Marrakech, like most places in the Arab world, is renowned for its traditional hammams. No visit to Marrakech is complete until you have experienced the delights and benefits of these time-honoured steam baths.
What are Hammams?
The Arabic word ‘hammam’ means ‘hot water’ and the origin of traditional Moroccan hammams dates back to Roman times when they were popular both as bathhouses and meeting places. A traditional hammam consists typically of a series of two to four connected steam rooms the temperature increasing to around 50° c as one progresses from one to the next.
Housed usually in marble-clad rooms, a hammam bath involves dousings of alternating hot and cold water followed by a vigorous scrubdown with black soap. Other treatments include Ghasoul or henna coatings, Rassoul hair treatments and, after a short recovery period, relaxing massages using essential oils.
The Benefits of Hammam Sessions
In addition to being wonderfully relaxing and providing welcome relief from stress, Hammam sessions have an array of physical benefits, not least improved blood circulation: