Visiting Morocco, you are bound to find yourself wandering one of the hundreds of gardens scattered around the country and indulging in all the beauty and history they have to offer.
Morocco’s rich nature and various landscapes include hundreds of beautiful and colorful gardens scattered throughout the country. Beautiful flowering shrubs and centuries-old trees make Moroccan gardens some of the best destinations to visit during your travel to Morocco.
Traditional Moroccan gardens feature beautiful fountains, waterfalls, and streams that make the attractions resemble a small paradise. The paradisiacal theme is also evident in most riads in old medinas, with small, well-kept Islamic gardens that symbolize heaven.
Established centuries ago, Moroccans and tourists from around the world visit the Moorish or Islamic gardens to enjoy the Islamic architecture, such as the gorgeous Zellige pattern decorating the mosaic walls of the small heavens. Visitors of gardens can learn more about Morocco’s history and explore its nature, as well as refresh their senses and unwind in a calming environment with fresh oxygen after a hectic day in the bustling medina.
The beautiful greeneries and architecture combined with the calming sounds of streams and different types of birds can be truly therapeutic and feed our soul’s need for nature.
These are the six best gardens to visit in your travel to Morocco to explore the nature and the Moroccan history held in the ancient walls.
Majorelle Garden, Marrakech
Majorelle is perhaps the most famous and well-known garden in Morocco and often appears on travel bucket lists. Located on Yves Saint Laurent Street in Marrakech, the two and a half acre botanical garden is unique with its eye-catching blue, yellow, and green colors that draw visitors to come in and explore the garden’s beautiful nature, design, and museum.
French painter Jacques Majorelle originally owned and designed the site in 1990 during the French colonial period. After he abandoned the property, French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge purchased and reinvigorated the space and transformed it into the iconic garden it is today.
After the death of the renowned fashion designer, his body was cremated and his ashes scattered throughout the garden that he found solace and inspiration in for many years.
Officially opened in 1949 to the public, the iconic garden is full of beautiful collections of trees and plants, including Bougainville and Cacti plants. It also includes a Riad (Villa) in its interior with blue and yellow Moorish and Islamic architecture, streams with floating lilies and lotus flowers, and an archaeological museum that showcases Morocco’s Amazigh (Berber) culture.
Anima Garden, Douar Sbiti Ourika
Designed by the Austrian artist Andre Heller, the two-hectare garden of Anima is one of the best natural attractions in Morocco that you need to visit during your travel. Located 27 kilometers from Marrakech in Douar Sbiti Ourika, visitors can take a free shuttle bus from the red city to the unique garden.
The botanical garden is truly special with its artistic designs, architecture, colorful paintings, photography exhibitions, and unique installations from around the world. The small paradise is decorated with fields of roses and dozens of palm trees.
As you walk through the colorful garden, you will explore more of the artist’s work, from imaginative sculptures and characters, and other works and contemporary art by great artists such as Keith Haring and Pablo Picasso, as well as the intriguing path of Chinese zodiac signs and a glasshouse.
Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the summer months, Anima Garden also has a Moroccan cafe close to the entrance, where you can relax after the tour and indulge in some fresh juice, tea, and pastries.
Jnan Sbil, Fez
Jnan Sbil Garden, which is Arabic for “heaven’s way,” is one of the best historical attractions in Morocco, founded in the 18th century by Sultan Moulay Abdellah in the imperial city of Fez.
Located between Bab Bou Jeloud and the Mellah (Jewish quarter), the green garden has long paths surrounded by more than 3,000 plants from different species, seven grand iron doors, and grand central fountains. Multiple bird coops are home to peacocks and doves.
Read also: Take a Walk in Jnan Sbil Park, Fez
The eight-hectare public garden has a mix of influences, from Andalusian to Mexican. It also has a bamboo garden, zellige-tiled fountains, and beautiful roses, which makes the attraction even more diverse and fascinating in its beauty.
The well-kept garden is a destination for locals to escape Morocco’s summer heat and enjoy the calming atmosphere, and for tourists to explore Fez’s rich history and beauty as well as rest from their bustling travel to the maze-like city of Fez.
Andalusian gardens, Rabat
Located in the Oudayas Kasbah of Rabat, the Andalusian gardens are one of the main attractions in the capital city of Morocco. Built in the 12th century, the Kasbah is a beautiful fortress that overlooks the Atlantic Ocean and Bou Regreg River that separates Rabat from the neighboring city of Sale.
The entrance of the Kasbah is a beautiful museum that displays Moroccan and Amazigh heritage, culture, and history with art, pottery, musical instruments, and jewelry. Passing through the unique museum and through the majestic door, you will find the beautiful Andalusian garden which was laid out between 1915 and 1918 by the French landscape architect Jean-Claude Forestier.
Besides the captivating architecture and remnants of ancient sculptures and ramparts, the garden includes a variety of greenery and several tree species including date, oleander, orange, banana, and lemon trees, as well as lofty palms, shrubs, and vibrant bougainvillea.
The garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a travel destination for many Moroccans and tourists to take in the beauty of nature and explore the history of Morocco as well as rest under the shade of the trees.
Exotic gardens, Bouknadel
Located in Bouknadel on the road from Rabat to its sister city of Kenitra is the four-acre “Jardin exotique” or exotic gardens.
French horticultural engineer Marcel Francois designed the gardens in 1951 using several exotic and rare species of plants and trees from all around the world, including from China, Congo, South Asia, Japan, Brazil, Polynesia, and recently with exotic flora from Latin America and the Caribbean.
To travel to the garden, one of Morocco’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, you can take a bus from Bab Chellah in Rabat or from Bab Lekhmiss in the Sale medina. At the center of the exotic gardens is a museum that offers different rooms with photography and the history of the garden’s creation, plus a library.
The diversity of the exotic gardens gives the site a unique appeal and attracts Moroccans and tourists alike to explore the beautiful nature and have relaxing afternoon picnics. There is also a Moorish-style cafe where you can have Moroccan tea and explore more of the garden’s history.
Ain Asserdoun, Beni Mellal
Classified as one of Morocco’s UNESCO World Heritage sites, Ain Asserdoun is one of the nicest garden attractions for Moroccans and tourists who travel to the interesting city of Beni Mellal.
Ain Asserdoun, which means the “eye of the mule” in the Amazigh language, is a garden that offers a large collection of greeneries, bushes, and flowers, as well as a beautiful spring that flows in different streams around the garden, creating a calming and relaxing atmosphere.
The small paradise is surrounded by beautiful diverse and landscapes with mountains and waterfall, as well as the historic Kasbah of Ras El Ain, which translates to “the head of the eye.”
The kasbah was built in the mountain above the Ain Asserdoun garden and overlooks the whole city and its surroundings.
Gardens are places where we can go to slow down from our busy and fast routine, unwind and rest, and take in the natural beauty of our world. The gardens above are some of the most beautiful sites in Morocco that offer rich history and beautiful landscapes for you to enjoy during your travels.