the winding roads of the Atlas Mountains enjoying the epic views

Isles of Scilly

Next up, two of my friends and I went to visit another friend who was living in the Isles of Scilly. While many won’t have this trip on their “bucket list”, it was the perfect trip to relax and spend time with some amazing people.

  1. Taking a road trip from the East to the West of the UK with my besties (with lots of singing obviously)
  2. Experience glorious sunshine and clear blue seas which I didn’t think were possible in the UK!
  3. Spend some quality time with three incredible people
  4. For once, taking the time to relax and detox
  5. Eating ALL of the amazing food on the islands


This was our spontaneous trip of the year. With cheap Ryanair flights and a whole bundle of Hilton hotel points at our disposal, we decided to have a quick Summer break to Luxembourg which exceeded all of my expectations!

  1. Managing to book flights and accommodation for a total of £20!
  2. Cycling through the vineyards of the Moselle Valley in the glorious sunshine
  3. Obviously also tasting the wines in the aforementioned vineyards…
  4. Wandering around the picturesque town of Vianden and exploring it’s impressive castle
  5. Exploring Luxembourg City in the height of Summer and somehow avoiding all of the crowds (Luxembourg is a hidden gem)!

South Africa

2017 was the year that I became a Chartered Tax Advisor and no longer had to study whilst working full time. You know what this means? More spare time and more annual leave! I hadn’t taken a holiday longer than a week for 4 years, so this was a real treat and of course, I picked my #1 bucket list destination!

  1. Loving every minute of 2 days on safari in Kruger National Park
  2. Managing to spot every animal possible (including a few rhinos and a leopard which I didn’t think would be possible)!
  3. Road-tripping this stunning country with my #1 travel partner (and developing an unhealthy addiction to the podcast “My dad wrote a porno” during our long drives)!
  4. Exploring SO many gorgeous towns and cities along the Garden Route
  5. Wandering through a forest filled with rescued monkeys
  6. Eating some of the most incredible (and cheap) food
  7. Watching whales in awe while in Hermanus
  8. Facing my fears and zip-lining from mountain to mountain
  9. Falling in love with Cape Town
  10. Taking in the epic views from the top of table mountain
  11. Cramming so much adventure into a jam-packed 2 week itinerary


Of course, this year hasn’t only been filled with travels, here’s some of my favourite things that I’ve got up to in the UK during the course of the year…

  1. Finally taking a trip to the Peak District whilst visiting some amazing extended family.
  2. Revel in the masterpiece that is the Lion King on the West End (and continue to sing “He lives in me” for months afterwards)
  3. Finally experience the West End performance of Aladdin and have it exceed all of my expectations my miles – the Genie in particular!
  4. Pleasing my sweet tooth at the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Afternoon tea at One Aldwych
  5. Helping a childhood American friend re-explore London
  6. Visiting Grace at uni in Portsmouth and having the MOST touristy fun-filled weekend possible!
  7. Having the most Instagram worthy afternoon tea at Sketch!
  8. Meet a whole bunch of new travel blogger friends in Leeds at the Ice Lolly “Blog at the Beach” event (and win a trip to Ibiza)!
  9. Taking a chocolate making class in London (and getting very messy)

Where have you travelled to this year? Has 2017 been fab for you?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.




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Ouzoud FallsIf you are heading to Marrakech and you are looking for a great day trip, Ouzoud Falls would be my first recommendation.

Marrakech is an incredible city, but many find it overwhelming. Ouzoud provides the perfect peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.


Plenty of stalls in the Medina, hostels and hotels offer the opportunity to book excursions from Marrakech. However, we decided to book in advance through IGoMorrocco which I would highly recommend!

The total cost of the tour through IGoMorocco is 25 euros per person (which is cheaper than I saw advertised on stalls in the Medina) and they take a small deposit at the time of booking.

25 euros for an entire day trip to Ouzoud Falls is an absolute steal and completely worth the money.

RELATED: Are you looking for other trips to do from Marrakech city? Check out everything you need to know about a trip to the Sahara Desert here!

The Drive

Atlas Mountain Scenery

We were picked up at 8am and quickly within the gorgeous Moroccan countryside. This was our first taster of life outside the city and boy was it gorgeous (little did we know that we were in for even more of a scenery treat the next day on the way to the Sahara Desert).

