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Beat the Heat in Morocco, Top Ten Morocco Travel Tips For Summer, Your Morocco Travel Guide

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Men at Sunrise Wearing Djellabas

1. Adopt a Moroccan schedule To Beat the Heat in Morocco During Summer & Other Seasons. Take advantage of the cool early morning hours in Morocco in Summer by taking a mid-moring snack and a late lunch about 1:00 PM. Take a nap in your air-conditioned hotel room or traditional Moroccan Riad, or a dip in the pool. Around 4 PM, have a snack, and head out again around 4:30-5:00 PM. You won’t miss much, because Moroccans tend to lie low during this same time. Enjoy yourself until dark, then head off for dinner around 8-9:00 PM. Take advantage of the Moroccan night life during the cool evening hours if you’re staying in Imperial cities such as Marrakech, Essaouira or Casablanca, all which boast varied restaurants with Moroccan and International cuisine along with entertainment.

2. When going out in the morning during your Morocco Travel experience, make sure to apply sunscreen and consider wearing a hat (or hat alternative) and sunglasses (protects your eyes against cataracts).

3. If you find yourself out and about, getting overheated and exhausted, use your water bottle to wet down your face, neck, hairline, and even the top of your t-shirt or dress in the upper back, shoulder, and neck areas. You can even splash some water on your arms if necessary.

Don’t worry about looking silly–it’s far better to take care of your health when traveling in Summer in Morocco. Even though you might not see them, plenty of Moroccans (especially men, or women when in their own homes) wet down their entire head and neck under a faucet if they feel severely overheated.

Under these circumstances, try also to get to a shaded area and sit down for a little while, even if you have to ask someone in a shop or elsewhere if you may use their stool to sit on. Most are more than happy to oblige if they see you need help.

4. Drink PLENTY of water. Doctors on the Moroccan radio have advised that this is the best way to avoid serious problems. (The objective is to keep your blood thin through drinking, because dehydration is what actually leads to strokes or heart attacks in the heat.)

5. If you are not on a salt-restricted diet, enjoy the Moroccan olives! Ask your guide to take you on a visit to the olive souk, where you can purchase several varieties of olives (which don’t need to be refrigerated in your hotel room). Enjoy these at your leisure. While a bit of salt is quite helpful in preventing heat stroke in extremely hot weather, salt tablets are quite unnecesary if you like olives!

Olive souk in Morocco

6. If possible, doctors suggest spending at least a couple of hours per day in an air-conditioned location. Even short periods will give your body a break. If you are unable to do so, don’t feel shy about wetting yourself down. Your clothes will easily dry in 20-30 minutes.

In addition to your Riad or hotel in Morocco, air-conditioning is becoming more available now in some larger stores (supermarkets and malls). These make a cooler place you can go for a break.

Fresh produce displayed inside an air-conditioned Acima Supermarket in Marrakesh

7. When stopping at small shops or cafés, they often DO have cold drinks. But sometimes you have to especially ASK for them. If they hand you an unopened bottle or can which is not cold, it never hurts to aks for one that is cold. Sometimes they only give them to the people who ASK. Moroccans nearly ALWAYS ask!

8. If you should ever find yourself in an out-of-the-way place that is just unbearable at night, one trick to help with this situation is to travel with a cheap (thin) bath towel. (Even a large hand towel will do.) These can be easily purchased at any local souk. Wet it down, wring it out, and lay it on top of your body in the bed. If you have a fan to lie in front of, it will offer instant relief. If you don’t have a fan, wave it back and forth in the air a few times; when you lay it on your body, it will feel cold. This can give you some much-needed relief.

9. Remember the locals are better acclimated to the heat of summer and cold of winter, because their bodies have a chance to adjust gradually throughout the year. If you spend a long time in Morocco, especially without air conditioning (or heat in winter), your body will adjust, too. But most tourists are not here long enough for that to happen. Most fly right in to the summer heat, are only here a short time, and need to be careful by following the above suggestions.

If you should ever need a doctor, generally your hotel desk or tour guide can help find you one quickly, who even speaks some English.

10. Low-lying and coastal regions (northern and western coasts) of Morocco, such as Agadir, Casablanca, Rabat, and Tangier often have moderate temperatures with humidity, but less of both than is found in the American South, or American East Coast. Marrakesh, Fes, Ouarzazate, and other inland cities or southern areas tend to have dry, to very dry, heat, which is far easier to tolerate than humid heat.

So, to sum up, in very hot weather, avoid going out between 1 PM and 4 PM. Rest in air-conditioning, if possible. Drink plenty of water, and don’t hesitate to ask someone for a stool or chair to rest on if you become exhausted. If you become overheated together with exhaustion, soak your head and shoulders in water —put your health before appearances.

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