Traveler: Finn Beales – Photographer

What is your most unforgettable escape? I have had many but I recently escaped the English winter by travelling through Morocco with my family.

What was the purpose of your travel? We were on holiday. I’m not the type of person who can spend a week in the same place and always incorporate an element of travel into the breaks we take; often moving from city to city. 3 days in each place seems to work well.

With how many people did you travel? 3 others. My partner Clare and our two children aged 7 and 4.

Where did you stay? We stayed in Riads or hotels. The hotels were nice, but I personally preferred the old Medina and the intimacy of traditional Riad accommodation.

What did you most like about the trip? The reaction to our children from the Moroccan people was lovely… that and exploring the Medina and Souks in Marrakech and Essaouira.

Could you share an unforgettable memory about the trip? We explored some of the Atlantic coastline by camel. Watching the sun sink into the Atlantic Ocean whilst swaying back and forth atop our camel (called Timbuktu) was particularly memorable.

Your most surprising find during the trip? I was surprised at the lack of hassle we experienced out there. We were told to Expect pressure from locals; asking for money or hassling us to buy things. Perhaps it was because we were travelling with children, but for the most part we were treated with utmost respect.

Favorite restaurants or food you have tried during your trip? We had a delicious meal at a small vegetarian restaurant in Essaouira. The menu changed daily and the food on offer depends on what the chef’s source from the fish and vegetable markets that day. Delicious and we loved our table; raised high above the restaurant on a platform like a treehouse!

What are the must tries of the city? Every visitor to Morocco must take a couple of hours out to experience a traditional Hammam Bathhouse. A thorough steam clean, scrub down leaving you shiny clean, relaxed and refreshed.

Any hidden gems you could whisper to us? About 15 mins south of Essaouira on the road towards Sidi Kalki look for a pile of blue stones on the side of the road. Take the rough track through the sand dunes and after about ½ mile you will find Abadou’s Beach Café. Little more than a shack made from stones on the edge of the beach it offers a simple menu consisting of olives, char grilled fish and calamari. The café has no electricity meaning there is no ridge. Everything on the menu has been caught that day. Sit back and soak up the sun whilst  watching the crashing Atlantic surf. Fresh, delicious dishes in an uber relaxed environment.

Would you go back? Without doubt. Looking forward to returning to explore the Atlas Mountains.

Could you list a few of your favorite finds you came back with? These can be anything from traditional finds to airport finds to hotel creams! We bought an old spice grinder, a hamman glove, a silver teapot and bags and bags of mint tea!

Any tips that might be useful to know before going there? Make sure you book a room on the first floor or above if staying in a Riad, otherwise you’ll be woken by staff preparing the courtyard for breakfast at an unearthly hour!

Next stop you would like to visit? Next place I am visiting is Istanbul in Turkey! Looking forward to it greatly.