Getting Scrubbed at a Public Hammam in Essaouira, Morocco
Many hotels in Morocco offer luxurious spas, steam rooms, and new-age treatments... and of course weary travelers should take advantage. But most Moroccans wash away the residue of everyday life at public hammams (bathhouses, often quite historic)—an experience that cannot be missed. Hit the souk first to buy a scrubby and a non-slip mat to sit on. Once in the inner sanctum, the light streams in though the pinholes in the roof and your pores get blasted open by the steam and water heated by the wood-burning ovens. Have a seat on the tiles and get every last bit of build-up exfoliated by a professional skin scrubber. Your new skin will then get vigorously massaged while you listen to raucous gossip and children's soapy squeals punctuate the steamy air.