I loved passing through tiny rural villages and seeing how the Moroccan people lived their life in the countryside. Tiny villages would appear every so often, miles away from the last with no apparent infrastructure. We passed people (sometimes children) walking along the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.

For much of the journey, I wanted to pull over and ask these people where they were going, what they were doing with their life, where they live. I found myself wanting to know everything about people who were simply getting on with their daily routines. Lets be honest, if you saw someone walking along the side of the M25, you’d question their sanity, but these people appeared to be so content.

RELATED: On our way to the Sahara Desert the next day, we were treated to even more stunning scenery, read all about our road trip through the Atlas Mountains here

Arrival at Ouzoud Falls

Ouzoud Waterfall From Above

Ouzoud Waterfall Landscape

After 2.5 hours driving, we arrived at a Berber Village and were handed over to a local Berber guide who would be showing us around for the day. We paid around 2 euros per person for the guide’s services and while this isn’t included in the cost of the entire day trip, I never begrudge providing local businesses and people with extra cash when they provide such an excellent service. Our guide was funny and informative and kept us entertained for the duration of the day.

We were first taken to see the edge of the falls to see the thundering water beating down below us – while impressive, we knew this wouldn’t be the best view of the falls and were excited for the rest of the day.

After a steep downward hike with impressive views of Ouzoud Falls (side note: be sure to wear proper shoes for this tour – while one girl did complete the hike in flip flops, it didn’t look particularly comfortable!), we stopped at a little stall for fresh orange juice and (of course) incredible views of the falls.

After a quick break from the relentless heat, we were back on our feet again and tackling a potentially steeper cliff side decent before reaching the base of the falls!

Journey Behind The Falls

Ouzoud Waterfall Ariel Shot

Ouzoud Waterfall Raft Boats

Ouzoud Waterfall Posing Girl Boy

We were quickly split into smaller groups to enjoy a boat ride around the falls themselves – be warned, you will get a bit wet – but even in March, the spray from the falls was a welcome treat from the heat.

The journey cost around an extra £2 and is completely optional but I would definitely recommend it – it may have even been the highlight of the day (other than the outstanding beauty of the area in general).

We were one of the first boats to enjoy the trip, so we got plenty of time after wards to take pictures while waiting for the rest of our group.


Ouzoud Waterfall Lunch

Ouzoud Waterfall Couple

After lots of walking, we had definitely worked up an appetite for lunch! The restaurant was on the cliff side with an incredible view. There were a few options to choose from on the set menu including tagines and chicken skewers.

After the main course, we were provided with piles of fruit for each table – so much that we ended taking some away with us for the bus journey back to Marrakech!

5 months after my trip and I’m still upset that oranges in the UK don’t taste half as good as oranges in Morrocco!


Ouzoud Falls Monkeys

Ouzoud Falls Monkeys Cliff Scenery

After lunch, we took a much less strenuous walk on the other side of the falls back up to the top where we would meet our minibus.

This walk takes you through a tree-covered area and cliff side filled with wild monkeys! The monkeys are very friendly and not phased by human presence – be careful, if you have any food on you, they will try and steal it!

The whole group was left laughing when one jumped onto Callum’s back causing him to scream (he would probably call it a “startled manly grunt”, but we all know it was a scream).

And with that, our amazing day trip was over and we were back in the bus and heading back to the bright lights of the city.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.




If you are in Marrakech (Morocco) and you're looking for a day trip, travelling to Ouzoud Falls should definitely be considered! Beautiful waterfalls and summer sunshine, what could be better?

Atlas Mountains

You may have read my previous post on “Sahara Desert FAQs”, but I thought I would take the time to properly detail both the road trip through the Atlas Mountains and the actual night in the desert in separate posts. This first one being about the trip through the Atlas Mountains!

We had taken a trip to Ouzoud Waterfall the day beforehand, so we had caught a glimpse of the incredible scenery that Morocco offers but it was nothing in comparison to our road-trip through the Atlas Mountains.

The trip obviously starts within the city of Marrakech. How people have the courage to drive in the city is beyond me, bikes and cars zoom left, right and centre continuously and I’m really surprised that we never saw any accidents!

RELATED: Find out how to spend two days in the city of Marrakech here!

