5 Reasons to travel to Essaouira
While most visitors head for the mayhem of Marrakech or the rather charmless sun and sea resort town of Agadir, Essaouira offers something in between. Essaouira (pronounced ‘essa-weera’, or ‘es-Sweera’ in Arabic) is located on the Moroccan Atlatic coast about 2,5 hours west from Marrakech. The historic Medina, the majestic ramparts, the beach, the culture, the nature … once you enter Essaouira, you will fall in love with the charm and beauty of the city. Not yet convinced? Read those 5 reasons why you should visit Essaouira and book your stay with us!
Essaouira offers kilometers of sandy beach with a wide range of opportunities for activity all year long. Renowned as a water sports resort, Essaouira boasts one of the best kite-surfing locations in Africa and has hosted numerous world championships. So whether for an adrenaline experience, a long relaxing beach walk, a ride on horse- or camelback, Essaouira is the ultimate destination. Join us along Essaouira’s unbridled coastline with all its natural African beauty!
THE MEDINA AND THE SOUKS
Walking through the souks, you’ll feel as though you've entered a whole new world. Unlike other Moroccan cities, the souks of Essaouira are less hectic and you can quietly wander and experience the Moroccan market life. Enjoy the endless streets full of stalls, including wooden accessories, colorful rugs and fine herbs. Your visit will be made memorable by the characters you meet along the way, and you may be invited for tea by more than one shopkeeper.
One of the highlights of Essaouira, the harbor dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries when Essaouira was Morocco’s biggest trading port. It was nicknamed the “Port of Timbuktu” because goods like gold and spices came by camel caravans from sub-Saharan Africa to be shipped from here to Europe and the Americas. You’ll see fishermen unloading their catch for sale in local restaurants or to be grilled straight off the boat in one of the harbor side stalls. Give yourself time to walk along the quay to watch the fishermen mend the nets and bait the lines. Enjoy the daily experience from the quay, and don’t miss the fresh orange juice stalls on your walk back to the Moulay Hassan square.
THE ARTS AND CRAFTS
Essaouira is well known for its cultural life, and its many local artists and art galleries. The city has a rich craft heritage. A number of craftsmen sculpture wood from the roots of the Thuya tree to make boxes, dishes, decorative objects and furniture. You can also find jewelry, rugs, leather goods, babouches (slippers), pottery, and traditional decorative objects. The many local artisans and artists offer unique souvenirs to take back home.
THE LOCAL EXPERIENCE
If you want to experience Morocco without the tourist tricks and crowds, Essaouira is the perfect place. The laid back bohemian vibe of the city makes it easy for you to interact with the locals and get to know the Moroccan culture and way of life. For a truly local experience, buy some fish from the fish market in the Medina, and have it prepared in one of the small community restaurants. Or, go to a traditional hammam for a full cleansing and cultural experience. Or, visit one of the authentic farmers’ markets, where you are likely to find donkeys, goats, fresh vegetables, camels, and country supplies. Or book a cooking class and learn the secrets to preparing a Moroccan tajine. We are happy to help you gain access to authentic Moroccan experiences.