Morocco is stunning, there’s no doubt about it. It’s rugged landscape, painted rocks, intricate tile work, copious cacti, restaurants in rivers and expansive desert-scape – the country is sure to charm the pants off you. But if, like me, you’re an adventure seeker, wellness lover and like to stay fit on your travels, you’ll want more than just the aesthetic quirks of the country.
On our trip to the land of dust, we went to Marrakech and Taghazout. Marrakech is great for the city vibes, wellness options and a good base for hikes in the Atlas mountains, and Taghazout is an awesome little surf town north of Agadir and at the southern end of where all the good surf breaks begin on the Atlantic coast. As well as being full of yoga and surf houses, it’s a great base for exploring the surrounding area. From getting a hammam to going hard out at surf and yoga camps, here’s some top tips for settling those adventure cravings as well as getting your heart pumping and giving your body some love all while enjoying the cultural delights Morocco has to offer.
Revive your skin at a Hammam
What it's good for: Wellness & Local vibes
I got a hammam… and it was the weirdest thing ever. That said, it’s got to be done, and your experience is sure to be a completely different type of weird. Highlights included kicking back in a steam room which gets increasingly hotter, then being laid out flat on a marble worktop in order to be scrubbed all over with a coarse lufa mitt before having bucket-loads (literally) of water poured over the head. Preferably do this soon after you arrive in the country so your skin is in good shape for the rest of your trip. Tag on an invigorating Moroccan argan oil massage for the ultimate wellness experience. Your pores – and your skin – will thank you later.
Get lost in Paradise Valley
What it's good for: Fitness & Adventure
If you love to crack a sweat and then combine that with cooling off by jumping into natural pools, then this is just your jam. Dappled with palm trees and desert shrubs, Paradise Valley is a little oasis of adventure in it’s harsh, rocky and dusty surroundings. You’ll warm up with a small hike to reach the pools themselves, before climbing the path which leads up the edge of the gorge where you’ll eventually find yourself peeking over a massive rock face to see the pools from high above. Then head back down, strip down to your togs and have a competition to see who can jump from the highest rock.
Stay in a Riad
What it's good for: Relaxation & Re-energising
Riad’s come in a variety of price ranges and locations but by far the most characteristic are to be found deep within the winding alleyways of the Medina in Marrakech. A cross between a B&B and a hotel, prepare to be transported into a place of tranquility just a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of the city. As you enter your Riad from the shabby back-alleys of the Medina, you’ll open the front door into a dreamy tiled courtyard. Quiet. Still. A centre of calm. It’s the perfect escape from the outside world for an energy re-charge.
Take a hike
What it's good for: Fitness & Adventure
Morocco isn’t just home to great light fittings and colourful poofs, it also happens to be home to the awe-inspiring Atlas Mountain range. So, if you’re in Marrakech definitely plan in a day to get out of the city and fill your lungs with the fresh Atlas air. We took a trip out to Setti Fadma where we re-fuelled with some Tagine in a river restaurant before starting our four hour hike up high into the surrounding mountain range. If you love softcore adventure you’ll love the part where you scale the ridge of the lower mountain range. Prepare for a serious rock-shifting descent. Going up was the easy part…
Hit the surf
What it's good for: Fitness & the 'Feel Good' Factor
I’m still such a beginner that it’s unreal, so I do this for the my fitness fix, improving my paddle skills and the joy of unpredictable moments. I just love getting out into the salty stuff, hitting the waves and giving it a damn good go. There’s nothing quite like that feeling when you finally mastered the pop up and actually managed to ride that wave. Panorama beach was the perfect spot to practice pop ups in the whitewash. You can rent boards throughout Taghazout town and surf lessons are widely available. If you want to centre your trip around the surf, so you can practice and progress to the next level, check out the variety of surf camps on offer in Taghazout.
Zen out with rooftop yoga
What it's good for: Calmness & Strength
Yoga is one of those mad things where one week you are bendy as f**k but the next you can’t even touch your toes because your hamstrings are so tight. And that’s why it’s so great, it’s not about being the most flexible person in the class or being able to achieve the most obscure poses, it’s about a serious case of ‘me’ time, concentrating on the breath and finding inner strength and peace. Hippy I know, but it’s too true. And when you are practicing on a Moroccan rooftop with the sun slowly melting into the horizon, does it really matter that you’re heals aren’t touching the ground in down-faced dog?
Here are some useful links and tips to get you started in your search for adventure in Morocco!
There are loads of providers for day trips to the Atlas Mountains out of Marrakech, check TripAdvisor or speak to your Riad host
A Hammam will start at the equivalent of about €15 – most places reviewed on TripAdvisor are on the luxury/spa end of the scale. If you want to splash out then go for it, but we went to the one in the local neighborhood in the Medina which made it even more unique – as well as cheap! Again asking a trusted local like your Riad host should give you an interestingly weird Hammam experience.
Paradise Valley is best explored by getting there yourself with a car rental. If that isn’t an option for you, you’ll easily find a day trip provider in Taghazout but most hostels, surf camps and hotels will be able to help.
Hostelworld have a great array of Riads in Marrakech from cheap to more expensive, and all of them are sure to make your Instagram feed come alive with colour and pattern!
Have you been on an active adventure in Morocco?
Where did you go? What did you do? I’d love to know!
Or if you have any questions, please feel free to ask… i might know the answer, i might not, but i’ll try to point you in the right direction.
Stay wild adventurers!
with love, L x
If you enjoyed this post, please SHARE it for me!
I can’t do this internet thing without YOU <3