If you are like me, the year has been one helluva rollercoaster. To cope with this I always travel to rejuvenate my soul, find myself once more and be ignited and inspired. We all know the saying “losing yourself , is the key to finding yourself.” I think I just made that up, but you get the drift no? There is no better way to do this than to immerse yourself in local culture while traveling. Experiencing another culture and tribe, helps you see life through a different set of eyes and gets you to appreciate your life as well.
I recently traveled to Morocco and this country provides amazing things to do and see. In this article I will share the best things to do in Morocco that will let you immerse yourself.
Morocco, is where Africa, Europe and the Middle east meet. Not only does Morocco bring such a burst of energy with it, it also has a culture that is rich, exotic and nothing short of magical. There are so many things to inspire you in Morocco, so many things to do, so little time. Here are my most favorite things to in Morocco.
Sip a cup of tea
In Morocco a party ain’t a party until you have had yourself a cup of mint tea. As a matter of fact it is considered an abomination of the highest order if you don’t take time to visit any of Morocco’s tea cafes.
I am sitting with a local, he says “You must drink our tea”, “You must.” “For the tea is in their blood, and I couldn’t agree more. Tea for decades has been known to soothe the soul, and every existing heartache there ever was (for me anyway).
One of my favorite quaint little places in Morocco for a cup of mint tea is the Tea room Riad Yima. This place is hidden on the medina just in the spices place Rahba lakdima. Riad Yima is a spectacular labour of love that took three years to complete, with every detail very carefully made by the artist’s hand.
The owner Hassan Hajjaj acquired an old fonduq in Marrakesh, gutted and rebuilt it into a jewel riad which is recently transformed into Boutique Gallery and Tea room, The Riad features his artwork, furniture design and products. Fusing east and west, his works range from witty photos of Arab life to recycled furniture made from African advertising signs.
After the bustle of the souks the best way to relax is to simply collapse of one of the poufs or bench of Riad Yima, a pot of green tea with mint or a natural organic juice ahead, flipping one of the many books available to customers in the patio, the lounge or on the terrace.
Get a Henna painting
In all my 28 years of living, I had never once applied Henna on my skin, until Morocco happened. Almost all tourists in Morocco will come across henna artists at some point during their stay. Many hotels and riads can arrange henna art services, whereby an artist comes to your accommodation to give you a stunning design. Djemma el Fna in Marrakech is known for its abundance of ladies offering henna designs, though do be aware of common scams. The city also has several respectable henna cafés and stores offering beautiful designs. Place el Hedim in Meknes, Agadir beach, and the Henna Souk in Fez are other popular places for tourists to have a henna design applied. Henna artists can be found in many souks around the country, and it is also possible to buy supplies if you want to attempt to create your own skin art (something I would not advise, because they are pretty good at what they do. Thank me later!)
Stroll through the many souks
An adventure in Morocco, is not an adventure until you have visited the many souks, bustling with activity and an energy that is out of this world. One of my favorite experiences in the souks involves a one day stroll through the labyrinth of colorful streets of the souks in Marrakech, where I met one of the best leather artist in Marrakech. I learnt all about all ins and outs of Moroccan leather craft, and the best thing is I got to work on my own leather piece myself, and took home a beautiful memory of Marrakech. It takes a day, and if you are interested in the experience, attached is the link, to book your experience.
Taste Morocco’s rich cuisine
Morocco’s food scene is one of the best in the world. Influenced by Morocco’s interactions and exchanges with other cultures and nations over the centuries, which is typically a mix of Arabic, Andalusian and Mediterranean cuisines with a slight European and Subsaharan influence. But within Morocco, the cuisine varies based on the region – pastilla in Fes, medfloun in the Sahara region, sardines in coastal Safi, and tanjia in Marrakech.
Explore the Sahara Desert on a camel
Have you ever rode a camel? To experience the Moroccan Sahara Desert is the best place to combine both of best worlds. To let yourself immerse in Moroccoan life join a Berber Nomad on his camel through this amazing place on earth. You can check out the experience in the link below
Stay with a Berber family
Deep in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, the ancient Berbers live on, defying a harsh environment, and remaining loyal to their traditions and way of life in some of the most hard-to-reach parts of the African continent. Indomitable and proud, they call themselves the Amazigh, which is believed to mean “free people” or “noble men,” and trace their origins as an indigenous people in western North Africa to at least 10,000BC
They became the stuff of legend, giving the world famous names such as the medieval explorer Ibn Battuta, who travelled further in distance than Marco Polo.
Their home is the majestic Atlas, the largest mountain range in Africa. Amazigh villages are scattered across arid desert landscapes with burnt-orange rock, occasionally dotted with lush green slopes and surrounded by snow-capped peaks. If you want to experience this amazing community, we have an experience just for you. click on the link below.
See stunning rock formations in Tafraoute
Rarely did I see such stunning rock formations as en route to Tafraoute, until we arrived in Tafraoute itself. I am surrounded by palm trees and mountains. Tafraoute is cupped in a shallow bowl between rocky outcrops. When going to Tafraoute don’t skip a visit to Chez Sabir hidden in a little lane. It is the ancestral home of Abdel-Latif Bakrim, a culinary genius. There are just three tables, laid out in the family’s sitting room, with a small kitchen behind. He makes the best food I have had in a long time! Tafraoute is a wonderful place to come for hiking, a visit to the the oasis Ait Mansour Gorge and the blue painted rocks.
Surround yourself with an oasis in Ait Mansour
Ait Mansour Gorge is a true oasis. A long ribbon of date palms along a river through a wild and rugged rock desert. The road leading to this place is also stunning with many hairpin bends . The ride through the canyon is an unforgettable experience.
If you are looking for inspiration look no further. Chefchaouen is an otherworldly escape nestled in Morocco’s Rif Mountains. As well as its distinctive palette of blue and white buildings, a striking contrast with the arid setting, this popular town has plenty to offer. Embark on strenuous hillside hikes or idle strolls, bathe in mountain streams, or embrace the culinary scene and excellent shopping. I would tell you more about this city, but I feel I would you do great injustice, because in my humble opinion, this city is indescribable. So I will just post loads of pics, and let you bask in the glorious blue city Chefchaouen is.
Take a surf in Sidi Ifni
Visit the old Spanish enclave of Sidi Ifni. It has a very relaxed and authentic vibe, a mix of Moroccan and African. Here you can take one of the best waves. When visiting this relaxed surf village take the time to also visit the natural wonder of Legzira.
As the year comes to an end, are you planning to unwind, to travel and find your soul? If so share with me some of the destinations you would be visiting. Or if you have ever gone on a soul searching trip, share with me your experiences on the comments below, I would love to hear all about it.
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