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Essaouira – My favourite Place in Morocco

Camel Trek in Essaouira

ESSAOUIRA MY FAVOURITE PLACE IN MOROCCO:

I loved Essaouira and this is my favourite place to visit in Morocco.  Are you dreaming of Morocco? You will lovethe laid back beach vibe, the beautiful Old Town Medina, friendly people, stunning location ….. can you tell I loved it?   Go to Essaouira for sure!  If you go to one place in Morocco, this would be my recommendation.

PHOTO:  Essaouira Medina – A cultural and shopping delight! 

How to get to Essaouira:

Direct flights with Easyjet from Luton operate on certain days of the week.  The airport is 6 miles from Essaouira.  Alternatively fly to Casablanca or Marrakesh.  The flight is only 3 hours from London, so go for the weekend!

How to get from Marrakesh to Essaouira

  • Hire a car – My preferred option.  Hire a car at Marraesh airport  it is a 2.30 hour drive.
  • Bus – Regular buses leave from the Bus station, by the train station
  • Taxi or Private car and driver costs approx 60 euros

What to do in Essaouira:

  • Explore the Medina
  • Stay in a traditional Riad
  • Camel Trekking
  • Horse Riding
  • Kite Surfing
  • Eat fish at The Port Gargottes Restaurants
  • Caravane Cafe in the Mediana
  • Roof top sundowner at Il Mare, near Skala de la ville
  • Go to the beach
  • Yoga Retreats

Where to Stay in Essaouira:

  • Riad – Stay in a traditional Riad for a super experience!  I recommend it for a couple of days
  • Rent a villa – Some gorgeous villas on booking.com and Airbnb
  • Hotel – Heure Bleue Palais, Dar Caravane

I stayed in a Riad located within the Medina which was a unique and fun experience and something you should do at least once during a trip to Morocco to get a different experience.  The local people were so friendly and I felt like a local after a 3 day stay! However, if you want a more relaxed vibe there are plenty of nice hotels and villas to choose from and you will be spoilt for choice.

PHOTO:  Shopping in the Souk at Essaouira

The Souk is a delight, stay away from the main streets and you will find a treasure trove of Spices, delicious Moroccan pastries, just about everything you could wish for!

Pots Galore at Essaouira

I bought some pots, dates, spice mixes to bring home to France.  I add to my collection next time I visit.  I also bought beautiful tea glasses for traditional Moroccan tea.  Morocco is great vale for money, an inexpensive destination to visit.

What is on in Essaouira 2019:

  • Gnaoua Festival from 20 to 22 June.  Port of Essaouira, eclectic music arts and culture.

 

Camel trekking

Regular readers know I love Camels, so this was heaven for me!  Choose to go on a short trek or overnight and camp.  My Camel trek was a highlight of my trip and I recommend the company I used, see the information section at the bottom of the page.

Did you know Essaouira has spectacular beaches?  They can be windy at certain times of the year.

James, my Camel and me

It was such a treat exploring on James the Camel with just my guide for company.  We explored all afternoon and visited places not accessible by any other form of transport!

Then, the next day I used the same company to arrange a horse ride which was just as fun as the Camels but a lot faster!  They have beautiful horses, that are well looked after and cared for which is essential.

PHOTO: My view between the ears of Aziz in Essaouira

To be honest, for me it just doesn’t get better than this!  Cantering along on a pristine, unspoilt beach on a cracking little horse with a good guide for company.  The perfect morning.

PHOTO: Exploring the Essaouira coastline on a horse

ESSAOUIRA Old Port:

The Port is a fascinating place to explore and take photos of the iconic blue fishing boats.  Just around the corner are the little fish shack restaurants, where you choose a fish and they cook it immediately.  Delicious, clean and simple food but beware make sure you barter because prices are high.

PHOTO:  Old Port of Essouaira

The Old port of Essouaira is charming and iconic for photographers on Instagram!  It is impossible to take a bad photo and the fisherman don’t seem to mind.  The history of the port stretches back into time to 1770.  This was the most important trading port between Europe, Africa and the Americas, originally named Mogador.

Free trade policies were encouraged by Sultan Ben Abdellah who encouraged the settlement of rich merchants and Jews to settle and work in Mogador. This was an important trading port.

The port is a photographers dream, so take your camera along.

PHOTO:  Iconic Blue fishing boats

I enjoyed a delicious Lobster lunch at one of the little shacks around the port.  It was the best ever, but very expensive and I should have bartered really!

Delicious Lobster lunch at the Port

Beautiful old ruin in Essaouira

Above is a stunning old building, owned by Jewish traders and abandoned in the 1960’s.  Moroccan law dictates that abandoned properties are left for 100 years incase the descendants owners decide to return and claim the property.

Visit the Gold souk too, and find some treasures to take home.

PHOTO: A perfect end to a perfect day

Above is a photo taken admiring the view from one of the bars serving alcohol in Essaouira.  These are obviously popular with visitors to the town!

Definitely put Essaouira on your Morocco itinerary.  We hired a car at Marrakesh Airport and happily and safely drove all around the country from Marrakesh to Agadir to Essaouira to the Atlas mountains to Marrakesh.  The roads are perfectly safe, fellow drivers very well behaved, and the people of Morocco delightful and helpful.  Get out and explore!

Many visitors just take a day trip to Essaouira, but I recommend staying for a couple of days.

The Souk at Essaouira

Information:

Essaouira information: Arrange a Camel, Horse, Quad adventure with: http://www.rando-dunes.com

Book a hotel or Riad by clicking on my Booking.com link on the right hand side of this page

http://www.essaouira.nu

Morocco Road Trip – Drive yourself!