Taghzout, Imbouraine, Marrakech, Imbouraine
The sounds of these towns bring a certain sense of nostalgia and a slight cringe of sadness. I usually don't feel this way after coming home. I'm use to jetting off for a week or two and returning home feeling refreshed, happy and grateful for my time in a new place- eager to get back to my routine of daily life.
But not this time. I've come down with a serious case of post-travel blues. So in order to ease the fresh wounds of such an incredible trip, I'll re-live my experience here, giving you some insight into one of the most amazing trips I've taken by far.
Stay at Surf Marcoc
-This lush boutique hotel has rooms starting in the $100 dollar range- with beach front views, incredible family-style meals, and an infinity pool to relax in after a day of surfing, it doesn't get much better than this. The place has an amazing staff that has created a welcoming atmosphere- plus it doesn't hurt to have sunset yoga classes overlooking the ocean on the roof with their certified yoga instructor, Ieva Aldins, leading both morning and evening sessions. (Plus it's the only place in the town that serves alcohol... just sayin')
Eat at L'Auberge Restaurant
-Have a poached egg on some avocado toast for $3.50 or indulge in traditional Moroccan tagine for $6.00- either way, this place is delicious.
Take a surf lesson
-Any of the forty hostels in the area offer surf lessons around town. Try it out! It's what the town is known for.
This is a great place to do a day trip from Taghzout as it's a pretty sleepy town with not too much going on. It's a popular spot that surfers head to as it has one of the longest lasting smooth surf break in Morocco. There's a few restaurants here, but I recommend heading over to the guys selling their fishes and buying one- they will grill it right up for you and bring you over salad, bread and olives with it! Sit back and watch the surfers go with the African dessert situated as your backdrop. Life doesn't get much better.
Stay in a Riad
-A riad is traditional house in Morocco and is literally the definition of luxury living. You'd never guess from the outside, but these houses are absolutely breathtaking once you enter. We were constantly finding ourselves in complete awe in each riad we stayed in along the way. Sometimes I felt like I wasn't allowed to stay in such a nice place! Moroccans are so incredibly creative and talented which shows in their homes. Find a riad on Airbnb and I PROMISE you will not be disappointed. Plus- most of them make you amazing breakfast spreads in the morning.
Eat at Nomads Restaurant
- A great restaurant with a rooftop overlooking the streets of Marrakech. A little pricey for Morocco but hey- if you are looking to indulge in a good meal, head to Nomads. Try to call in for a reservation first, we had to wait a bit and make sure you get seating on the roof.
Treat yourself to a Hamman Bath at Riad Lotus
-Don't you miss the days when you use to be bathed as a child? Well- that is exactly what goes down in a Hammam bathhouse. A lady is actually bathing you. Sounds a bit strange, and I'll admit- I was a bit hesitant at first...but man, it brought me back to my youth. Throughout the Roman Empire, public baths were part of everyday life and have continued into the 21st century where the Hammam rituals are still an important part of Moroccan culture and life. Usually, men, women and children will visit their local Hammam at least once a week, and spend two hours or so catching up with one another and follow the long rituals for cleansing their bodies. Now a days, these Hammam baths have become quite popular for foreigners visiting Morocco. Riad Lotus is STUNNING and after our spa treatment, we were treated with live music from a lovely Moroccan band and some champagne (yes they have alcohol here!).
Get Lost in the Central Market
-Eventually, you'll find yourself knee deep in the markets of Marrakesh, overwhelmed by the beauty of all the incredible handcrafted items that the Moroccans make. There is so much going on in each market stall and you are able to witness the making of many items right there! To think that each item here has been shaped, carved, stitched, sewn and painted by the hands of these people is just an incredible experience to see.
Eat in the market
-Okay- I developed a serious obsession with msemen, rich traditional, pancake-like bread that takes similar to naan. It's typically eaten with breakfast buuuut for me, I sought after it every chance I get. No...I'm serious. I ate one every 2-3 hours. That being said- get some falafel from a guy at the market stall and slap it on some msemen and you are good. Otherwise, head to the fish market and you will find a tiny little restaurant situated in the back that allows you to pick any fish from the market and then prepares right there for you. Get there before it closes at 7:30.
Ride a camel
On the outskirts of town where the surfers are, you'll see a bunch of camels, horses and strangely enough- ATVs. We paid the guy 5 bucks to let us ride two camels and he took a ton of pictures for us.
Overall, Morocco has officially nuzzled itself into my top five favorite places in the world. The people, the culture, the religion all blew me away. The kindness and hospitality that was shown to me was more than I could ever hope for and the food, shopping and exploring exceeded any expectation I had. Morocco- I will be back!