For Ed’s birthday this year, being the amazing girlfriend that I am, I booked us a long weekend in Morocco. It’s been on my hit list for a while and is the perfect place if your looking for some winter sun. Its a short flight, pretty much guaranteed sun and lots of culture to soak up.
We stayed at the Radisson Blu there which isn’t actually located in the main Medina, its about 5mins away by car in the new town, which I definitely preferred. We were still close enough to get in and out really easily, but we could get away from the craziness of the Medina when we wanted to chill. Plus is has a roof top pool!
So here are my top tips of what to do while your there.
Venture out: Day trip to the mountains
One of my favourite things that we did while in Morocco was take a day trip out to the Atlas mountains to really soak up some culture. We booked a full day tour through Morocco Attractive Tours. Our first stop was meeting some incredible local woman who showed us how argon oil is made. We sat and saw the whole process from start to finish as well as finding out all the different types of products they make with it.
Next was the amazing Ourika Valley Waterfalls. Now be warned, its not an easy climb up. They say on their website that anyone could do it but I really beg to differ! It was quite a tricky climb with no real path to it, so make sure you wear comfy sensible shoes and be prepared to get your sweat on! The view is 100% worth it at the end though. It probably took us about 45mins to get to the top, passing souvenir stalls and mini “cafes” with cans of coke being chilled by streams coming from the waterfall.
Once we got to the top and had taken all the photos we wanted our guide then took us up a very questionable hand made ladder to a private cafe further up with a full view of the walls from top to bottom. It was truly breathtaking.
After we got back down we continued on through the mountains taking in all the incredible views, stopping occasionally for photos, as you do! We also made some unexpected adorable friends along the way too!
Finally we finished up our tour at a local Berber family home where we were served the most incredible lunch on the roof our their home. The food was delicious, we had an amazing salad to start followed by a chicken tajine, couscous and finished with fresh mint tea. All with an incredible back drop of the Atlas mountains. It was pure heaven.
Eat here: La Trattoria
Now i know what your thinking, who goes to Morocco and then eats at an Italian? It was a bit of a rouge choice for us, however it was amazing. The decor was stunning, the most stunning lanterns were suspended over a gorgeously lit swimming pool.
The food was also incredible and the portions were HUGE! We both had a starter and main and we probably could have had just a starter! Its not the cheapest option though, its not extortionate but there are certainly cheaper options available. If you want to do morocco on a tight budget this one probably isn’t for you.
Chill out here: YSL gardens
The Jardin Majorelle is just stunning. Its the perfect haven in a busy bustling city. Its not huge so don’t dedicate a whole day there for it, you could easily get round it in an hour or so. But take your time and enjoy the tranquillity. There is also a lovely little cafe in there too so if you want to go early afternoon and have lunch there its perfect.
Shop here: Spend a day in the Medina
To be fair, the Medina isn’t just for shopping. There are a tone of amazing street performers, cafes & restaurants and bars to enjoy here too. But it’s main attraction has to be the souks. Selling everything from knock off designer bags to authentic Moroccan spices, you must make sure you dedicate at least a couple of hours to get lost in the nooks and crannies here. As with everything in Morocco though, if you are going to buy something, make sure you barter. It’s completely normal to do so, even the locals will tell you they never pay the initial price quoted at them, so don’t feel guilty and never pay more than half what they originally quoted you.
Drink here: El Fenn
So El Fenn is actually a hotel that’s owned by Richard Brandson’s sister and mother. You can obviously not only stay here but also eat at one of the two restaurants they have. If either of things are a little out of your budget, fear not, you can still pop in here and have drinks on the roof. Its the perfect place to watch the sun set and hear the calls to prayer.
I could go on for days about how amazing Morocco was and we only saw a fraction of it, so make sure you put it on your hit list and head over there soon. Our winter is the perfect time to go as its still lovely and warm there but its not as scorchingly hot as it can get. Let me know below if there are any places you would recommend!