There are two types of taxi In Marrakech. The petit taxi, a small beige Fiat Uno which can carry up to three passengers. They are meant to have a meter running but many don’t. A typical fare from the new town (Gueliz) to the Medina will cost about 10 dirhams (80p or €1). If you are a sole passenger, the taxi driver may pick up other passengers enroute. You should establish the fare before you travel, as some taxi drivers increase the fares for tourists. These taxis are restricted to Marrakech and cannot go beyond certain boundaries.
The second taxi is a large beige Mercedes, and these can carry upto 5 passengers. Here you have to negotiate the price before you travel as they never have meters. These taxis can go anywhere in Morocco. Some are air conditioned, but most are not, or never have it running. The typical price to go 15-20km outside Marrakech is around 200 dirhams (about £16 or €20).
People carriers: It is possible to hire a people carrier for large groups of people, and this is much cheaper, and easier than hiring multiple taxis.
Kasbahs & Gardens near or in Marrakesh
I would recommend that all visitors to Marrakesh see the Majorelle Gardens. They have a lovely peaceful serenity that brings one back to the senses and remind you of the self. They are best seen when quiet in the early morning just after opening. The Majorelle Gardens are beautiful with lots of nooks and crannies, and have a marvellous sense of tranquility. They were the creation of Jacques Majorelle the painter, born in 1886 in Nancy (France). Jacques Majorelle was the son of the celebrated art nouveau furniture designer Louis Majorelle, and studied art at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and later at the Academie Julian in Paris. Jacques Majorelle settled in Marrakech in 1919, where he worked as an artist and soon purchased the area which was to become the Majorelle gardens. And although Majorelle’s orientalist watercolors are largely forgotten, many are preserved in the villa’s collection held within the garden which he created in 1924, and opened to the public in 1947. The Majorelle Gardens are now considered to be his greatest masterpiece, and hosts more than 15 bird species, which can be found only in this area of North Africa. The special shade of bold cobalt blue which he used extensively in the garden and its buildings is named after him Majorelle blue.
Following a car accident, Jacques Majorelle returned to france, where he died in 1962. In 1980 Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent purchased the garden and restored it to its former glory. The garden now also houses the Islamic Art Museum of Marrakech, which shelters the magnificent Islamic art collection of Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent as well as ceramics, jewelry, and paintings by Majorelle. After Yves Saint Laurent died in 2008 his ashes were scattered in the Majorelle Gardens, a perfect setting for such a great man.
The Agdal Gardens
The Agdal Gardens comprise around 700 acres of land close to the Royal Palace, and the medina in Marrakech. The Agdal Gardens were established directly adjacent to the southern edge of the Médina, and initially they functioned both as productive orchards and private pleasure gardens for the caliph. The name of Agdal derives from the Berber language for “walled meadow” or meadow on the banks of a wadi enclosed by a stone wall. Extending for some 3 kilometres the gardens include groves of orange, apricot, lemon, fig, and pomegranate trees in rectangular plots, that are joinred by olive-tree lined walkways. Together with the medina of Marrakech and the Menara Gardens, the Agdal Gardens were listed as a World Heritage Site in 1985.
The gardens were created by Abd al-Mu’min (1130-1163) of the Almohad dynasty in 1157 at the same time as the nearby Menara Gardens. ‘Abd al-Mu’min was the founder of the Almohad capital in Marrakech, and he 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. The gardens are irrigated using water brought from the Ourika Valley by a network of underground channels and ditches. using a number of pools and ditches. The network of underground channels and ditches are known as khettera.
The Dar El Hana, a small pavilion or minzah, stands beside the largest pool, the Sahraj el-Hana (Tank of Health), which was used to train troops to swim. Sultan Mohammed IV died in the pool when his steam launch capsized there in 1873. As I recall his servants were executed for not having saved the Monarch.
Within the Agdal Gardens is the Dar el-Beida in the northwest quadrant of the garden grounds. This palace is reserved for use by the ‘Alawi royal family when they are in residence in Marrakech. The palace is modest in scale but has been richly decorated and well-maintained due to its continuing use as a royal residence. The palace was built by ‘Alawi Sharif Moulay ‘ (1822-1859).
The Menara gardens are gardens located to the west of Marrakech, Morocco, at the gates of the Atlas mountains. They were built in the 12th century (c. 1130) by the Almohad ruler Abd al-Mu’min. The name menara derives from the pavillon with its small green pyramid roof. The pavilion was built during the 16th century Saadi dynasty and renovated in 1869 by sultan Abderrahmane of Morocco, who used to stay here in summertime. The pavilion and basin (an artificial lake) are surrounded by orchards and olive groves. The intention of the basin was to irrigate the surrounding gardens and orchards using a sophisticated system of underground channels called a qanat. The basin is supplied with water thanks to an old hydraulic system which conveys water from the mountains located 30 km approximately away from Marrakech.
Barrage Lalla Takarkoust
To the south of Marrakech on Route d’Amizmiz, there is an impressive artificial lake with the Atlas Mountains behind. It is a short (40 mins) taxi ride. You can have lunch at a number of cafes on the waterside. The clear water makes it a great place to go swimming or do water sports. You can also take out one of the boats for hire. The Relais du Lac also offers accommodation http://www.relaisdulac.it/