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The Palmeraie Millennium of Marrakech

Written on : 07 June 2024
By : Alexis Steinman
A magical oasis in the Red City: La Palmeraie in Marrakech 

A magical oasis in the Red City: La Palmeraie in Marrakech 

At the foot of the breathtaking Atlas Mountains in the Haouz Valley, this magical oasis sits just 10 kms from the city centre. The green lung of the red city, the Palmeraie is a 13,000-hectare palm tree grove that is more than 10 centuries old. Nicknamed the Beverly Hills of Marrakech for its soaring palms and luxury hotels, the Palmeraie boasts over 100,000 palm trees, contributing to the city's agricultural and cultural wealth. Straddling modernity and history and tourism and nature, this unique place is one of the reasons why your next holiday should be in Marrakech.

History of the Palmeraie: From then to now 

In the 11th century, the Sultan Youssouf ben Tachfine planted the seeds of this emblematic palm grove. Legend says that when his soldiers tossed date pits on the ground, they sprung into what is now known as the Palmeraie in Marrakech. Impressively, the palm grove uses an ancient irrigation system that captures groundwater from the nearby Atlas Mountains and transports it via underground canals. Called khettara, this innovative system dates back to 1st Century B.C. and permits the palm trees to flourish in Marrakech's hot, arid climate.

Ecology and biodiversity: The Palmeraie's unique riches 

As one of the largest palm groves in the world, the Palmeraie benefits from a rich biodiversity. The abundant flora and fauna include around 50 bird species and 20 different kinds of reptiles. The 100,000 palm trees aren't just for show—their cultivation contributes to the area's economic activity. Date palms play a primary role in Moroccan culture and cuisine. In Islamic tradition, dates symbolise abundance and the sacred, and are revered as a highly nutritious food. That is why Muslims break the Ramadan fast with them.

Another type of tree, the oil palm, is used to make various products. Popular in cooking, cosmetics, and cleaning products, palm oil is made by pressing the palm fruit. The lesser known palm wine is produced by fermenting pine sap. Low in alcohol content, it tastes somewhat like cider. Hearts of palm are harvested from other palms, as well as wood that is used in construction and furniture making. 

Activities and excursions: Golf & Things to do in the Palmeraie area

Activities and excursions: Golf & Things to do in the Palmeraie area

Spread across 130 square kilometres, the best way to truly appreciate the vast expanse of the Palmeraie is to explore it on two or four wheels - or atop a camel or a horse. A camel ride gives you a taste of the traditional way to traverse the Sahara Dessert. Both children and adults will enjoy donning typical blue garments and stopping for tea in a Berber village. In the need for speed? Book a mountain bike or quad tour in the Palmeraie. Golf lovers will enjoy the beautiful 27-hole golf course surrounded by palm trees. 

On hot days, plan your outdoor activities for the morning or the late afternoon since there's not a lot of shade in the Palmeraie. The silhouettes of the palm trees at sunset is truly sublime. Your Villanovo concierge will be happy to book excursions to make the most of your family holiday, whether you want to horseback ride, spend the afternoon on the links, and more.

An important cultural role for Marrakech

As tourism and urban planning projects have increased across the region, the Palmeraie in Marrakech has grown in economic and cultural importance. You can now find luxury hotels with swimming pools, tourist complexes, and one of the best golf courses in Marrakech. This growth has had an environmental impact, with the Palmeraie's surface decreasing around 30% over the last 20 years. Thankfully, the local government has launched a protection programme to preserve existing trees and plant new ones so that visitors and local alike can continue to enjoy this magical oasis.  

Villanovo in Marrakech: Exceptional stays and luxury concierge service

Our collection of exclusive villas

Villanovo has thoughtfully selected a range of luxury villas in the Palmeraie to suit your every need. Choose a villa with a swimming pool, tennis court, house staff, or a private chef.  

For those curious to discover other areas in Marrakech, we also have exclusive luxury villas in the Medina, in the modern neighbourhoods of Gueliz and Hivernage, or conveniently close to the  Royal Palm, Amelkis, and Al Maaden golf courses. 

A unique experience in Morocco

Our attentive concierges take care of all the details so you can concentrate on your holiday. This personalised service adapts each trip to your needs, whether you want to book yoga classes, water sports, or a private chef. Last but not least? Villanovo offers you a beautiful travel booklet for each stay in one of our villas in Marrakech. You'll find all our recommendations and great addresses for restaurants, shops and other experiences to discover in Marrakech.

Discover Villanovo's selection of luxury villas for Marrakech

Dar 118

(100 )
350 € - 650 € per night
6 3 3

Marrakech - Medina
2 000 € - 4 000 € per night
32 (34 max.) 17 16

Marrakech - Palmeraie and nearby