Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz is a region in central Morocco incorporating several diverse areas. These include the vibrant city of Marrakech, villages of Al Haouz Province and the coastal city of Essaouira. The region is known for containing some of North Africa’s most ancient history and is a fascinating region in Morocco to visit.
The best place to begin an exploration is in Marrakech itself. Explore bustling market square of Jemaa el-Fna, Koutoubia Mosque, the colourful Medina, Marrakech Museum and Bahia Palace before moving outside the city. To the west of the city, Menara Gardens display a stunning oasis of natural beauty. The tranquil lake and pavilion are flanked by towering palms and fragrant orange, pomegranate and fig trees. A charming town to visit in the region is Amizmiz. Located approximately 55 kilometres south of Marrakech at the foot of the High Atlas mountain range, it is home to people of the ancient Berber culture. The weekly souk is important to Berber farmers who bring livestock and produce to sell. Amizmiz offers visitors a unique insight into the Berber hill villages and rich culture of Morocco. Food is cheap and plentiful, and locals are hospitable to travellers. Another popular city of this region is Essaouira. Flanked by ancient fortress walls, it protects itself from unwanted invaders from land or sea. The beach is a haven for water sports enthusiasts, especially those keen to try windsurfing or kitesurfing. Local fish markets are lively, and seafood restaurants in the city are abundant. Explore the Old Medina, the Port of Essaouira and the ruined village of Diabat with its ancient fortress, romantic walks and horse riding.
Visitors wishing to explore the ancient villages of Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz should consider hiring a car to reach uncharted tourist territory. Marrakech, Amizmiz and Essaouira are easy to navigate on foot once there. Amizmiz can be reached via Marrakech from Bab Er-Rob taxi station just outside the city or via bus from SidiMimoun bus stop near Jemaa el-Fna. Essaouira can also be accessed by bus, taxi or via shared tourist transfers from Marrakech.
The population of Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz is approximately 3.1 million people. The region is made up of densely populated cities and traditional villages nestled below the Atlas Mountains. Both Marrakech and Essaouira are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and house some of the greatest architecture and historical sites in the country.