The red ramparted walls rise romantically from the surrounding plains framed majestically against the dominating backdrop of the awe inspiring, snow shrouded, High Atlas mountains. This is mystical Marrakech, an intoxicating city where your senses transcend time. Marrakech is derived from the Berber language meaning “Land of God” and it is easy to imagine nomadic tribes from the mountains and the Sahara Desert descending on the pulsating market square to barter and sell their wares. Not that much has changed, the famous Djemaa el Fna, the largest and busiest market in Africa, if not the world, is a maelstrom of assiduous activity. A spectacular pageant where musicians, dancers, acrobats and story-tellers rub shoulders with snake charmers, fire eaters and raconteurs, all vying for a moment of your time. Observe the melee unfold from the comfort of one of the plethora of rooftop terrace bars whilst imbibing a pre-prandial aperitif. Explore the Medina (old city) plunging into the frenzied, hurly burly labyrinth of passages and narrow streets. This has to be undertaken on foot as the age of the Medina preceeds the invention of the internal combustion engine by a good few hundred years! A guide may be advisable as it is easy to become confused with the interminable sprawl of alleyways not to mention the constant chatter from the plethora of craftsmen, competing to proffer the fruits of their labours. Bargain for everything from leather goods and copperware to exotic Moroccan carpets.

It seems that each of the imperial cities has at one time or another been the capital of Morocco and Marrakech is no exception. Founded in 1062, the city was planned and perfected by architects and craftsmen imported from the Spanish city of Cordoba to construct palaces, mosques, baths and a subterranean water system. The city walls, which extend for over six miles, were raised from the red mud of the adjacent plains thus giving Marrakech its oft used nom de plume, “The Red City”, but it is the domineering, 203 foot high minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque that defines the skyline of Marrakech and is the focal point of every approach to the city.

In complete contrast to the rich history and ancient monuments of Marrakech are the sumptuous, modern hotels and atmospheric, boutique riads which will undoubtedly satisfy the most sophisticated self-indulgence. It is easy to become so preoccupied with the experience that surrounds Marrakech that golf and the golf courses become peripheral, but that would be a catastrophic mistake as the golf in Marrakech is expressly of the highest and most impeccable standards. In fact it would be no exaggeration to say that it is……