My friends and I are off to Marrakech in July. I understand that we will be there during Ramadan, what exactly will this mean for us? What are some cool activities that we can do while we are there? Nikki, via email
Ramadan is an interesting time of year to visit Marrakech, since Muslims are fasting during daylight hours. It’s often considered a difficult time to visit as there is a reduced availability of services before the sun goes down but, in fact, the religious period offers a very different insight into Muslim culture and can be a fascinating time to explore the city.
You’ll find that the streets come alive at night, as those fasting gather for their meals. The two night time meals during Ramadan are lftar in the evening and Sahur just before sunrise. You will find light displays, music and sweets being offered to mark the lftar feasts, which often last for hours and anyone is welcome to join.
Be aware it will be as hot as 40°C there in July. Once you’ve seen the main sights, including the winding souks and Djemma el Fna, you could head to the south Atlantic beaches where offshore winds will give you some respite from the heat.
The coast is around four hours by bus from the city, so I’d recommend you stay overnight. Tourist resorts such as Agadir will still have a decent provision of services during the Ramadan period, and along this stretch of coast you will find surf breaks and great beaches.
Don’t forget that while tourists are not expected to observe Ramadan, it is respectful not to eat, smoke or drink in public.
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