In my latest published article for Intrepid Travel, I recount the cleansing joy of visiting public baths, known as hammams, in Morocco. The process can be daunting and confusing for newbies, especially if you don’t speak Arabic or French.
I hope sharing our experience stokes your curiosity and sense of adventure, plus eases any appreciations you may have. Because when you visit Morocco, and I know you will, you must experience at least one hammam to gain a deeper understanding of this extraordinary country’s heritage and culture. (Plus, you won’t believe the stunning architecture of many Moroccan hammams. Think: arches, domes, exquisite tile work, and expansive pools. Sounds zen, right?).
Here’s your guide for visiting hammams in Morocco:
AN ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO VISITING HAMMAMS IN MOROCCO
Disorientation is normal when visiting Morocco – especially for the first time. As you wander maze-like alleys of ancient medinas, each town’s defensive design becomes more clear as your sense of direction becomes less so.
Traveling around the country, you see camels amble along beaches and Bedouin tents blend into vast desert sands. You see sights so exotic that they verge on surreal. And the aroma of cardamon mingled with whiffs of transport mules might just tip your senses into overload…
When the beauty and complexity become overwhelming – in my experience, usually around day three – your body and mind may long for recalibration. An ancient ritual that’s as integral to Moroccan life as tagine and mint tea, visiting a hammam (public bath) offers respite, and a way to get a deeper understanding of the culture and people.
Have you visited a hamman? If yes, how was your first time? I would love to hear about your experience!
And, if you have tips to add to this “Essential Guide for Visiting a Hammam in Morocco,” please share in the comments.