Editor’s Note: Our #LocalInsiderTips interviews give you a peek at local gems and top travel tips from influential travelers in the know.
This week, we are chatting with Wix Squared’s director Alex Wix, who is based in Marrakech, Morocco. Alex has travelled to over 40 countries developing invaluable firsthand knowledge and personal contacts in each destination. She has over 10 years of experience in the travel industry and has chosen to specialise in Asia, Australia, Iceland and Morocco where her passion lies.
Best Local Food in Marrakech:
The best place to eat in Marrakech for an authentic experience is in the Jemaa el-Fnaa (the main square of the medina). As the sun sets the square comes to life with storytellers, musicians, snake charmers, acrobats and incredible street food stalls serving local delicacies from grilled lambs heart to sheep’s brains, snails, pastilla and harira soup or a simple couscous. Often times when we work with travelers, we’ll arrange for a ‘friend in town’ to accompany our guests to the best stalls and to explain the traditions behind each dish.
Don’t Drink the Water in Marrakech, Drink Berber Whiskey.
Berber whiskey isn’t actually alcoholic. It is made from gunpowder green tea, fresh mint and large sugar lumps. There is a real skill to serving it and it can be found on every street corner. For a real kick, head to Le Trou Au Mur for the best martini menu in town, the chili passion fruit martini is one of my favorites.
Best Local Designer, Shoes or Fashion Shop in Marrakech:
Galerie des Tanneurs in Guilez creates beautiful made-to-measure leather goods from shoes to handbags, jackets and wallets. Alternatively the souks are a shoppers’ paradise and make sure you wear your bargaining hat.
Best Thing to Do in Marrakech:
Take a hot air balloon ride just outside Marrakech at sunrise. Upon landing you can arrange to be greeted with a champagne breakfast and then get transferred back to your hotel by vintage sidecar with various stop-offs at hidden gems in the city.
——Now Let’s Take This Interview Abroad—-
Stamp My Passport Again Please:
India – having visited this country six times, the more I go there, the more I want to go back and the further off the beaten track I wish to go. My favourite location to date is trekking between spruced up village houses in the foothills of the Himalayas in Northern India. I never saw another tourist, the landscape was breathtaking and my accompanying guide, Rohan, completely made the trip with his guitar strumming around the campfire under a blanket of stars and with a sundowner in hand each evening.
Travel Experience that Most Left an Impression on You:
Japan’s incredible food scene and hospitality. No matter where you eat, it is near impossible to have a bad meal. I particularly enjoyed a traditional 10 course Kaiseki meal in a local ryokan whilst dressed in a yukata. I then slept, Japanese style, on a futon and the following morning I bathed in a natural onsen. To embrace a local culture like this is truly uplifting.
New Zealand is high on my bucket list for it’s incredible scenery, outdoor pursuits and Maori culture.
Favorite Travel Hack or Item of Travel Gear You Can’t Live Without:
I always pack my favorite African Kikoi with me which is multi-functional, as a headscarf for entering sacred temples, to cover my shoulders from the sun or to wrap around me after a dip in the ocean.
Connect With This Globetrotter:
Are you an in-the-know traveler on the go who has favorite local spots you want to give a shout out to? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your hidden gems with FoodWaterShoes.