Visit Essaouira: Morocco's Most Charming Seaside Town


Quick Links

  • The Medina (Old Town)
  • Essaouira Fish Market In the Harbor
  • Surfing Spots In Essaouira
  • Sundowners At Taros
  • Gnaoua Festival Of World Music

Morocco, a land filled with wonder has all that it's possible to imagine-its colossal sand dunes, hustling cities like Marrakech, not to mention its coastal towns that have attracted most of the hippie surfers all over the world. But one particular seaside town is the charming Essaouira tucked around the western coast of Morocco inspiring avid travelers to get a languid pace of life. This gorgeous town welcomed about 60,000 tourists prior to the pandemic and around 19000 tourists in 2022.

Unlike the red town of Marrakech, Essaouira is a real treat for individuals who wish to travel slow, while getting a taste from the local culture. Its unique landscape is composed of the ubiquitous blue fishing boats on the shoreline of the Atlantic sea, and also the soaring white seabirds waiting to trap their next meal. Find out the reasons tourists come to visit Essaouira.

The Medina (Old Town)

From its sublime white architecture dolled up with cobalt window shutters to the winding narrow lanes, the old town still retains part of its original construction dating back to the 18th century. During that time sultan Mohammed bin Abdallah ordered his talented architects including Ahmen al-Inglizi and Théodore Cornut to design the town, which attracted many foreign merchants. Visitors can still stroll across the narrow lanes from the medina protected through the seafront ramparts known as the Skala de la Kasbah.

No it's possible to resist the charm of the old town abounding with antique shops, galleries, bars, cafes, and quaint alleyways. It’s a real feast for that senses particularly when one visits the meals market, where there are stalls of dried fruits, vegetables, and meats.

Essaouira Fish Market In the Harbor

Seafood lovers may not want to skip the Essaouira fish market situated at the back of the big boats within the harbor. The marketplace here is full of locals, tourists, and seagulls. After which slowly the smoky scent of fish percolates in mid-air upon approaching the small restaurants which offer fresh seafood for example cuttlefish, prawns, and octopus. This bustling marketplace is definitely for all those looking for an authentic local experience.

  • A plate of smoky sardines and sea bass can cost $8

Surfing Spots In Essaouira

There is an extremely good reason why Essaouira is called the ‘wind city’. This seaside town is really a hotspot for many surfers who like to chase the untamed waves. The strong Mediterranean wind referred to as sirocco, from the Sahara desert meets the seasonal trade winds in the Atlantic in the Moroccan coast creating great conditions for windsurfers and kitesurfers alike. Generally, in the summertime months, the wind blows side shore from the right and can are as long as 6-7 Bft (Beaufort wind force scale).

Some of their renowned surfing spots include Essaouira beach, Tagharte beach, and Sidi Kaouki. Essaouira beach is an ideal spot for beginner surfers and is also popular among birdwatchers. The sublime Tagharte beach is located in the southern end of Essaouira. Surfers can get to find more consistent and bigger waves when compared with Essaouira beach. This place is particularly famous among kitesurfers who come (between May and September) to savor sliding across the water and experience the thrill of soaring in the air.

  • Surfers can find a variety of surfing schools at the beach itself.
  • Rental gear may cost about $27, and $42 for just two hours of surfing lesson (including gear).
  • The optimum time to surf is between May and September

Sundowners At Taros

Taros is a recommended rooftop destination to benefit from the panoramic view of nowhere Atlantic and also the spectacular sunset on the delicious cocktail drink. The atmosphere here is pretty laid-back, and it’s also a good way to hold by helping cover their foreigners and locals. Benefit from the sublime look at the fortress, and the bay of Essaouira while relishing some local bites. There is also live entertainment throughout the weekends.

  • Address: Place Moulay Hassan, Essaouira 44000 Morocco
  • Opening Hours: 10:00 am – 12:00 am

Gnaoua Festival Of World Music

Those who're into jazz or reggae music can attend the annual Gnaoua Festival of World Music, which normally occur in the final week of June in Essaouira. The festival lasts for four days and attracts music fans around the globe. The purpose of the background music festival would be to commemorate Gnaoua-style music and art, which originated in the Sahelian region of Africa.

The music festival brings together talented musicians from Essaouira, Tangier, and Marrakesh to do the Gnaoua music at a number of places within the town notably, at the Place Moulay Hassan, Bab Doukkala, and Zaouia Gnaoua.

Venue: Essaouira

Date: End of June

Music Genre: Jazz, reggae, and Gnaoua-style music

Whether it’s concerning the untamed waves from the Atlantic sea or the delicious seafood in the fish market, Essaouira is really a place, unlike other Moroccan cities. Here, it's possible to benefit from the breezy atmosphere, meet friendly locals, and venture across the narrow alleyways of the old town. This charming seaside town has the power to reel you back in its history.

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