Marrakech is famous for many things – the Souks and the Night Market of Djemaa-el-Fna to name just two – so to stumble across the brightly coloured Majorelle Gardens was a complete surprise.
Designed by the expatriate French artist Jacques Majorelle during the 1920’s and 30’s the twelve acres of botanical walled gardens are a distinctive sight. Tucked away far from the chaos of the Old Medina you could be forgiven for not knowing that this wonderful little paradise existed. Once inside, traffic noise and crowds become a thing of the past; here wide, winding red walkways separate out the various areas of the garden for you to wander around at your leisure.
In the heat of the day the cooling environment of this beautiful garden is inviting – not only do the soaring bamboo trees provide much needed shade, the bold cobalt blue surfaces, which have been used extensively around the gardens, add to the tranquil essence of this nature retreat.
Water features, birds and cacti mix with art exhibitions, an Islamic Art museum, shops and a café making it an ideal place to spend time. If you are unable to relax here you will be hard pushed to do so anywhere in Marrakech.
(Lunch in the café – two bowls of soup, breads, two portions of chips and soft drinks = 240Dhs which is about £17)
If you are a follower of fashion there is yet another reason to visit. Yves Saint-Laurent purchased the garden in 1980 and spent many hours here when in need of inspiration. He loved the gardens so much that following his death in 2008 his ashes were scattered here and a memorial now stands to mark the extraordinary man.
The vibrant, striking colours of the buildings mixed with the intense, often florescent seasonal flowers and the leafy, khaki and olive green towering columns make quite a statement. If you are in need of time-out from the jostling crowds of the Old Medina or in need of some inspiration this is the place to visit.
This is an Artist’s Masterpiece!
Entrance into Majorelle Gardens = 50Dhs per person; should you wish to visit the Berber Museum that is a further 20Dhs per person.