While most travelers usually head for the allure of Marrakesh, the city of Essaouira provides a totally different travel destination with a breath of fresh air and loads of surprising finds in every corner. The stalls and souks may not match up to those found in the other popular cities in Morocco, however there’s a bounty of products to examine and it’s conceivable to do so without being hassled every step of the way. If you visit Essaouira at a fortuitous time when the gusty wind is blowing, this is the appropriate moment for a wind- or kite-surfing lesson. It is a nice coastal town with a beautiful beach with temperatures around 30 degrees. Essaouira also gained prominence as a beach and water sports heaven and the wind makes the experience truly enjoyable.
When To Go:
There’s just about no downpour at all in this city from March to October, so that is most likely the best time to visit and get to know Essaouira. Toward the end of June, the Gnaoua Music Festival is a fabulous social occasion, however in the event that you’re not intrigued by it, then evade this time to visit because this is the time when the city gets so crowded and lodging is quite an ordeal to reserve.
The summer months (July -August) sees an enduring stream of guests and also neighborhood Moroccans looking to escape the hotness from its distant inland towns and cities. In case you don’t prefer to be among the huge throng of travelers in May, June and September would be an impeccable time to visit this windy city of Morocco.
Winters don’t get excessively cool, the temperatures will normally crawl up to 60 Fahrenheit (15 Celsius) amid the day, much excessively chilly to swim or sunbathe, yet still a perfect weather to shop in the medina.
Discover the following wealth of attractions and
things to do
in the city of Essaouira:
have a very nice view of the ocean, where the waves batter the rocks. Definitely it is worth a visit. Also nearby are homes of artists and other famous celebrities of Morocco. Most of the beautiful houses come in white with blue. The Walls of Essaouira skirt the city’s old souk with colorful shops and excellent restaurants. From any point of the Wall the view is always breath taking. Take a walk on the bastion, to be photographed and you will have pictures that are very colorful and bright, – against the backdrop of guns, ocean waves, and soaring gulls. And then go to the streets of the town and have a sumptuous meal.
The historic walls are fairly well preserved. It is the best place to spend a perfect day to just enjoy the clear vistas and the strong ocean breeze. The sea always has a good swell with waves of about 4 meters. It is nice to see the waves breaking against the islets and rocks of the shore. After seeing the walls of the fort, it is highly recommended to get lost a bit through the streets of the city and return to the square before the fort to have some coffee / crepe in one of the many panoramic terraces that are in the city buildings. If one does not mind the smell, it will not hurt to go to the port to see all the fish for sale. The best view of the sunset happens here so it is imperative to stay until dusk to see this natural spectacle in Essaouira.
Medina of Essaouira
Medina of Essaouira
is much quieter and less chaotic than in Marrakech and almost more characteristic because it is even smaller. There are also countless artisans who work with wood, iron, textiles etc. Strolling around this town Maghreb is really nice, and you can go into the spice market and the fish is even more. You can even buy fresh fish directly and let you cook at the ends of the market. Walking around the medina of Essaouira is a real pleasure! The lanes are moderately intricate, very picturesque, and full of enterprising locals and little shops and above all you can shop in peace without being assaulted by vendors and beggars. The lively market atmosphere here is really soothing and enchanting.
To make the most out of your shopping adventure in the Medina do not miss the fabric section (curtains, bedspreads or scarves approximately 3X4 or 3×3 mt) which are typical of this city and comes in striped colorful, shiny silk, wool and cotton. They have matching shades that are fantastic and you will not find them elsewhere in Morocco. They are unique and are not at all expensive compared to their beauty. And take also same Argan oil food, which smells like hazelnut, to dress a couscous at home and recall your wonderful journey of Essaouira.
Despite the strong winds it is worth the walk through the
. It is an ideal place for wind and kite surfing. The beach of Essaouira is very quiet, and stress-free. The row of good restaurants and cafes make the delight of tourists. Note the contrast of the blue sky with the blue and white of the buildings. If you are stressed after spending hours in the Medina of Essaouira, be sure to go to the nearby beach. With its rocks, old walls and buildings, docks and boats, the beach and the coast of Essaouira are all beautiful and entice tourists from all over the world.
The weather is always cool and the Medina is attractive with lots of diners and inviting cafes. In June, if you have the chance to be there at this time, there is a world music festival, with several well-known musicians, a lot of jazz and a very peaceful setting on this cheerful seaside or in the city. A must visit is the port, with its blue colored boats and fishing nets. Be sure to eat the sardines’ delicosas and relax before going to a new destination or special attraction in Essaouira.
Housed in a splendid dome, the glass roof covers of the
offers a myriad of great beauty, a perfect place to listen to music gnawa, and be carried away in the universe. It is a lively cultural center where there are projections from authors, movies, and cultural entertainment that is all free. There are concerts of local music artists and also exhibitions of painters and contemporary artists.
To know what is in store for you or what to expect, the program is displayed on the outside. The framework of the place lends itself perfectly to the acoustic concerts. Sitting on Moroccan poufs, the public has a rare quality of listening to music from Moroccan artists that are of great quality. This is a privileged experience of being there. Be sure to check this exciting place while you’re in Essaouira.
Galerie d’Art Damgaard
Galerie d’Art Damgaard
exhibits and showcases local artists of great originality. It displays works and also sells them in very affordable prices. Everything here is clearly presented, starting from the paintings and sculptures of Tabal and other contemporary painters. This art gallery also has a wonderful exhibit about Moroccan pointillist art. Although it is a feast for the eyes, the style of the genre is rather naive.
Special mention must be made for the spooky animal statues; the kids find them interesting enough too. Located at the heart of the region, the gallery still has the self-taught artists of Essaouira or not .It is the ideal place to meet various works (sculptures, paintings and furniture) and see small and borderless images and artworks that are available for a nice price and can be a fine souvenir from a cozy area.
Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah Museum
It is a small museum located in the Essaouira Medina and one of the interesting museums that you must not miss. It’s so rare to find in Morocco a museum that traces the regional or national heritage of the country. The
Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah Museum
highlights the traditional jewelry collections, old Moroccan weapons that still work and the variety of costume collections.
After paying a small fee to visit, you will learn and discover new things and the interesting history of Essaouira at the first level. Try to read all the panels that are loaded with information about the city. For the second level, you will learn a lot about the history of tea, how it arrived in Morocco and the story behind the festive celebrations of the country. Near the window part of the gallery there is an exhibition of objects (preparation of tea, teapots, boxes and still full of items to discover) If you have a moment, pull over and spend some time to get to know this interesting museum in the city in the city of Essaourai.
deserves a visit, respect, and contemplation because of its importance to the city. Located in the central part of Essaouira, the shrine is the pride of the city that respects religion. It is here where the late Moroccan Rabbi Haim Pinto (housed in a magnificent looking dome) lies buried and for which a pilgrimage takes place every year. This small cemetery is adjacent to the Christian Cemetery that is located just outside the old city. It speaks to the importance of the presence of the Jewish community in Essaouira.
It is a place full of emotion and it is very moving to browse this place and the famous people who are buried there. The newly restored Rabbi Haim Pinto synagogue stands right next to the cemetery and it is also well worth a visit. In its extreme simplicity, it is a place out of the Medina that is very near the square of Dar Doukkala (one of the theaters of the performances of the Festival Gnawa). It is a fine example of religious coexistence.
Riad Sidi Magdoul – Le coin des Artistes
The Riad Sidi Magdoul – Le coin des Artistes
or the Artists’ corner is a very nice place where you must spend a good evening. Every night (except Mondays), Christine, the owner of the premises organizes a musical evening with local groups that draw you into a frenzied mix of Moroccan rhythms. For smaller budgets, it is possible to dine on site or just a drink for very good rates and the food is indeed good. If you want a good night out and discover Moroccan art in a friendly and warm atmosphere, you have come to the right place.
is located in the Bin Al Aswar gardens under the walls of the medina of Essaouira, next to the bus station of Supratour. You can rent bikes or scooter for a day or half a day. The material is very well maintained and the owner, Jerome, gives you all the information on the routes to be explored around Essaouira.
Moga2roues is among the good tour ideas that you can opt to do to know the surroundings of this lovely city. The equipment is well maintained and clean and above all practical and needed no license to drive the scooter. You can rent the scooter during the day with a reasonable price and for almost 8 hours it is really efficient and the best way to explore the little villages around the city.
One of the interesting and popular things to do in Essaouira is to try the ATV adventure with the guides of the
. You can spend three fabulous hours in the dunes between Essaouira and Sidi Kaouki. The scenery is beautiful, a mix of wild and extraordinary calm. The tour covers a whole day of touring around the city until Sidi Kaouki (with pause to a restaurant for lunch and the long excursion up to the waterfall). Regarding Palmaquad in particular, it is really the top option to enjoy the city and its encompassing attractions.
The professional guides, the quad bikes, and the quality of material, hygiene hoods, safety helmets, inner gloves, knee pads, and other safety gears and equipments, and the happy the pictures in the end guarantee a happy time spent in the city that you can proudly tell your friends and family back home. Last thing, if you have never done quad have no fear, the guide will adapt to your level and you will soon enjoy driving your own quad. Controlling the quad in the dunes is an exceptional and liberating experience.
To enjoy or take advantage of the strong winds of Essaouira, the best way is to engage yourself in a kite surfing experience with the
. The instructors here are young, friendly, professional and reassuring, especially in the first steps and patient to teach the amateurs of wind and kite-surfing. You will immediately find Explora because it belongs to the circuit of water sports schools VDWS, and has stood up to the expectations high enough that this brand brings.
They have appropriate prices and a lot of desire to meet the needs of the customer. Among other things, the school is located in an area with a lot of wind, little wave and a few swimmers, a feature that can really be appreciated by a novice kite surfer. Nearby, there are a few bars and restaurants that are very comfortable to dine before or after class.
The well trained staffs of the
are all amiable and can help you find the right horse for beginners or all levels to enjoy the horseback ride up to the ocean. The location for the walk for two hours is already phenomenal and you will arrive at a deserted beach with high waves. It is totally un-missable. It is one of the amazing tours that you must try when in Essaouira. You can also choose to make a 2 hour journey by camel. The overall rating for the experience here is 10 out of 10 because they obviously know what they are doing.
The tour begins by picking you up at your riad (traditional Moroccan hotel). They are very punctual and will take you to the stables where they have horses and dromedaries. The tour always occurs from 5:30 to 7:30 pm and programmed like so to avoid the strong sun hours and see just the sunset. It is simply spectacular! The tour consisted of walking the way to the beach, the walking trail through it and around on the dromedary. The entire experience is all very quiet and “peaceful”. The guide is very attentive to the guest and their requests, and stops to take pictures. You can enjoy the beach, talk with surfers or pose for some pictures with you on the horse or with the sunset behind you. This tour is 100% recommended and a must do activity in the city of Essaouira.
If you are into off the beaten path adventures in land or in water, the city of Essaouira in Morocco is one of the best ways to experience a thrilling and unforgettable holiday. One of the best highlights of the tour, aside from seeing the landmark attractions is the chance to become physically active with their numerous water sports adventure. One of the best highlights is the horseback adventure into the wide ocean. It is an unforgettable experience for all who love riding. Galloping along endless beaches and in an isolated beachfront is the best experience of a perfect holiday in Essaouira.