Rolling Green Hills

Atlas Mountains Valleys

Atlas Mountains Green Hills

Atlas Mountains Girl Scenery

As we headed out of the city, things got VERY green, something that I wasn’t entirely expecting from Morocco which in my head is depicted by warm colours and desert terrain. I’m not sure if we saw Morocco in a particularly “green” season given the fact we visited in March and they will have had rainfall over the Winter period, but seriously, it was beautiful.

If you’re thinking of taking this trip, don’t worry about catching photos through the minibus’ windows, our driver made sure to stop at all of the most picturesque spots – but sometimes I just couldn’t help myself and had to take a few shots through the window (despite the glare) – just look at that valley running through the mountains!

Rocky Terrain

Atlas Mountains Rock Roads

Slowly, the bright green landscape transformed into rocky plant-less terrain.

This is where the roads started to get really crazy (just look at those photos)! If you’re afraid of heights, there may be moments that you peak out of the window an recoil in horror at the tight road bend around the mountain and sheer drop – I can only remember this happening  a handful of times during the 8 hour journey – nothing in comparison to mountainous regions in Europe!

We were greeted with nearly 30 degrees heat, yet at all times we could see the snowy peaks of the Atlas Mountains – very surreal and almost taunting when you are THAT hot.

Ait-Ben Haddou

Ait Ben Haddou

Ait Ben Haddou Gate

Ait Ben Haddou Painter

As the Atlas Mountains began to flatten and a more desert-style terrain was in sight, we were told our first lengthy stop was coming up – Ait-Ben Haddou.

Ait-Ben Haddou is a small town which houses 8 families (a total of 40 people) who live without electricity and make a 3 km walk for water. While the town is pretty spectacular in itself, it has been famed more recently for being a top filming spot – you may have seen the location in Gladiator, Indiana Jones, Game of Thrones and many more! I was actually playing monopoly with Charlie and Amy recently and was very excited by the fact I could buy somewhere I’d been in real life ha!

Of course, as with most towns/stops on organised tour routes, the experience was very geared towards tourists. We were handed over to a local guide who took us on an hour tour of the area and asked for a small fee (the tour is not included in the overall price of the trip). The cost was a few dirham per person and we were more than happy to support a local man.

Ait-Ben Haddou is HOT. I felt uncomfortable for much of the tour as it felt like you couldn’t escape the heat at all.


The tour of Ait-Ben Haddou finished with lunch at a local restaurant with a view of the main town. It was a really beautiful location and was thankfully a lot cooler!

One thing to note about taking tours in Morocco is that the restaurants you stop at usually have a limited menu for tour groups and largely, they offer the same at each. After a day travelling to Ouzoud waterfall and two days travelling to and from the Sahara Desert, I was really starting to get bored of the offerings provided – that’s not to say they weren’t tasty however!

Dishes were priced at 100 dirhams per person (around £9 at the time) which is pricey for Moroccan standards.

Sandy Canyons

Atlas Mountains Sand Canyons

Atlas Mountains Scenery

Next up was terrain unlike anything I’ve ever seen before – huge sandy canyons as far as the eye could see. There was a big part of me that just wanted to run down the sloping hills… then I remembered how un-graceful I am… it wouldn’t end well.

Slowly things are starting to look more and more like a desert… eeek!

The Desert

Sahara Desert

And with that, we were off. The rest of the journey saw us creep closer and closer to terrain that represented the desert. Of course, a few more photo/toilet stops were made along the way (the total journey was around 8 hours after all).

Panic struck as our minibus broke down at the last stop before the desert (where we all stocked up on water for the night) but luckily the driver fixed the problem and it didn’t set us back too far!

Unfortunately, it did mean we were only just reaching the desert by sunset, rather than being in the middle of the desert relaxing to watch it properly – but more on that in my next post about the night in the desert!

Have you ever been through the Atlas Mountains? What was your favourite part?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.



A trip to the Sahara Desert was one of the experiences that I was most excited for on my recent trip to Marrakech! I almost had the trip booked before the flights and accommodation!

The obsession started back in October 2015, a year and a half before my actual trip – I was staying in a hostel in Slovenia and two girls who had just met booked a trip after both lusting it after it for a while separately. Then I found the amazing Sarah and read both of her blog posts on the trip at least 15 times (you can read about her Sahara Desert tour here & here).

