… a word from Amanda featuring shopping in Morocco

Welcome to AZIU (and April). Yes, the cloudiest UK March EVER is over and mercifully we can look forward to Easter / Passover / a break from the school run.

To escape the miserable weather in the UK, my other half and I just went on a road trip in the beautiful southern Spanish region of Andalusia.  We started in Seville, then down to Cadiz, over to Gibraltar and finally settled in the stunning port of Tarifa (mainland Spain’s Boho Ibiza equivalent) for a couple of days, before sailing over to Morocco.

The Spanish element of the trip was very relaxing, consisting of lots of sight-seeing, soaking up the Spanish skies and experiencing the culinary wizardry of Southern Spain.

But Morocco was all about SHOPPING in the world-famous souks, for all things bohemian, ethnic, traditional and colourful. Leather goods are amazing– especially wallets, belts, bags and shoes that are all handmade. The souks have clothes in all shapes, sizes and colours – from t-shirts, shorts and jeans through to the more traditional kaftans and djellabas – a kind of robe.
Islamic items of clothing are found in abundance, such as abayas (a robe-like dress) and head coverings – I picked up a pashmina and poncho which will complement any outfit, Balgha (Moroccan slippers) in burnt orange, which are also widely available, as are pieces of beautiful silver jewellery (I both a necklace with amber and turquoise artwork. As well as ceramics and rugs, I saw shisha pipes, accessories, traditional musical instruments, toys,  and much, much more. What an incredible experience it truly was.

Here’s a quick guide to shopping in Morocco:

Get a TOUR GUDE because the Medinas (ancient walled-in communities/villages) are full of tiny streets and doorways, up-and-down steep hills and you can easily get lost and/or miss out on some wonderful sights and sounds if you go it alone.

  • Google the best places to eat and read reviews (PLUS possibly check it isn’t Ramadan during your visit if you want a glass of vino with your Tagine and Cous Cous).
  • Find an indoor market or ‘souk’. Once you have chosen everything you like, the owner will put it all together in pile and then ‘you can talk’.  i.e. haggle, for the best price.
  • You can use Euros but EVERYONE expects a little tip, even if you’re asking someone for directions, so keep small change.
  • And finally, allow plenty of extra luggage space for all the leather goods I guarantee you’ll take home. (Like I did).
  • Wear sensible shoes because Morocco involves A LOT OF WALKING.

But most of all, enjoy the indelibly memorable Moroccan experience and take lots of pictures. It’s a bucket-list destination.