Situated close to the Royal Palace, to the southern edge of the Marrakech medina, the Agdal Gardens exists as a superb example of the architectural and landscaping skill. Covering an area of approximately 400 hectares, the garden comprises of orange, apricot, lemon, fig, and pomegranate trees in rectangular plots, all conjoined by olive-tree lined walkways.
The productive orchards of the Agdal Gardens are irrigated using water brought from the Ourika Valley in the Atlas Mountains by an intricate network of underground pools, channels and ditches known as khettera. This network dates back to the 12th and was an amazing feat of engineering.
The gardens were created in 1157 by Abd al-Mu’min of the Almohad dynasty at the same time as the nearby Menara Gardens. As founder of the Almohad capital in Marrakech, Abd al-Mu’min undertook many significant building projects in the city between 1147 and his death in 1163. They were renovated by the Saadi dynasty and then enlarged during the reign of Moulay Abderrahmane in the 19th century. From 1985 the Agdal Gardens were listed as a World Heritage Site in 1985 alongside the medina of Marrakech and the Menara Gardens.
The name “Agdal” comes from the Berber language and means “walled meadow” as the gardens were once surrounded by a large pisé walls. Today, the Agdal Gardens are open to the public and free to visit from 9am to 6pm only on Friday and Sunday. It is possible to reach the gardens on foot, but our riad staff would be more than happy to help arrange transport if you would prefer to take a taxi or a calèche.
As they are situated to the South of the Marrakech Medina, they are closest to our Raid Dar Habiba. However, all our luxury Raids are located in the heart of the Ancient Marrakech Medina and function as perfect bases from which to explore the red city.
The Arabic word Riad means garden and some of the most beautiful gardens in Marrakech are to be found in the medina providing shade in traditional houses. There are also a number of public gardens which are well worth a visit.
Established in the 1920’s by French painter Jacques Majorelle and made famous as the Marrakech residence of the late Yves St Laurent. This garden is located in the New town of Guiliz and is very much a City Garden screened by high walls and very much an African garden with its splendid cacti, palms and bougainvillea. The artist’s studio is now a museum of Islamic art which also exhibits some works by Majorelle himself.
Outside the medina about a mile and a half from the Koutoubia mosque, a pleasant walk but as there is very little shade on the route it is best avoided in the heat of the day. The focal point of the garden is an immense lake with an elegant royal pavilion sitting behind it. The perfect backdrop to this tranquil scene is provided by acres of fields which have been olive groves since the twelfth century.
The ‘Jardin Agdal’ cover more than 30 acres and like the Menara gardens were laid out at the time of the twelfth century Almohad dynasty. Agdal contains a great variety of plants as well as a number of pavilions some of which are open to the public and some of which are kept for the private use of the Moroccan Royal family. The gardens are located behind the Royal Palace to the south of the Medina.