So when the time came for me to take my trip, it’s safe to say that I was SO excited. There are lots of these tours on offer, I saw so many posters and signs for excursions while in the city, so if you’re thinking of booking a trip, here is EVERYTHING you need to know!


How Long is the Journey?

LONG! Apparently, I didn’t sufficiently brief Callum on the length of the journey between Marrakech and the desert (although I made him read Sarah’s blog posts multiple times!) so I think he was a bit surprised!

The total journey from Marrakech to the desert takes around 8-9 hours each way including stop-offs. So if you’re only in the country for a weekend, it probably isn’t worth it, but if you’ve got some time to kill, you won’t regret it!

Quite honestly, the ever-changing scenery of Morocco kept me captivated the entire way!


What Are The Sleeping Arrangements?

There were a number of tents in the desert set up in a circular structure. Some are private and will only be allocated to you if you have paid extra for a private tent.

We opted for the shared tour and were placed in a tent for 6 people – myself, Callum, two American girls that we had become good friends with during our trip and two solo travelling guys (one from Hong Kong and one from Japan).

Singular mattresses are laid on the floor with masses of different blankets and duvets to keep you warm. The desert does get very cold at night and I definitely recommend bringing a jumper with you! Our booking confirmation also asked us to bring an additional sleeping bag if we were visiting in January (we weren’t).


What Is The Structure Of The Tour?

You will be picked up from your accommodation in Marrakech bright and early before setting off for the first leg of your journey.

The journey is truly beautiful, I really didn’t expect to see so many different environments in Morocco. Your journey will obviously start with the hustle and bustle of the city, before descending into rolling hills and greenery, followed by the snowy peaks of the Atlas Mountains, red rock canyons and finally the sandy desert!

There will be plenty of little stops along the way for photo opportunities, toilet breaks and grabbing snacks/drinks as well as a big lunch (at an additional cost)!

On route, there is one bigger stop at Ait Ben Haddou (pictured above) which you may recognise as a popular film set (including Game of Thrones, Indiana Jones and Gladiator)! On a day-to-day basis, the town is only populated by 8 families (a total of 40 people) who have no electricity and have to walk 3km to access water!

On arrival at the edge of the desert, you will meet the lovely camels and ride across the Sahara Desert either at sunset or just beforehand. We were visiting in March when the sun sets earlier than in the summer, so we experienced sunset on the camels rather than in the heart of the desert.

We then were shown to our tents and were cooked a huge meal (a tagine style meat and potato dish).

Afterwards, a bonfire was lit and we all sat in the desert, gazing at the impressive stars, singing African camp songs and getting to know our new camp friends!

Day 2 included an early morning wake up call to see the sunrise and eat breakfast in the desert (of course with mint tea). We then jumped back onto the camels for a much shorter trip to another roadside to meet the van.

The drive home was filled with chatter (after all, we’d got to know our trip buddies fairly well at this point)! The main stop was for lunch but there was an optional stop at a film museum (Ouarzazate Hollywood of Morocco) which didn’t interest our group, so we gave it a miss.


Where Can You Book A Tour & How Much Does It Cost?

Tours are offered in most riads/hotels/hostels, as well as by street vendors in the city. However, we booked ours before departure through I Go Morrocco who took a 50% deposit on booking.

The exact tour that we booked can be found here and cost 59 euros per person, which is incredible given that you get two full days of adventure! Kids below the age of 12 get a 50% discount.

When booking our tour, we also got asked if we wanted a complimentary airport transfer on our arrival in Morocco too! Which I certainly would have taken up if we hadn’t already made arrangements with our hotel!

Is It Safe?

Most definitely! There was no point during the entire tour that we felt unsafe.

Whilst in the car, you are obviously accompanied by a driver the entire time and the surroundings are so beautiful, if you have any concerns about safety, they will quickly evaporate!

During your time at Ait-Ben Haddou, you are shown around by a local guide also.


What Is The Difference Between The Zagora Desert And The Sahara Desert?

You’ll notice that the 1 night tours are to the “Zagora Desert” rather than the “Sahara Desert”. The longer trips usually cover both the “Zagora Desert” and the “Merzouga Desert”.

Essentially, Zagora and Merzouga are two separate parts of the Sahara. Zagora is known as the “gateway to the Sahara” and is the closest point of the desert to Marrakech (hence the ability to reach it within a 1 night trip).

