I started this series of posts a few weeks ago describing several great places to run in Rabat, the capital of Morocco. Now, I return to the topic of the best places to run with the Palmeraie of Marrakech. I do not know the formal name to this part of the city but when ever I talk about it people know exactly where i am talking about.
Name: The Palmeraie in Marrakech
Location: on the right while driving North out of the city on the N9 before your get to the stadium
Points of Interest:
- The view over the golf course is spectacular
- There are bunches of camels along the side of the road
- Not a lot of traffic and exhaust
- Nice and flat (good for a speed workout)
The Palmeraie is one of the beautiful resort areas in Marrakech. I have never stayed in any of the many hotels in the area due to their prices but from the outside they look very nice. There is also a nice golf course that the hotels overlook. I would not recommend running on the course due to the nice security men that politely ask people to stay off the course.
Nice security man preparing to do His work
I discovered this part of the city while running the Marrakech Marathon back in January, around mile nineteen, and I was glad a did. On the few runs I have done since the marathon I have ran here twice. There has not been a time I've been on the street and not seen people out running in the area. That is always a good sign.
You can really divide the road into two parts. The first, is the section where the golf course and all the really big resorts (Holiday Inn, and the Golf Palace and Spa, to name a couple) are located. This part has wide sidewalks and and the road is really well kept.
Hotel Entrance and the Moroccan Flag
The second part, is just...different. There are hotels and spas but most of them you can't see because they are behind large walls. There aren't sidewalks and the road is not as well kept. However, all of this is forgotten once you see the camels. About every half mile there is another group of men with 3-6 camels waiting for the tourists to come and spend their money. We asked the price and I think it's cheaper to ride them here than some of the other areas in the city. I know that camels have nothing to do with running but I think they are cool and definitely worth mentioning.
This camel came right up to us on the road
Camels just hanging out
Another camel, sorry
The road is about 4.1 miles long if you stop at the last resort and don't go back into the city. It really is a great road to do some intervals on or a medium length long run. One side note is that there really isn't any where to buy water from on the main road. On the opposite end of the area from the golf course are a few little convenience stores that will definitely have water but its a good ways from the resorts.
Also, as always in Marrakech you kneed to keep one eye open for the scooters, mopeds, and motorcycles. They are everywhere in this city. It is actually quite entertaining.
Two people on one scooter is not uncommon
Two ladies on a scooter getting close to the camels
They are everywhere
Sadly, three people on one scooter is not uncommon either
If you are driving north out of the city heading for the auto-route there will be a roundabout about 1/2 a mile from the bridge (before the stadium). After going through the roundabout you will see a sign indicating that Casablanca is straight ahead and the Palmeraie is the next right. Take that right and about half a mile after you turn you should see parking on the street outside the hotels.
If you do not have a car you can ask one of the many taxis in the city to take you to the
Palmeraie and you will be there sooner than you know it. There are plenty of taxis waiting outside the resorts so you wont have to walk back to the city... on the other hand you might want to.
Well, that's it for this installment of
Places to Run in Morocco.
I hope that if you're ever in Marrakech you will not only enjoy all of the normal tourist things there are to do but also get to know the city a little by getting a good run workout. As always if you have a question or comment don't forget to leave one below. Thanks for reading, now get out and run!