Wednesday, April 19, 2017
What to Pack for Morocco in Spring
My "What to Pack for Iceland in Winter" post proved to be popular, so I thought I'd write a similar post for Morocco in spring. Right after we booked our trip, I scoured the internet (the "internet"? Who calls it that anymore? Am I 90? Actually. my 90-year-old grandma uses WhatsApp, so I shouldn't laugh ...) for blogs and articles on what to wear and what to pack, but ... didn't come up with a lot.
So. Here's my advice - I've been to Morocco and back, and this is what I think you should wear/bring/pack:
A lovely, thick-gauge cotton sweater (or sweatshirt)
I did not bring this. I WISH I HAD. You'll be grateful for it to keep off the early morning (and late evening) chill, especially in windy cities in Essaouira. If you have one with a high collar, it's a bonus - that way, you won't even have to worry about throwing on a scarf.
A pair of khakis and black/navy trousers
I practically lived in the Gap khakis I bought right before our trip (I even slept in them on our overnight camping stay in a Berber tent ... but that's a story for another time). They were comfortable, flattering to wear with sandals and sneakers, and made me feel less self-conscious when venturing out of our riad and into the souks.
A knee-length (or midi-length) shirt dress
In general, it's a pretty good idea to cover up in Morocco. It's respectful and also (mostly) keeps unwanted attention at bay. I felt much more comfortable when I wore long pants and kept my arms/shoulders covered with a scarf when we navigated the souks and sights of Marrakech, but I'd heard that Essaouira was a little more relaxed in terms of dress code, so I whipped out a few of my knee-length dresses there (although I saw plenty of female tourists wearing shorts and strappy tops which ... probably wasn't a great idea, but hey, their call). I liked this Zara shirt dress because the sleeves could be worn long or rolled up, and it was just an easy, floaty dress to wear in the heat.
A denim jacket
I recently bought an amazing, distressed vintage Levi's jacket in our local sell or swap Facebook group and have been wearing it non-stop on my "off-duty" days in London. I took it with me to Morocco and was so glad that I did - the perfect weight for keeping off wind and casual enough for strolls on the beach in Essaouira and wandering the souks of Marrakech. I brought along a black bomber jacket in the evenings which was a little smarter, but a denim jacket will see you through all sorts of situations in Morocco (including a 3-hour camel trek).
I also did not bring this. ALL THE REGRETS. I ended up ashamedly borrowing John's cap emblazoned with "GREAT BRITAIN" on it (a souvenir from the London 2012 Olympics - don't ask) a few times just to stop my face from burning on our camel-ride and when we were lounging on the roof terrace of Riad Dar Maya. John, however, had a jaunty straw hat that he wore intermittently and accused me of "eyeing up to steal" (which I kind of was, tbh).
A kaftan and flip-flops
For pool-side lounging, if your riad or resort has a pool.
A large, lightweight scarf
Perfect for throwing around your shoulders or draping over dresses/tops, as needed - or keeping the chill off your neck on camel rides.
For walking. The souks and streets can be dusty, wet, and - if you venture to the fishing port in Essaouira - strewn with fish guts. Yup. So, packing a pair of sneakers might be a good idea. I wore Supergas on my trip, which were fine for short walks and light enough to throw in my bag/suitcase when I wasn't using them. I also brought along a pair of Toms (aptly named) 'Moroccan Crochet' slip-ons, which were perfect for popping out for lunch or walks on the beach.
Have you been to Morocco? What did you bring and what would you have packed differently, if you had known?