Located on the Mediterranean and outside of the expensive Eurozone, Morocco is one of the most sought after short-haul destinations. Offering a range of ancient cities, the splendour of the Atlas Mountains and an eclectic mix of music and culture, this is 5 things do in Morocco.
Surf in Taghazout
The Atlantic breakers offer world-class surf. The winter months in Taghazout offer consistently good swells with water and air temperatures still mild. Taghazout is the most popular surf town in Morocco and just a short 25 minute drive from Agadir. With 330 days of sunshine it is extremely popular with surfers yet the spots aren’t as busy as Europe or the US.
Get Scrubbed in a Hammam
While not a luxurious experience or anything akin to what one might find in a western hotel spa or riad, getting scrubbed clean in a Hammam is an experience to behold. A no-holds-barred scrub with black soap wipes away all trace of dirt, before a bucket of water is dunked all over you. You are then placed in a sauna to sweat it out. However to end it all, you are treated to a soothing massages, leaving super clean and finally relaxed.
Majorelle Gardens of Marrakech
The Majorelle Gardens of Marrakech are filled with bright colours, peace and rare plant life. The botanical gardens, designed by renowned French painter Jacques Majorelle, are located north-west of the Medina of Marrakech, a pleasant 30 minute walk. Majorelle settled in Morocco in 1919, while in 1980 Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge bought the gardens and set about restoring them to their former glory. When Yves Saint Laurent passed away in 2008 his ashes were scattered in the gardens.
Hike in the Atlas Mountains
The Atlas Mountains, just 40 miles from Marrakech, offer hikers pure air, majestic views and the chance to escape the tourist crowd. With Berber villages a feature of the mountains, this is a wild and rugged landscape, to be expected when the Atlas Mountains are Africa’s highest mountain range. With some of the peaks topping 4,000m the Atlas Mountains are made to be explored, either on foot, horse or by mountain biking.
Haggle in the local Souks
Haggling or bartering is expected in the seemingly chaotic souks of Marrakech. With a labyrinth of small shops which dominate the backstreets of the main square Djemaa el Fna, Marrakech’s souks offer a range of market goods. Rugs, slippers, chess sets, spices and hand-made crockery, the souls are best explored at night when lanterns light the way. Haggling is an expected part of a transaction; don’t be shy about getting involved. Shopkeepers, the good ones anyway, will often offer you a delicious cup of mint tea while you discuss a price which is acceptable for you both. However if you’re not happy, simply walk away, this often drives the price down.