Rural Marrakech + Jardin Issil

mesmThe last two days of my journey took me to Yves Saint Laurent’s Jardin Marjorelle, five star camping at the Jardin Issil and a day long excursion into the Berber populated mountains of Ourika. The Moroccan countryside was far more lush than I had anticipated and so tranquil after the hectic chaos of the Medina.

My stay at the Jardin Issil was the stuff of fairy tales and the staff was extremely warm and friendly. Luxury tents coupled with beautiful garden paths and a sky full of stars, erases any trepidation one might have of the great outdoors.

The four hour trip into Ourika was beautiful but even here, commerce is the name of the game with cafes lining the length of the creek where you can get the customary couscous and cooling, sweetened mint tea. Along the road there are camels for riding and no shortage of Berber jewelry, rugs, lamps and so forth, for sale. My one piece of advice is save your money while in the Medina and spend it here with the people who will benefit the most. You’ll get a better deal and back the community directly.

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JardinIssil2-01BerberVillageOurika-01All photographs ©Janene Dunbar 2014