For an exotic, relaxing holiday with friends, there is nowhere better than Morocco. And when you hire your very own private villa with James Villas, you have the luxury of designing your holiday your way. Spend your days sunbathing by the pool, cooking up a storm on the barbecue, or exploring the local tourist attractions. One of the top things to do in Morocco is exploring the labyrinthine souks of Marrakech; read on to discover some of our top shopping tips!
As counter intuitive as it may seem to advise somebody to get lost, that’s essentially what we’re doing. The best way to explore the markets is to not worry too much about your map, and simply take the time to wander through at your leisure, losing yourself amongst the spices and trinkets.
By exploring without purpose or direction, you will be amazed at the wonders that reveal themselves to you around every corner. So take our advice, and simply follow your senses!
A stroll through the souks is truly a delight for all the senses. Not only are there beautiful curios hanging from the ceilings and lining the walls, there are also brightly coloured pyramids of exotic spices.
Allow yourself to indulge a little here, and pick up some of the local tagine spice blends for cooking with back home. This is also a great opportunity to splurge on some saffron, an expensive and rare luxury back home, but incredibly affordable in Morocco. Spices also make for great souvenirs for your friends and family back home!
The tanneries of Marrakech have been here since the city was first founded, and to this day retain their pre-industrial medieval charm. Marvel at the ancient techniques used to treat the leather, and dye it various wonderful colours. You can buy any number of beautifully handcrafted leather goods around the entrance gates, from bags and wallets to butter-soft jackets.
Touring the tanneries isn’t recommended for those with a sensitive nose, however, as they are renowned for giving off a rather pungent smell in the midday heat!
As well as the beautiful leather goods, Marrakech also boasts a stunning array of cloth garments, shoes and bags. Around every corner you will find a dazzling rainbow of coloured babouches and jellabas, the famous Moroccan slippers and gowns, decorated with artful embroidery.
Morocco is also well known for its incredible carpets. If your budget stretches this far (remember, you have to find a way of getting it home!), then the best place to go rug shopping is the Criée Berbère area in the heart of Marrakech’s bustling market.
Remember that, as a tourist, you will undoubtedly be faced with marked up prices and scams. As far as the latter is concerned, be cautious, watch your personal belongings, and don’t be fooled into following anyone down alleys or into shops in search of special bargains.
If you stumble upon your own hidden gem, however, don’t be afraid of haggling with the shopkeeper to get a price that you think is fair. It is also worth taking the time to think purchasing decisions over, and coming back to them later, often to discover a reduced price!
For more inspiration, take a look at our Destinations Page, where you will find plenty more helpful info and tips for planning your perfect villa holiday.