One of the most popular themes on postcards from Marrakech is an ochre edifice facing the snowy Atlas Mountains. This is the Menara Gardens. A very popular attraction among locals.
In the western part of the city of Marrakech, the Menara Gardens extend over an area of 100 hectares. At the beginning of the 12th century, the Almohad decorated it with olive trees. The Manara Gardens are located about 3 km outside the city walls.
On the weekend, many locals go to these parks for a picnic among the gardens. It is the right place to take a breath close to the center of the city.
About Menara Garden
Do you like to be in a world free of noise and hustle of the crowded city of Marrakech?
The Menara gardens is a spacious and peaceful park that will greet you with a tender joy.
What makes the Menara Gardens special is its large pool. It is the garden reservoir and the water source that sustains the various terraces.
Centuries ago, the city of Marrakech had traditional processes that allow directing water from the Atlas Mountains to the town.
This hydraulic system ensures that the water supply to the basin is not interrupted even during the summer days.
Manara Gardens contain many different types of trees. Including palm trees, olive trees, and various fruit trees.
What attracts the visitor's attention is the building with a green tiled roof. The building consists of two floors. The balcony is decorated with Moroccan inscriptions talking about the ingenuity of the Moroccan manufacturer.
Menara Pavillion from inside
From upstairs, the magnificent view of the waters of the basin touched by air breezes, and the royal garden will tell you about the luxury lifestyle of sultans and princes.
Menara Garden from upstairs
Menara Gardens Map
History of Menara Gardens: An Ancient Naval Base
The kingdom was not always at peace with its neighbors. Whoever thinks that the Menara Gardens was only for a walk is wrong.
In the twelfth century, the Almohads took the decision to create the basin of the Menara. Its purpose was to use the large container to collect the water needed for spraying. But in fact, it was also used as a swimming pool. These historical events date back to the year 1157 AD.
The Almohad Sultan Abdul Momin bin Ali Koumi ordered the foundation of the large tank. It was devoted to the training of soldiers on the ABCs of swimming and marine arts fighting.
The purpose of this training was to prepare for the possibility of crossing the Mediterranean to Andalusia. And also, to positioning the Moroccan coast army to confront the European attacks.
Things To Do in Menara Garden
You can do many leisure activities in the Menara Gardens.
- You can enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and sit in the middle of the picturesque nature.
- You can wander in the garden, see the various trees and landscapes and inhale the fresh air.
- You can ride a camel and take a tour around the Menara Gardens.
- You can do some sports activities such as jogging, football, and yoga.
- You can visit the archaeological building and reach the rooftop to see the entire garden.
- You can take memorial photos everywhere within the Menara Gardens.
- At the end of the tour in the park, you can go to nearby cafes and snacks to enjoy a delicious meal or a tasty espresso.
Menara Entrance Time
The Manara Gardens are open daily from 8 in the morning until 7 in the evening. And there are no entry fees. You can reach the park by taxi or on foot from Jamea El Fanna.
Many locals go there on the weekend and during school vacations. They like to spend time there away from the hustle of the city.
What Is The Best Time To Visit Menara Gardens?
If you are visiting Marrakech during the summer, we recommend going when it is not too hot. Either very early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
We also suggest you avoid weekends, holidays and school vacations. Unless you like to be surrounded by large crowds of locals.
Things To Know Before Visiting The Menara Gardens
- Menara is a big garden for walking and relaxing.
- It is close to the airport. And there is public parking available outside.
- It is a 10 minutes walk away from The Manara Mall.
- A pleasant walk around the pool area can take under an hour or longer if you want to venture into the olive woods.
- Free entry to appreciate the area around the lake. And 50 Dirhams (5$) for visiting the building.
- It is not super fancy, but a pleasant spot to walk through and learn the impressive history behind it.
- There is free WiFi at the center of the park.
- Many things need some tender care, change, update, and cleaning.
- There are no restaurants or cafés inside, just small shops to buy drinks and canned food.
- It can be terrible when it is too hot under a blazing sun. The olive trees are not really shady.
- The place needs public facilities like clean toilets.
- Canoodling lovers in the gardens can make you feel uncomfortable.
Menara Gardens are not really a typical tourist attraction. It is more a place where locals go to flee the city turbulence.
Yet, it is an excellent area for a morning walk.
And because it is close to the airport, it could be the perfect last place you visit. Before returning your rental car and boarding your flight.