Things to do in Morocco

Things to do in Morocco


Our top activities in Morocco

Rocking the Kasbah

A kasbah was traditionally a fort made of adobe, and usually located in the mountains, to give protection from potential invaders heading up from the desert. Stay the night in one, and you’ll feel protected from all your worldly worries, the most famous of which are found at Aït Benhaddou, the Kasbah du Toubkal in the Atlas Mountains and along the Dades and Draa Valleys.

Take your family

You may have been putting Morocco off, waiting for a weekend escape from the kids, a romantic anniversary break, or a girly shopping trip. But the minute you walk into the madness of the medina in Marrakech and its circus like ambience, you will vow to come back with the children on a family vacation. Because Morocco, not just the medinas but all of it, is fun. It’s cheeky. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and children love that about it. That and the camel rides in the desert, making camp under the stars with Bedouin tribesmen, sand boarding on Saharan dunes, surfing along Essaouira’s Atlantic coast or hiking and biking their way through the Atlas Mountains. And if all of that leaves those growing, hollow legs quaking for food – no better place to eat well and at very little cost.

Getting hooked on hammams

A hammam is a steam room where Moroccan men and women bathe, usually weekly and separately, of course. In a hotel, there will be someone to scrub you, wrap you in Rhassoul clay from the Atlas Mountains, and then dip you and strip you of all worries. And skin cells. Go for the public over hotel hammam for the real thing, but buy your scrub glove and rinse bucket at the souk beforehand.

Hiking the Atlas

This has been on the expert explorers’ radar for a long time, but lovers of Moroccan souks and seaside are now embarking on journeys up to its magnificent peaks. Hardcore hikers head for the High Atlas’ Mount Toubkal in Mount Toubkal National Park, but there is superb walking to be had in the lower Atlas range too, with welcoming Berber people at remote mountain villages all along the way. Atlas Mountains are very unspoiled, meaning that you need to tread sensitively not only to protect the environment but also local culture, as you trek through these remote Berber villages. Some have embraced tourism and have created gîtes and food outlets, but others continue with their traditional lifestyles of subsistence farming. You can also go for the more la-de-dah type walking vacation in the Atlas Mountains and kip on crisp white sheets in a Kasbah. Most treks start in the village of Imlil, and continue on up through a maze of historic mule tracks that have traditionally linked villages over time. Just a few hours from Marrakech, these majestic massifs take you into a whole other world and time.
Photo credits: [Hiking the Atlas: Simo Khelloqi] [Rocking the Kasbah: Grand Parc - Bordeaux, France] [Take your family - Sand dunes: Encounters Travel] [Get hooked on hammams: Andy Wright]
Written by Catherine Mack
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