However, if you’re looking for a TRULY authentic experience, the Merzouga desert offers much larger sand dunes, richer coloured sands and an array of wildlife.

What Trip Should I Pick?

It really depends on how much time you have. We only had 2 days to spare, so the 1 night trip to Zagora was all we could manage. It was a great insight into the desert life and I can now tick off a bucket list item of camping in the Sahara Desert!

But if I were to return with unlimited time, I would love to do a longer Merzouga trip to see the real expanse of the desert!


What Should You Pack?

Make sure that you take a small bag with you that you can carry on your lap/back whilst riding a camel. While you probably could have left a larger bag in the van, the van doesn’t come into the desert with you and god knows where it stays for the night/how secure it is! We left our cabin sized luggage in our riad.

What Do I do About Water?

In the last town before the desert, you will be given a chance to stock up on water bottles before the night ahead, so don’t worry about packing lots of water, but of course bring some for the day! Always keep hydrated kids!

What Is the Food Like?

As pictured above, we sat in a separate tent to eat in small groups – the starter was a yummy soup with thick warm bread, both of which were delicious.

The main meal was a HUGE tagine dish filled with all kinds of goodies – meat, veg, potatoes etc! Considering the food is included in the price of the trip (which is really reasonable by the way), the quality was great!


How Are The Camels Treated?

Before the trip, I was just TOO excited to camp in the Sahara Desert that I didn’t even think about the logistics of getting to the camp and booked it straight away. It wasn’t until the trip was looming that I started to consider whether this was the right choice.

I absolutely love animals and would never promote something that I thought hindered their life (swimming with dolphins in enclosed spaces, going to tiger kingdoms, riding elephants etc.), I did my research and from what I could gather, the camels were treated well.

After visiting, I am still of this opinion. The camels make one journey in the morning from the desert to the roadside and one back again in the evening. In the meantime, they aren’t chained and are free to roam – while we were sitting around the campfire in the evening, the camels roamed around the outskirts of the tents.

My research shows that when a camel is distressed, it will spit or scream – something that we did not experience at all. Further to this, I can confirm that my tour group did not use any of the cruel herding methods such as bullhooks, pegs or ropes that are pulled directly through the tissue of their external nostrils, a very painful procedure (if pulled too hard the rope can rip the tissue).

The men that operate the camel element of the tour live in the desert and this is their livelihood, good treatment of camels is in their best interests.

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.


Before I arrived in Morrocco, I was worried that I hadn’t given us enough time to explore the city of Marrakech. I’d become so fixated with our three days of excursions that I couldn’t possibly give any of them up!

More worry set in when it took us HOURS to get through security at Marrakech airport. I mean hours. The security queues were so long, officers examined everyone’s entry cards and passports in the greatest detail (for a moment, we thought that we weren’t going to be allowed into the country because the security officer didn’t believe that Callum was the same person as the photo in his passport)! So in the end, we got into Marrakech at about midday and we were left with closer to 1.5 days to explore the city.

Thankfully, (almost) two days in the city was absolutely perfect for us and I wouldn’t have structured our trip any other way!

Here’s what we got up to in our two days in the city (with some bonus options if you have 3 days in the city)!

Day One 

Check into your riad and enjoy some mint tea

Marrakech Riad

More kerfuffle arose as we couldn’t find the man that was meant to pick us up from the airport. Luckily, a lot of the men doing hotel pickups know each other and when I questioned where he was, another man phoned him and told him to come back  (that’s how long it took us to get through airport security – our pick up man had left)! At this point, I was already in love with the welcoming hospitality of the Moroccans.

Once we were in the riad, we certainly weren’t disappointed. The staff sat down with us and drew all over a map to make sure that we knew where we wanted to go and how to get back to the riad – Marrakech is a crazy maze of winding roads after all!

After this, we were shown around the riad and treated to complimentary mint tea on the roof terrace. I quickly became obsessed with the mint tea in Morocco and if you visit, you’ll definitely be offered some during your stay!

After finishing our tea and dumping our belongings into our room, we set out to explore!

