Argan oil can be used in many forms, from massage oils, face creams and peanut butter to bread dipping. Such is the versatility of this oil that it can be used for all myriad of purposes. Any visit to Marrakech or any of the other southern regions one is highly likely to encounter a large number of individuals attempting to sell wares containing argan oil. This does however belie the fact that the argan tree only grows in Morocco and southern Morocco at that. Not only this, but it takes 30 kilograms of nuts to make 1 litre of oil, ensuring that if you buy a bottle of argan oil you can pretty much bank on the fact that none of your friends will have it or perhaps even heard of it (if you’re into that sort of thing). All the same local communities have gone to great lengths to produce as much as they can and to market it as successfully as they can. Indeed due to government initiatives all argan oil is now produced in women’s co-operatives dotted all over the southern reaches of the country. A visit to one of these co-operatives can be very eye opening and it is heartening to see rural women being financially empowered by the wonders of argan oil. Meaning that you not only leave with a lighter wallet but also a lighter conscience.

If you believe all the information/adverts propagated by those who sell argan oil then it may well cure the common cold (in addition to Psoriasis and  exzema), make you look younger and get you a better car than the neighbours. However, that is not to dismiss it’s health benefits as it has indeed been proven to be an excellent source of fatty acids good at combating cholesterol, to be full of vitamin E as well as being far more resistant to oxidisation than olive oil. The oil itself has a subtle nutty flavour and is in this author’s view the most pleasant edible oil product he has ever tasted. Argan oil is quite hard to come by and pricey but no trip to south west Morocco is complete without some exploration of this rare and highly versatile oil and it’s applications. Our Riads are situated in the historic old town of Marrakech which is surrounded by argan country, so anyone out there who’s itching to try this Mahgrebin delight why not book a room today in one of our luxurious Riads and find yourself some argan oil, we can even organise a day trip to Essaouira where you can stop off at one of the many co-operatives en route and while you’re there sample the Argan oil delights that Marrakech and Morocco has to offer.

Leave a Comment

The Majorelle Gardens situated in the heart of Marrakech’s fashionable Gueliz district is a botanical and artistic sight to behold, originally designed and constructed by Jacques Majorelle a French expat in 1924 during the colonial period of Marrakech when the area was a French protectorate. It is therefore one of the rare number of European landscaped gardens in Morocco and indeed in Marrakech and is renowned for it’s beautiful array of flora. The gardens in fact house one of the largest collections of rare and exotic plants in North Africa, making them an interesting proposition for anyone interested in plants or indeed anyone who wishes to see a majestic array of interesting and exotic trees and bushes.

The garden is split into a number of sections each featuring a different type of plant. Of particular interest are the water based plants which are interesting to find in such a dry country as Marrakech and look very impressive. Another thing which is particularly enjoyable is the canopy formed by the larger trees which allow individuals to walk around the garden and marvel at the plants whilst staying cool. The Gardens were bought by Yves Saint-Laurent in 1992 and were maintained by him until his death in 2008, there is now a small memorial in the gardens dedicated to his memory which provides a poignant reflection on his life. There is also a museum which at the time of writing was closed for repairs and refurbishments but which will be reopening in September 2011.

The Gardens are also fairly good value for money as they cost 50 dirhams to enter which at the time of writing is around £3, there is also a fairly pleasant café where one can relax and drink a coffee and simply marvel at the horticultural wonders of the gardens. The location of the Gardens is also fairly convenient as it is placed just north of the Medina making it easily to possible to walk there without over-tiring oneself or becoming lost. Our Riads are perfectly situated in the north of the Medina to visit this wonderful botanical garden and to take in the wonderful sights and sounds of the Medina in general. Book a room without delay to enjoy these gardens and the other wonderful sights and sounds that Marrakech has to offer.

Opening Times: Its open every day as the following :
-1st oct to 30th apr from 8h00 to 17h30
-1st May to 30th Sept from 9h00 to 17h00
Entrance fee: Garden 50 dh / Museum : 25dh




Leave a Comment