The January sales may be on their way in the UK, but there’s no better place to seek out bargains than the Medina of Fez in Morocco.
Whether it’s spices, leather bags, ornaments or traditional tagines you want, you’ll certainly find it at the city’s souks and shopping there is more atmospheric than hitting the UK’s high streets, although it may be slightly more crowded!
What to do
Shopping in Fez is a great experience and an amazing way to soak up the city’s culture as well as get some great souvenirs to take home. Don’t worry too much about planning a route, simply wander through the labyrinth of souks looking at the various goods on offer.
Each of the separate souks will sell a different type of good and the leather items, cushions, lamps and world famous babouches or slippers are worth hunting out.
For culture vultures
However, if shopping is not your thing, never fear, as Fez has plenty of other activities on offer. The city was formerly the capital of Morocco and was named a World Heritage Site due to the stunning architecture on display.
Highlights include the Bou Inania Madrasa, the University of Al-Karaouine and the Aben Danan Synagogue but there are delights to be found on almost every corner as old riads are being lovingly restored.
What to eat
After a day of shopping or sightseeing you’ll definitely be hungry and what better to fill the hole in your stomach than a traditional tagine served with couscous.
Popular flavours include chicken and lemon or lamb and apricot and the dish is cooked in a special earthenware pot at a low temperature to really allow the flavour to develop.
If you want to learn how to make traditional Moroccan tagines yourself most hotels offer cooking classes and you get to eat what you have made afterwards.
What to drink
Many restaurants in Fez don’t serve alcohol but what you will find in abundance is mint tea. The refreshing drink is served in ornate tea pots into tiny glasses and is the perfect way to quench your thirst on a hot day.
Those with a sweet tooth may wish to drop a lump of sugar or two into their glass for an extra kick.
Moment you’ll never forget
The true highlight of any trip to Fez is when the sun goes down and a range of entertainers take to the streets. The conjurers, snake charmers and fortune tellers are like something straight from a storybook and are unlike anything you’ll see back home.