Have you ever wondered what Essaouria looks like?
Walking along the dunes while the sea breeze lovingly caresses your face, watching the sun rise from a terrace in the medina and tasting some of the most delicious fish you’ve ever eaten can be pretty relaxing. Indeed, Essaouira offers all these experiences to those privileged enough to visit.
Located in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean, along the Northwest coast of Africa, Essaouira is a city full of magic and a MUST SEE destination for anyone visiting Morocco.
If you are searching for travel advice or need help planning your trip, keep reading and we will guide you to destinations that are off-the-beaten paths.
WHERE IS ESSAOUIRA?
Essaouira, Morocco is a small but charming desert town and port city located on the Atlantic coastline of Morocco. Endowed with miles of sandy beaches and beautiful rolling dunes, Essaouira is essentially all about nature, fun in the sun and being close to the water. The atmosphere is very laid back, with friendly locals who love to chat and welcome tourists from around the world.
THINGS TO DO WHEN IN ESSAOUIRA
TAKE A WALK IN THE MEDINA
Crédit photo : Shutterstock / Nella
If you want to get the most out of your Essaouira trip, you must visit the medina. It's an ancient walled city where people of different cultures and religions coexist and live harmoniously. It is a major tourist attraction and is highly ranked among the best leisure cities of Africa. Strolling along its narrow streets, from the mosque to the stone buildings, you will discover its architecture and the beauty that lays within it.
VISIT THE SKALA
Crédit photo : Shutterstock / Matej Kastelic
The fortress was built during the 18th century, it is an architectural and historical testimony of the Spanish and Portuguese domination, the Skala (or Scala) is one of the unmissable tourist sites. From its ramparts over 200 meters long and its round bastion at the northern corner of the fortification, where the arsenal of cannons is still targeting some invaders from another era. From there, you can overlook the ocean and the waves that come crash on the rocks. Breathtaking view of the islands, the city, the place is ideal to take the full measure of the location of the city, overlooking the sea and battered by the winds. This is where a legendary scene from Orson Welles' film "Othello" was shot, as well as scenes from the "Games of Thrones" TV show.
DISCOVER THE PORT OF ESSAOUIRA
Crédit photo : Flickr – Citizen59
The port of Essaouira is deeply linked to the history of the city and a must see if you are going to visit Essaouira. Formerly known as the "Port of Timbuktu", it served as a link between the trans-Saharan routes to Sub Saharan Africa and the major trade sea routes. It remains today one of the three most important sardine ports in Morocco. It is certainly the busiest place in town, especially in the early afternoon. The fishing boats come in and unload their catch of the day, under the watchful eye of the seagulls, cormorants and cats who wait their turn with varying degrees of patience. The sea bream, sardines and other crustaceans are then sold at the Auction, in a cacophonous atmosphere of course, but all in all organized.
SPEND A DAY AT ESSAOUIRA BEACH
With its pure white sand and the warm sun, Essaouira beach is the most beautiful and longest beach of Essaouira. Stretching from the medina to the mouth of the port. There is nothing better than having a great day at the beach while enjoying a cocktail or contemplating a good book.
SHOP HANDMADE CRAFT FROM THE SOUK
The souk of Essaouira is a fascinating destination for moroccan craft lovers. The market is located in the medina of Essaouira, a large fortified city with ramparts in Morocco. It’s one of the most colorful and lively in Morocco. Its fascinating labyrinth of streets scents and colors gives you an incredible shopping experience. You will find many shops and stalls selling clothes, jewelry, spices, sweets and crafts.
Essaouira is a popular place for experienced and inexperienced surfers alike. Everyone feels welcome in the small Moroccan fishing town, which is famous for having some of the best surfing conditions on the Atlantic Ocean. With waves that surprise even the most seasoned surfers and the beach town atmosphere is very chilled. You will definitely enjoy it!
RIDE A HORSE AND ENJOY THE MAGICAL SUNSET
Whether you’re looking for an activity that gives you a rush or an opportunity to relax and enjoy the great outdoors, riding a horse in Essaouira Dunes (Diabat) is the best thing you can do. We suggest you take this unique experience with the sunset. Riding horses with the sunset is a timeless experience that you will remember forever.
DRIVE A QUAD WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Driving a QUAD or 4-wheeler in Essaouira is definitely something that you have to do and it brings a lot of fun. It’s quite an experience and one of the best things to add to your bucket list if you have never done it before.
Many visits can tell you about the medina of Essaouira Morocco: This typical oriental city is one of the few and oldest in the world that was never destroyed. Strolling along its narrow streets, from the mosque to the stone buildings, visitors will discover its architecture with alleys and shops old preserving aromas and memories hypnotized. The colors are saturated and pure, orange, blue, beige and white ... everything is painted brightly. Time seems to have stopped here, then it falls back slowly as we realize that this medina still keeps all its splendor today.