Parks and Gardens
The Beverly Hills of Morocco, the Palmeraie is a vast palm grove on the northern fringe of the city, and is home to some fantastical and outlandish architectural creations. Some of the luxury villas also double as guesthouses and exclusive hotels (see p117). You can also still see the remains of the early irrigation system introduced by the Almoravids. Map F4
The Menara Gardens, with their orchard, pool and pavilion, epitomize a typical Islamic garden. Laid out in the 12th century, the gardens feature a large pool overlooked by a green tile-roofed pavilion. Map B7 • Avenue de la Menara, Hivernage • 024 43 95 80 •
Dating back to the 12th century, the Agdal comprises several linked gardens including an orange grove, an olive plantation, vineyards and orchards of pomegranates and figs. The garden was enclosed within pisé walls in the 19th century. There is a large pool at the heart of the garden called the Tank of Health – in 1873, Sultan Mohammed IV tragically drowned in it when he went boating with his son. Map E7 • South of the Grand Méchouar •
Landscaped with flowerbeds and groves of olives and orange trees, the gardens predate the world-famous Mamounia Hotel. The Arset El Mamoun were established in the 18th century by Prince Moulay Mamoun, laid out around a central pavilion that served as a royal residence; the hotel was added a century later .
Now owned by Yves Saint- Laurent , the gardens were first created by expatriate French artist, Jacques Majorelle. Though small, they are quite lovely with bamboo groves, cacti and palms, and pools floating with water lilies. The artist’s former studio is now a mini Museum of Islamic Art, painted a searing blue, known as “Majorelle blue”
Between Avenue Mohammed V and the walls of the medina, this public garden has recently been given a makeover. The lawns, divided by palm-shaded pathways, are a favourite lunch spot. The park also has public internet booths.
On the south side of the landmark mosque, these formal gardens have stone pathways lined with flowerbeds and topiary hedges. The roses seem impervious to the heat and appear to be in bloom throughout the year
Jnane El Harti
It may not be the prettiest but this neatly-planted green space is beloved by locals and its proximity to places of work makes it a favourite lunchtime hangout. Come evening, you will spot young couples looking for a few private moments, away from the prying eyes of families and relatives.