6 Reasons to Visit Morocco in the Winter

Marrakesh 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.

colorful array of ground cooking spices
Check off your holiday list at a souk, where you can shop for fresh spices, among other treasures. Photo © Lucas Peters.

The Shopping

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 Spas

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.

The Sun

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.

a woman skiing in morocco
Hit the slopes in Oukaïmeden in the High Atlas region. Photo © Lucas Peters.

The Slopes

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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Lucas Peters

About the Author

Writer and photographer Lucas Peters has spent much of the past two decades exploring and developing his love for Europe. He has sipped wine with the monks at the Rila Monastery in Bulgaria, squeezed through a melting glacier in Iceland, and awkwardly tried to dance in the hippest club in Berlin. He has busked on the streets of London, concussed himself snowboarding in the Alps, road-tripped with friends through most of Italy and discovered that not all roads lead to Rome (and that it is a very good idea to travel with an old-fashioned road map). He has ordered lunch in Czech, negotiated a car rental in Bulgarian, and talked himself out of a parking ticket in Granada using very, very broken Spanish. Today, from his base in Tangier, he often finds himself peering over the Strait of Gibraltar to Spain from his balcony, dreaming about tapas.

Lucas has written and photographed articles ranging geographically from Iceland to Bulgaria for outlets as varied as En RouteTransitions Abroad,Travel ZooThe Luxury BlogVerge MagazineVeg News, and Travel + Leisure. The author of Moon Grand European Journeys, Moon Morocco, and Moon Marrakesh & Beyond, he also recently contributed to Our Morocco: Moroccans and Expats Share Their Hopes, Dreams, and Adventure.

Today, Lucas lives in Tangier with his wife and two kids. Together, as a multi-lingual family, they continue to explore Morocco: the small towns dotting the national roads, the difficult-to-access mountain villages, and secluded beaches.

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