Marrakesh, Morocco is one of the world's oldest and most beautiful cities. Nothing says adventure and romance more than travelling to another continent to celebrate your love and Marrakesh truly has everything an amazing honeymoon is made of. Delicious food, mountains, greenery, and warm weather make for a magical destination, as do the city's less than twenty rainy days per year. If you're looking to call Marrakesh your home for a couple of weeks and don't know where to start, we've got you covered! We tapped the expert advice of Riad Suliman Director of Dagmara Ikiert, for five things you must do when vacationing there with your newly-minted spouse.
Private Hammam for Two
The hammam is an integral part of Moroccan culture. Though many know it in the form of a Turkish bath or sauna, the traditional experience is unlike anything else. There are both public and private hammams and Ikiert recommends the latter, which are usually present in most riads and a number of hotels in the city. The practice is extremely intimate and cleansing. You both will be fully immersed in the hot and steamy air once the process begins. After sitting in the air for ten to twenty minutes or so, a woman will come in and begin scrubbing you from head-to-toe with black soap. The scrubbing is indeed intense and if exfoliating isn't something you do often, you will be surprised at just how much dead skin comes off. You will both then be doused with warm water to cleanse your skin and then a couples massage can follow for the ultimate day of relaxation. The sensation after it is all through is a tingling one and you both will feel as calm and connected as ever.
Staying in a Riad vs. a Hotel
"A Riad is a charming and authentic guest house, generally located in the Old Town, the Medina, all across Morocco," says Ikiert. She continues, "Today, the Riads exist in the old Moroccan, family houses which have been turned into guest houses, starting from the 80s — first by French and British expats, then by others, including Moroccans. The idea came from the visitors' wish of staying in a traditional type of accommodation and now these colorful guest houses offer their guests comfort and a memorable experience from its rooms, patio, and roof terraces. It's all about making the visitor's stay as personal as possible. The attention to details is very important: candles, flowers, romantic light, and more. A lovely terrace (which is a must in each riad) is often bathed in the sun and offers a breathtaking view of the Medina's roofs and the Atlas Mountains. It is a perfect spot for a relaxing afternoon, either on one of the long chairs or in the Moroccan living room located on the roof. All of this is perfect for a honeymoon and connecting with your new husband or wife."
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Hot Air Balloon Ride
This is a must for anyone visiting Marrakesh and is a popular place for marriage proposals! The ride provides one of the most breathtaking views in the city (and the world). Though admittedly a bit terrifying, you will have your spouse by your side to hold your hand and will embark on an unforgettable adventure that you both can share.
Valley and Berber Village Day Trip
The Berbers are the native people of Morocco and it's essential to see the way they live in order to truly get a sense of what life in Marrakesh is like. In this trip, you will visit the Ourika, Oukaimiden, and Asni valleys, as well as taking in the beautiful scenery of Lake Takerkoust and Kik Plateau. You can stop for a trip to see the Ouzoud Waterfalls, all the while sip on freshly-squeezed orange juice while purchasing some Moroccan beauty products and home decor or keepsakes from the local artisans. You will also have a delicious, traditonal lunch at the house of a Berber family — the kind of food that makes you wonder what you've been eating your entire life. It's a once in a lifetime experience that will be just as memorable as the day you met.
Medina Honeymoon Photoshoot
Every couple needs to take a ton of pictures on their honeymoon. The problem is that there are only two of you, which means photos often feature just one person unless a tour guide or a stranger is kind enough to snap pictures. Selfies are also fun for Instagram, but not the thing a honeymoon scrapbook is made of. Ikiert recommends a four-hour walking tour in the heart of the Medina that will also include professional pictures taken by a photographer. You both will be out of the way of the typical tourist paths and you will receive many pictures that are of the highest quality and ready to print immediately. A white box with a USB containing the pictures will be delivered to your hotel or Riad before your departure.