Morocco is wonderfully overwhelming in every way possible. As a northern country in Africa, the temperatures are often above 40 degrees Celsius and since you are dressing respectfully, it is not uncommon to have a constant feeling of stickiness. The foods and smells are everywhere- brightly colored cones of spices, honey roasted nuts, grilled meat and sugar coated pastries fill the air at all hours of the day. The culture can be a shock, and the medinas are sometimes frightening, but the experiences in Morocco are unique, special and breathtaking. Morocco will quickly grab hold of you; open your mind to all the wonderful possibilities this country has to offer and it is quite easy to see how it has fascinated tourists for generations.
When people think of Morocco, they generally don’t think of it as a surfing local, but Essaouira has been drawing surfers (including kite surfers) from around the world for years. The Atlantic waves are best during the winter months when the swells are more consistent and the temperatures are not as hot, but you can definitely find some good waves any time of the year. The town of Essaouira is a relaxed, fishing town, less demanding than the larger cities like Marrakesh and Fes, but it is still distinctly Moroccan. The Medina has plenty of local crafts, delicious snacks and many outdoor cafes where you can enjoy a refreshing glass of mint tea after a hard day out on the water!
For adventurists seeking a bit of Moroccan tradition, the hammam is a public steam bath in Morocco. While not as common anymore since the introduction of modern plumbing, they are still a great cultural experience. Hammams offer women travelers (there are fewer hammams available for men, and they are always bathed in separate quarters) a chance to meet local women; while it may seem strange to be bathed surrounded by women, hammams were traditionally the only place people could come bathe, scrub and socialize! There are both upscale, spa-like hammams, geared towards tourists, that offer more Western style massages and scrubs, or there are the local, more traditional hammams, usually found near the mosques in town. Whichever you choose, it is a unique and eye-opening experience that offers a glimpse into the Moroccan culture.
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