Jemaa el-Fnaa (The Main Square)

Marrakech Doorway Medina WallMarrakech Souk El Kessabia

Our first port of call was to have a wander and get our bearings – I had intended to do a guided walking tour, but with the delays of the morning, we had well and truly missed the start time! So instead, we took some time to weave our way round the back alleys of markets and shops around our hotel to the main square of Marrakech.

The square comes alive at night, whereas in the day the square was mainly filled with orange juice carts. But we stopped off for lunch at Cafe France (a very popular restaurant in the square for tourists. Not the most authentic Moroccan cuisine, but it was quick and easy).

Koutoubia Mosque

Marrakech Koutoubia Mosque

We continued our self guided tour of the square with a trip to the nearby Koutoubia Mosque. We didn’t enter the mosque  (it isn’t open to tourists) but we definitely took the time to admire the architecture. I am a huge fan of Moroccan style architecture apparently!

Jardin Marjorelle

Marakech Jardin Marjorelle Cat Marakech Jardin Marjorelle Girl Marakech Jardin Marjorelle Mural Marakech Jardin Marjorelle Fountain Marakech Jardin Marjorelle Cacti

Our riad was in the perfect position to visit Jardin Marjorelle  as it was only a 20-ish minute walk away (the garden is outside of the Medina walls and we were staying by one of the exits closest to the garden).

The garden is famous for its bright blue and yellow building which was once home to the incredible designer Yves Saint Laurent. We overheard a fellow tourist sum up the area perfectly – “looks like this bloke had a shit tonne of money but bloody good taste”.

It was beautiful and an oasis of calm in the bustling city. This is the perfect place for photos and we saw a few professional photo-shoots during our time here – that’s how pretty the area is!

Entry is 70 MAD which is much more expensive than many of the other attractions in Marrakech but it was well worth it. Callum would say that it was worth it purely based on the free WiFi and amazing Pokémon Go spawns…

Dinner at Latitude 31

Marrakech Latitude 31 Chocolate Sphere

After heading back to our Riad to freshen up, we spent a lot of time on TripAdvisor deciding where to eat. Our Riad wasn’t located directly off the main square and we were absolutely exhausted after a day of travelling and exploring, we wanted somewhere close and easy… alas, we stumbled across latitude 31.

This is a pricey restaurant by Moroccan standards however, we had 3 courses with soft drinks and it came to 520 MAD (about 41 GBP) for both of us, which isn’t bad at all by English standards!

The restaurant menu is filled with traditional Moroccan foods with a modern twist and all of our courses were out of this world.

We were first presented with a complimentary amuse-bouche. The three appetisers were a small creme brulee, a chicken dish and a fish dish. The two I ate were amazing (I gave my fishy one to Callum as I don’t eat fish).

Next up, I had a dish that at first looked like a tagine but was a refreshing twist on the traditional tagine.  The chicken was layered with caramelised tomatoes which were so sweet and delicious! Callum had the mixed grill platter and raved about it for the rest of the trip!

Finally we both had a “chocolate sphere” (pictured above) which consisted of a hollow ball of chocolate filled with fruits which were then covered in warm chocolate sauce – yum!

After successfully filling our stomachs, the restaurant owner treated us to a complimentary cocktail which were also gorgeous.

Day two  

Saadian tombs

Marrakech Tombs Girl Marrakech Tombs InteriorOur first port of call was the Saadian tombs which I’m quite aware sounds a bit depressing, but I promise it wasn’t! The area is really beautiful.

A common theme in Marrakech attractions is that information is given in Arabic and French with no English translation, so it might be worth researching the attractions that you want to see before you visit.

The mausoleum houses around 60 members of the Saudi Dynasty and has become popular with tourists due to the pure beauty of the site. This isn’t a huge area, so you won’t need TOO long to explore it. Even though we arrived fairly early, queues were already forming to see into the different rooms – however the queues were definitely worse as we were leaving, so this is probably a good place to see early in the day!

El Badi Palace

Marrakech El Badi Stairs Marrakech El Badi Landscape

Next stop was El Badi Palace which I’d read to be very run down ruins and nothing in comparison to Bahia Palace (see below). In true Danielle fashion, I actually preferred El Badi Palace! We struggled to find the entrance for quite a while but it was definitely worth the wait.

For the most part, this is a ruined palace, however it’s absolutely huge and I can only imagine how grand it would have been in its prime.

