If there’s one city which has a great weather, location and character – it’s Essaouira. It is commonly known as Africa’s windy city and they’re definitely not wrong there! Located on the west side of the African coast line, as you pull up you’ll be greeted with Beaches, Boats, a beautiful harbour and lots and lots of Seagulls!
Keep reading for the 5 things you must do when you find yourself in Essaouira.
Essaouira is located just a few hours out of Marrakesh and so you have a few options of getting here if you’re located there;
- Book a taxi, but this may prove a little pricey if you don’t agree a price beforehand
- You can travel by bus, which is the most cost effective option. Make sure you book your return tickets to Marrakesh at the same time, or you may find there’s no room to take you back! You can buy your tickets at the main coach station in Marrakesh (near the rail station) or book online beforehand. I booked through Supratours which was a comfy coach for 70 dirhams and the journey was around 3 hours with a stop in between.
There is an airport in Essaouira if this is going to be your main location. It’s located around 16 kilometres from the main town. There are a wealth of airport transfers to transport you to your hotel.
The reason why tourists flock here is to visit their amazing beach which spans for what seems a life time. As you walk along, you can dip your toes in the sea or relax on the white silky sands. There are plenty of places to rent a sun bed with those super chic palm umbrellas. Although it was scorching hot, the famous breeze was in full force so if you’re a cold bod like me – prepare to freeze!
2. Ramble in the Ramparts
One of my favourite viewpoints is located right here in this city, the Essaouira Ramparts. For a measly fee of a couple of dirhams, you can climb to the top of their wonderful fort and see the gem of an architectural coastline and harbour below. Look out for the fishing boats riding in to make birth with thousands of seagulls flocking after them in hope of grabbing a bite to eat! If you’re looking to take a photo which sums up the city, this is it.
3. Get Lost in the Medina
Although not as grand in size as that of Marrakesh or Fes, this bustling Medina is still the ticket for an authentic Moroccan shopping spree. Selling all sorts of items including tea sets, leather bags, shoes, pouffes and the super tourist Fez hat, you will definitely find something that takes your fancy. Like any medina, it is all too easy to get lost! But, you will certainly enjoy the wander and find some gems down their exquisite narrow streets.
4. Visit the Harbour
What I loved about Essaouira, before I even arrived, was the pictures of their indigo blue boats docked up. They just looked so lovely in contrast to the white walls along the harbour front. Make sure you spend some time there while you’re here, if you can handle the salty smell!
5. Sample the Fresh Fish
What I always love about being close to the sea is the comfort in a catch of the day. You will find tonnes of fresh fish in Essaouira and multiple expensive restaurants trying to sell it to you. My favourite place to eat, however, was the local fish market sellers down by the harbour front;
- You pick what juicy fish, shrimp, prawns, squid you want from the choices available
- They weigh what you choose which determines the price
- They cook it for you!
It couldn’t be simpler and it tastes divine!! If you’re on a budget, they are more than happy to bargain with you for the fish but I though it was worth every Dirham.
These are just five of my favourite things to do whilst in Essaouira. But there is so much more for you to enjoy. I would highly recommend a visit to the windy city the next time that you’re in Morocco – it is just so gorgeous to wonder around. You can base yourself here, or book a day trip from Marrakesh as it’s only a few hours away.
Is there anything else you would add to this list? Comment below!