tripping // morocco

Inspired by the latest, desert themed issue of Gather Journal, we are planning a ten-day escape to Morocco; traveling through Marrakesh, the Atlas Mountains, Essaouira and then departing from Marrakesh again, after a notable birthday (not mine) celebrated at the rather grand La Mamounia.

Accommodation 

Your best bet is looking at Mr and Mrs Smith or, for some amazing bargains, combing through Air BnB. I normally avoid staying in luxury hotels as I find them a little soulless and prefer the casualness of AirBnB accommodation, but in Morocco they are so affordable and gorgeous it's hard to resist.

We've booked the below - I can't wait, although I wish I'd known about the incredible Hotel Fellah before I made my arrangements. Next time.

Marrakech | Riad 72




Essaouira | Les Jardin Des Douars




Marrakech | La Mamounia




Things to Do

Marrakesh 


  • Visit Yves Saint Laurent's garden, Le Jardin Majorelle or Le Maison Arabe
  • Learn to cook Moroccan food at Souk Kitchen
  • Head to the top of the Café du France in Jemaa el Fna for a sunset view of the Koutoubia Mosque and its intoxicating call to prayer.
  • Visit Ben Youssef Medersa
  • Book an hour long hammam treatment at La Mamounia
  • Visit Chez Ali on the outskirts of the city, where you can watch a show of horse tricks by black-clad Bedouins, veiled dancers, and a glowing fireworks display. 
  • Visit the Saadian Tombs

Essaouira


  • Breakfast at Chez Paul (Rue Allal Ben Ahmed; 212 5 24 45 84 74)
  • Beach and lunch at Le Chalet de la Plage (Bd. Mohammed V; 05 24 47 59 72), where the fresh seafood selection includes grilled sardines ($8) and Provencal-style squid ($14)
  • Ride camels on the beach at  Ranch de Diabet 
  • Look at Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah Museum(Rue Laâlouj; 212 (0) 44 47 23 00; $1 admission), a former mansion that showcases jewelry, carpets, and other local crafts.
  • Visit the relatively hassle-free souk to purchase gifts.
  • Sundowners at rooftop bar Taros after it opens at 7.30 p.m. Grab a seat, order grilled calamari ($14) and settle in with the local surfers for live music featuring traditional instruments like bass drums and castanets before making the trip back to Marrakech.

Shopping

I'm inspired by the editor of Cereal magazine, Rosalia Park's recent trip, where she purchased a beautiful selection of tagines, textiles and treats to bring home. It's worth following her Instagram as she spends much of her time traveling and has a wonderful eye for hotels and restaurants. It's a good reminder not to do what I normally do which is buy loads of brightly coloured embroidered things that I promptly hate as soon as I get back home.

Some more thoughts on the haggling process and best places to shop here; Mustapha Blaoui, Yahya and Antika for rugs and homewares, Moro and Akbar in the souks, the gift shops in Hotel Fellah, Riad el Fenn, Jardin Majorelle and the showrooms at the Beldi Club (you can pick up anything from a two-tone glazed tagine (£9) to a hand-embroidered table cloth (£48), they say). 


Places to Eat

Marrakesh
  • Dar Moha, Marrakesh
  • Comptoir Dana, Marrakesh | For bellydancers and tagines.
  • Le Salama, Marrakesh | For low lighting and a dreamy view.
  • Dar Darma | A plunge pool and home-cooked lunch in a riad during the day is a good idea.
  • Terasse des Epices | For a relaxing lunch in the souks.
  • Djemaa el Fna for street food – each stall has a specialty and are clustered. 
  • Try a traditional tajine of monkfish and prawns and a Casablanca beer at the Grand Café de la Poste, a velour-and-leather-clad brasserie founded in 1925.
  • A wide ranging guide, Best Restaurants Maroc is a sort of TopTable for Morocco.


Some Wonderful Resources

FathomAway
Lucy Williams recent Morocco trip on her wonderful blog Fashion Me Now

I'll keep adding to this as I do more research, but I'd love your thoughts on places to go, things to do and best spots to eat - and those to avoid; and of course I will post loads of photos and tips upon my return.

No comments:

Post a Comment