There are plenty of corners, underground tunnels, nooks and crannies to explore. This is one of the fee places that appeared to have English translations on most of their information boards too!

My love for Moroccan architecture has been strengthened once more!

Bahia Palace

Marrakech El Bahia Palace Marrakech El Bahia Palace Fountain Marrakech El Bahia Palace Tiles

Now for the much more built up and stereotypically beautiful palace. If you’re a big fan of Moroccan tiles and colour, this is the place for you. Once again, the palace is much bigger than you think it will be – I’m sure Moroccans have mastered the art of making buildings 10 times bigger on the inside than they look from the outside (it definitely puts Doctor Who’s Tardis to shame)!

This is an undeniably beautiful palace and will be the background of many Instagram photos if you are that way inclined!

Lunch in the square

As we headed back up north, we stopped once again for lunch in the square, this time opting to eat at Zeitoun Cafe  where we had the most delicious Moroccan style sandwiches with a view over the square for a spot of people watching!

Explore the Souks

Marrakech Spices Marrakech Souks Trinkets

Our Riad staff had told us that we would most definitely get lost in the Souks but I think we did quite well! Before arriving in Morocco, I had downloaded the app “City maps to go” which you can use offline and whilst no GPS companies have mapped out the winding alleyways of the Souks, it was a good way of seeing whether you were coming closer to the exit or not!

We didn’t pick up anything during our time shopping – I’m not one for bartering! But I was obsessed with their hand painted beautiful plates. Once I’ve bought a house, maybe I’ll think about buying plates!

Ben Youseff Madrasa

Ben Youseff Madrasa Marrakech Marrakech Ben Youseff Madrasa Couple

This is definitely another attraction that you will want to read about before visiting if English is your only language! Alternatively, I know many people have hired guides for the day and completed similar itineraries  to the above without the need for research.

This was the most prominent Islamic College in the Marrakech area and led to many great scholars. This was one of the largest theological colleges in North Africa and housed up to 900 students – it’s hard to believe that 900 students stayed in the small dormitories (many of which had no windows) but that’s a small price to pay for apparently one of the best religious teachings in North Africa!

If any universities looked like this in the UK, then maybe I’d have gone to uni!  This is another attraction for the instagram-holics!

Dinner and exploring the main square at night 

As mentioned previously, the main square comes alive at night time, so on our last night, we opted to eat slightly closer to the main square so that we could check out the square in all its glory of an evening.

As we had been on 3 days worth of excursions prior to this day in which we had no choice when it comes to food and had been served repetitive tagine / chicken meals for the duration, we were most definitely “tagined”-out. So instead wee opted for a restaurant that was popular on TripAdvisor and served a menu of varied cuisines (if you’re also getting sick of tagines, be sure to check out Kui-Zin).

Unfortunately at our time of visit (March 2017), a large part of the main square was under construction, so I don’t think we got the full impact of the area.

With a positive outlook, the square is beautiful – stalls selling mainly handcrafted Moroccan souvenirs, beautiful women offering henna tattoos, bustling restaurants, street music. However, there is a dark side to this square; Morocco do use animals in the tourism trade extensively. I was saddened by the monkeys on chains and kept in small boxes – hopefully the world will learn!

If I had one more day  

While I think my 2 days in Marrakech were perfect, if I were to spend one day longer in the city, here’s what I would do!

Spa day

Morocco is famed for its Hammam style of massage/bath and if we had an extra day, I would have loved to try one! We decided to skip this activity as we have both had Turkish baths previously (which are ever so slightly different – you can learn about the difference here), so we felt more inclined to go out and explore what Morocco had to offer!

Cooking class

Another thing that Morocco is famed for is it’s food! We loved the food on our trip (despite getting a bit “tagined”-out towards the end) and it would have been so interesting to see the pros at work/learn how it’s done!

Guided Souk Tour

The souks are a mess of colour, winding alleyways, stalls and activity. We didn’t purchase anything whilst we were there on the basis that a) nothing caught our eye and b) we weren’t actually sure what was worth buying and for what price! You can hire guides to take you around the souks and get all of the top tips and tricks!

Overall, our time in Marrakech was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking for a trip to experience a culture that is completely different from their own, eat great food, meet incredibly friendly and helpful people and generally have a great time!

Have you been to Marrakech? What was your experience like?

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and all thoughts are my own.
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