In addition to drinking oceanic amounts of sweet mint tea and riding into the Sahara on a camel, there’s another Moroccan experience that’s an absolute must-do when in the country…

And that’s visiting an authentic hammam.

In the spirit of ticking this experience off my Moroccan travel bucket-list, I decided to treat myself to a two-hour wash, scrub and massage experience at the local hammam. And I survived to tell the tale – ha! But seriously, it was definitely one of the most relaxing experiences of my life, and in what follows I’m going to walk you through it.

However, I must confess: I’m not usually the type to pamper myself – either when at home or when I travel. But after spending a week learning how to surf at Hashpoint Surf Camp in Taghazout, Morocco, and feeling so sore it was hard even getting out of bed in the morning (surfing is a full-body workout, that’s for damn sure), my body demanded a little pampering. And I decided to submit to this demand.

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Source: hashpointsurfcamp.com

But what exactly is a hammam, you say? Your typical hammam experience involves a hot steam bath/scrub followed by a massage. But in some hammams, like the one I visited, the friendly staff will wash you with hot water and get you all clean before commencing the scrubbing. Which can be a little weird as a fully grown man: the last time that happened I was probably about five years old! But these women sure knew what they were doing, and I was open to the experience.

The scrub was a little uncomfortable at times to be honest, as these women were determined to shear about 30-years of dead skin cells off my body. They even scrubbed my arm pits! But I’m a big believer in no pain, no gain, and after about ten minutes of scrubbing I was rinsed with hot water and left to relax in the steam room that was covered in beautiful tile-work.

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Source: marocmama.com

After about ten minutes of sitting and steaming, I was given a robe, directed to a room adorned in traditional Moroccan artwork and served sweet mint tea and cookies. Sitting in that room, I definitely felt relaxed – like, really, really relaxed. So relaxed, in fact, that I wondered if they’d put something else in the tea…

Of course, they didn’t. But that’s how good the experience was up until that point – and now it was time for the massage!

Okay, so this bit is a little embarrassing I must warn you. Turns out a traditional massage in a hammam involves you taking off all your clothes and wearing a loin covering that looks more like one of those sleeping masks they give you on a plane! Apparently there was a front and back side to these things, and I hope to god that I put it on the right way…

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I was given something that looked like this to cover myself with…

But there was no time to worry about such things as soon as the massage started. Every minute of it was bliss, and it was super relaxing. It was a full-body massage, and muscles that I didn’t even know existed that were sore from surfing were restored to their relaxed state. Ah, there’s nothing like a traditional Moroccan massage to sort things out…

And that my friends is the end.

Was it relaxing? Yep.

Was it uncomfortable at times? Yep.

But was it worth it? Yep!

I experienced a traditional hammam in Morocco and lived to tell the tale. Have you? Let us know in the comments below…