9am: Before facing the full heat of the day in Marrakech, take breakfast in the shady courtyard of a riad, which are microcosms of leafy cool. Most places offer traditional steaming silver pots of fresh mint tea and local pastries sweetened with rose water.
10am: Fresh ripe oranges sit in rows in the juice carts of the main Medina. Arm yourself with a refreshing cup and get ready for some serious bartering. Gleaming lanterns of coloured glass hang from the rafters and silver tea trays, soft leather bags and bright baubled slippers sit in seductive rows. Be sure to bag yourself a packet of precious saffron - perfect for that nostalgic post-holiday tagine.
12pm: By the time you’re all shopped out, there’s nowhere better to head than the Jardin Majorelle, an exotic garden which was restored in the 1980s by none other than fashion maestro, Yves San Laurent (who had his ashes scattered here). A chic blend of Art Deco and classic Islamic design, this boutique garden is filled with fountains, cacti and tropical blooms. It’s just off Avenue Jacoub el Mansour and its cobalt blue buildings house an impressive collection of Islamic art.
2pm: Hop in a cab back to the Medina for lunch at Cafe Arabe, one of the Moroccan capital’s first Italian cafes and still the most coveted. The best spot is up on the terrace where you’ll have a good view of the mosque and beyond, the Atlas Mountain range. Be warned, it’s deep in the heart of the souks and tricky to find (but then, all the best places are).
4pm: To shed the inevitable layers of city dust, check yourself into the La Mamounia Spa for a few hours of indulgent pampering. Located in the exclusive Hotel La Mamounia, this luxury spa was awarded Best Hotel Spa in the World for 2011 by the readers of Conde Nast Traveller magazine. Take a swim in the dreamy pool and try a traditional hammam - the therapist will scrub and exfoliate you from head to toe, leaving your skin tingling with a clean, healthy glow.
8pm: Still in your spa haze, take a wander around the main medina, which by darkness, is now transformed into a theatrical wonderland. Street performers draw throngs of tourists (beware the snake charmers who chase you), flickering lanterns illuminate the smoke billowing from the street kitchens which have been set up for dinner. The market stalls are just as active at night and you can buy paper cups of hot roasted nuts which make the ideal pre-dinner appetiser.
9pm: Dine at the wonderful Le Tobsil restaurant for a taste of traditional Moroccan banquets of old. Wander in from the Medina to discover a romantic and palatial riad with flickering candles and rustic decor. Expect a grand and unforgettable dining experience with ten-courses of fragrant local dishes - make sure you arrive hungry! Read Conde Nast Traveller’s review of the restaurant here.
Sleep: We’re offering up to 50% off Les Cinq Djellabas - a romantic haven that’s just 20 minutes’ drive outside the city in a garden of olive and banana trees and swaying palms. Located in the peaceful area of Bab Atlas in the exclusive Palmerai - it provides a restful escape from the drama of the main medina. Bedrooms take the form of large individual suites set around a large glassy swimming pool - this hotel oozes pure luxury and dining is simple yet sophisticated.