Sophia's Journey Through Morocco

Sophia's Journey Through Morocco

Sophia is a partner relations manager at Fora, a modern travel agency. Now based in Florida and New York, she has spent her entire career in the travel industry, working in both Japan and Singapore. She also sells vintage homeware through her shop Hometings.

Needless to say, Sophia is an avid traveler. Below, she shares her Morocco travel guide, featuring some of her favorite things to do, as well as places to stay and eat, while in Fes, Marrakech, the Atlas Mountains, and Essaouira.


Fes is always a highlight for me — and a great way to immerse yourself into Moroccan culture. An outstanding place to wander, Fes is more low-key than Marrakech, but still has an exciting energy that can be found in the local markets and in the streets.

What to do:

Cooking class at the Palais Amani: Formally a family home, this rooftop cooking school is also a riad, offering incredible views of the gardens below.

Fes Cooking Class
Take in the historical Monuments such as the The Royal Palace and enjoy the view from the city at the Borj Sud, an ancient military tower.

Fes’ world-famous Mosaic & Pottery workshops, where you’ll find artisans crafting some of the region’s finest works of pottery. 

Fes Pottery
Visit a leather goods store next to the
Chouara Tannery. While you’re there, don't forget to walk up a few flights of stairs to scope out a bird's eye view.

Fes Tannery

Where to stay:

: Located deep in the heart of Fes’ medina are riads, the quintessential Moroccan accommodation. At Riad Fes, each room has its own unique style. Be sure to enjoy mint tea and witness the sun rise over the city from the riad’s rooftop.

Where to eat:

Guided Street Food Tour: Embark on an evening food tour through the medina with a local guide, who will lead you on personalized culinary journey from one vendor to another. With a licensed guide, you can fully immerse yourself in the vibrant experience without feeling overwhelmed by the bustling surroundings.

Fish Market Fes

I never visit Morocco without stopping in Marrakech. From the intricate beauty of the Bahia Palace to the serene Majorelle Garden, Marrakech has it all: a rich tapestry of culture, captivating landscapes, and no shortage of mouth-watering food.

What to do:

Majorelle Gardens is a must-see destination. Ensure you reserve your spot in advance and opt for an early or late-day time slot to experience optimal lighting and a more tranquil atmosphere as the crowds subside.

majorelle garden
Extend your visit to the gardens by including a stop at the
Yves Saint Laurent Museum. In addition to captivating exhibitions, the building, designed by French architecture firm Studio KO, is a love letter to modern architecture. Don't miss the opportunity to experience the exquisite garden cafe.

Get lost in the medina. Even during the off-season, it’s filled with tourists. I prefer venturing into the quieter side streets, where I can discover serene spots to soak in the vibrant colors and uncover hidden gems in the marketplace.

Marrakech Medina
Where to stay:

The Oberoi
: Only 20 minutes away from the medina, the Oberoi is a great place to unwind from a hectic day. The hotel is surrounded by olive groves, with an incredible pool and spa, but the real standout is the hotel’s Indian restaurant.

Villa des Orangers: Situated at the edge of the medina, Villa des Orangers is an ideal haven for relaxation. I indulged in the best hammam experience before spending the rest of the day lounging by the pool. With impeccable service and meticulous attention to detail, particularly in the dining room, the Villa creates an ambiance that makes you feel like you're in a movie.

Villa des orangers
Riad Miski
: I selected this riad on my first visit to Marrakech and was captivated. Positioned for convenient access to the main sites, it's also close to hidden gems like the rooftop restaurant at 
Riad Color Safrà.

Marrakech Riad
Where to eat:

Sahbi Sahbi: A must-visit women-led restaurant, Sahbi Sabi is located in Marrakech’s new city Gueliz and designed by Studio KO.

Petanque Social Club: Petanque Social Club is the new darling of the Marrakech dining scene. Transformed from a local watering hole, the beautifully-decorated restaurant is now an interior designer's dream. There is also a bocce court if you feel inspired to get in a quick game.

Villa des Orangers
Grand Café de la Poste: A classic Marrakech establishment with views of the Atlas Mountains, Grand Cafe de la Poste is the perfect place to step back in time for an afternoon.

Atlas Mountains 

I like to escape the hustle and bustle of Marrakech with an overnight trip to the Atlas Mountains, where you can hike trails and visit a local Amazigh family to get a sense of another side of Morocco’s vibrant culture. 

Imlil View
What to do:

Hike in Imlil, a vibrant trailhead village nestled in the High Atlas Mountains. Take in the tranquility and scenic beauty, and don't miss the opportunity to relax near the waterfalls. Immerse yourself further by visiting a local Amazigh family's home in the village for a delightful tea or lunch experience.

Tea in Imlil
Where to stay:

Berber Lodge: Built on a former olive grove, this hotel is inspired by traditional Berber architecture. With a pool and restaurant, it’s the perfect, cute spot to stay away from the busy city. 


A low-key port city where you can visit the beach and eat fresh-caught cod, I always leave Essaouira feeling completely recharged. 

What to do:

Watch the kite surfers along the Plage Tagharte beach

Visit the Old Fisherman Port to get a whiff of the days’ catch and watch fishermen on the quintessential blue boats.

Pop over to the
fish market, where you can pick out which fish you want for lunch, and the onsite restaurants will cook them for you on the spot.

Essaouira fish market
Watch the sunset (and the waves!) at the Sqala du Port d'Essaouira

Where to stay:

Heure Bleue Palais: A former home steeped in history and located next to the gate to the medina.

Essaouira Riad
Le Jardin des Douars:
I discovered this hotel the first time I visited Essaouira, when it was so hot and I wanted to swim but couldn't due to windy weather and rough waves. Luckily, we were able to escape to Le Jardin des Douars for the day. About a 15-minute drive to the city, the hotel is the perfect place to unwind. The gardens are excellent for a gorgeous walk around the property after a swim in the pool or a dinner on the restaurant terrace.

Essaouira riad

Riad Kafila Essaouira: This simple riad is tucked away close to the city walls, with epic views of the waves from the rooftop or over breakfast on the patio.

Where to eat:

Triskala: Just steps away from Riad Kafila, Triskala has amazing Moroccan food in a unique setting.

Dar Baba Restaurant:
Home to exceptional Mediterranean tapas food, this restaurant wins my award for having the best lightning and most fabulous decorations.


-Café Boutique
: Perfect for morning shopping and an afternoon coffee. 
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