Ever since the cast of Sex in the City touched down in Marrakesh in 2010, the city has seen a veritable explosion of trendy, cosmo-sipping travelers diving into Morocco for a winter holiday. Whether they come for the sun, the shopping, the cuisine, or some out-of-the-ordinary adventure, there’s no doubt they end up enjoying a little bit of everything! Here are six of the best reasons to visit Morocco over the winter holidays.
The ancients markets (souks) of Morocco provide an unparalleled holiday shopping experience. In the old souks, you can pick up some fresh spices, including saffron, for your foodie friends. Haggle over the price of a hand woven Berber carpet for Mom. Pick up some silver earrings for your friend. Perhaps that hammered brass desk lamp is just the thing for your husband? And keep a look out for that perfect jacket or bag hand-made by the artisan leather workers.
When you’ve exhausted the souks, head out of the medina and into “modern” Morocco, where the high-end designer shops live. Browse around—maybe you’ll find that special something for that special someone.
The Moroccan spa (or “hammam”) is famed as one of the most luxurious bathing rituals in the world, and rightly so. Kick back, relax, and enjoy one of the greatest spa experiences of your life for less than the cost of your last Uber ride. Once your body is nice and toasty from the steam, you’ll be soaped down with 100% organic olive-based black soap, exfoliated, and then massaged into a blissful, limp noodle.
Keep in mind, these 100% natural bath products, like black soap, argan oil and rose water, make for perfect stocking stuffers and are easily found in any souk in Morocco.
Have that winter itch for a little vitamin D? Morocco has great beaches where you can catch some rays and work on that tan, year-round! The beaches around Agadir and TanTan are some of the best. Even better, the Atlantic is still warm enough for a quick dip in some refreshing salt water.
Skiers and snowboarders should check out Oukaïmeden in the High Atlas region. Though not as luxurious or challenging as the slopes in, say, Colorado, it is possible to slalom and surf some powder in Africa! (Plus, how many people can say they’ve been snowboarding in Morocco?) On a clear day, the views down over the plateau to Marrakesh are incredible. The ski season typically runs from December through March, and gear is available to rent on site.
The Snail Soup
Even in the desert, it gets cold at night. This is especially true in the winter. In some regions, you can even expect to see ice. If you find yourself a bit chilly in the beating heart of Marrakesh’s Djemma el-Fnaa square, grab a bowl of snail soup. This escargot-laden treat bathed in saffron broth will warm you from the inside out.
The Stress-free Supervision
Morocco is one of the most kid-friendly countries in the world. Most Moroccans have an extra warm spot in their heart for children. With the relatively low cost of help, it’s possible to bring your children along for vacation, and easily find an au pair when you need a little adult time to gallivant around town! Not only will the nanny ensure your child’s safety, she’ll likely teach your little one some French or Arabic while you’re out! Check out greataupair.com.
So, make your list. Check it twice. Don’t forget the sweaters and swimsuits. Happy holidays, indeed!
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