We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

minerals in marrakesh area

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
4 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
minerals in marrakesh area

We will be visiting Marrakesh this coming November(2011). My 9 year old loves collecting and looking at minerals and fossiles. Where would be the best places to go in the City and area outside the City that could be a day trip?

Atlas Mountains and Three Valleys...
517 Reviews
from US$62.00*
Free Cancellation
Atlas Mountains Hot Air Balloon Ride...
370 Reviews
from US$238.60*
Free Cancellation
3-Day Tour: Marrakech to Merzouga by...
118 Reviews
from US$131.20*
East Gwillimbury...
Level Contributor
2,232 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: minerals in marrakesh area

You will find lots of faux "fossils" & "minerals" at regular intervals in the souqs and shops in town, and outside of town from roadside vendors. Be VERY wary of authenticity and price unless you (or your 9 year old) happen to be geologists! haha

cheers

Vancouver, WA
Level Contributor
64 posts
118 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: minerals in marrakesh area

You will also find lots of interesting geodes for sale. We paid 2-3 dollars for each, by the way.

Marrakech, Morocco
Level Contributor
4,324 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: minerals in marrakesh area

I absolutely agree with spmm: you have to be experienced to sort out the fake from the real. And there are many fakes, some so cleverly done that even those with some knowledge of the subject have been fooled. Having said that the Atlas mountains are a trove of fossils, agates and quartz, river washed conglomerates, and many other interesting rocks and minerals, including corals and fossilised wood and other plant remains, particularly ferns, cycads and conifers. The ammonites and trilobites are particularly suspect (concrete moulds, craftily "aged"). As are gastropods and other molluscs. Geological items are not ready to be collected around Marrakech - they have been gone for a very long time. The souks here, in the medina, do have items for sale, and the boxes of teaching aids are good value (even if their contents may not always be exactly "kosher".)

But I certainly do not want to put you and your son off this fascinating subject. A day trip along the Ourika valley to Setti Fatima is worth it if only for an overall view of the complex geology of the region (the mountains once being part of the North Atlantic continental shelf, the same continental drift that resulted in the Pyrenees and the Alps in Europe). Wandering off the beaten track a bit or searching the river bed and you may, just may, be lucky. (It's a very popular day trip with visitors and locals alike.) The river bed yields many interesting rocks and pebbles for example, not that I'm advocating taking a carload of them!

The route to Ourika also has many roadside stalls selling fossils and stones. I hope that your son would find these places fascinating. Enjoy your trip!

Mentioned in this post
Hotel Atlas
Hotel Atlas
158 Reviews
Marrakech, Morocco
Ourika Valley
Ourika Valley
861 Reviews
Ourika, Morocco
Fatima
Fatima
Santarem District, Portugal
Europe
Europe
World
Castril De La Pena...
Destination Expert
for Morocco
Level Contributor
11,279 posts
66 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: minerals in marrakesh area

My first experience in the 1970s was getting my wondeful piece of amethyst home and washing it, only for the purple dye to come off and reveal ordinary white quartz. The rock and fossil fakes are much better nowadays, at one time you could recognise the different moulds used to create the trilobites. Lots of impossibly coloured orange and green geodes.

Sidi Rahal geode mine is possibly the closest to Marrakech and is on the road heading east from Marrakech towards Demnate. Turn right (south) 1.2km before Sidi Rahal down a dirt road that has some houses (selling samples) about 300m down it. Carry straight on into the countryside for about a km. Some pics below.

morocco-knowledgebase.net/forum/…

Edited: 25 August 2011, 07:58
Mentioned in this post
Marrakech
Marrakech
Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region, Morocco
Liverpool, United...
Level Contributor
773 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: minerals in marrakesh area

I have just bought a pendant made from" Moroccan grey" and set in silver by a Uk jeweller..called Samwong(surname).He bought the pieces from a dealer in Derbyshire and tried to get more on a trip to Morocco.His wife was saying "only my husband would use this for jewellery".. It's an intriguing piece with the tiny "fossils"..not everyone 's cup of tea but it is mine..but I got it here in the UK!

He found the traders wanted high prices for the genuine and would not haggle "down"!

Edited: 25 August 2011, 10:15
Mentioned in this post
Morocco
Morocco
Africa
Santorini, Greece
Level Contributor
276 posts
119 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: minerals in marrakesh area

Can you find ammonites in Marrakech ?

Mentioned in this post
Marrakech
Marrakech
Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz Region, Morocco
Castril De La Pena...
Destination Expert
for Morocco
Level Contributor
11,279 posts
66 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: minerals in marrakesh area

Yes, but many of the bigger ones are concrete! Also you find orthaceras which are a bit like belemnites (long tubular squid-like creatures).

Unless you really know what you are buying and how much you should pay, you would be better advised to purchase these in your home country.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
4 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: minerals in marrakesh area

thank you all for you comments. Rilke will be a bit sad but I am sure will still have fun looking.

9. Re: minerals in marrakesh area

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 16 October 2012, 17:19