A 3-hour drive from Marrakech, Essaouira is a stunning seaside beach town that offers plenty to see and do. With temperatures averaging highs of 37 °C in Marrakesh in the sweltering summer months, the sea breeze of Essaouira is a welcome retreat for both Moroccans and for Morocco travelers. A popular destination for beach lovers, visitors can also enjoy easy-to-navigate Essaouira for its food, atmosphere, and affordable shopping. In this article, we take a look at what it means to explore the port city of Essaouira, Morocco, so you can plan the perfect holiday or day trip to this historical destination.
While Essaouira has been occupied since prehistoric times, it became the first seaport of Morocco in the 19th century. This small yet spectacular city on Morocco’s wild Atlantic coast has been home to the Portuguese, French, Romans, Carthaginians, and Phoenicians, and enjoys a rich history full of assorted trades, religions, and ambitions.
Portfolio Magazine tells us more about the history of Essaouira:
“In the late 18th century and during the 19th century, the city was a major Atlantic commercial hub (trading everything from grain and salt to slaves) between Africa and Europe. The diverse people who passed through it have indelibly shaped the city as it is today, a compact fortified old town and UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with restaurants, galleries, and shops bordered by a bustling port and a wide swath of ecru-sand beach.”
Planning your next trip to Essaouira? You’ll have plenty to admire in this gorgeous fishing town, with numerous photo opportunities as you explore the ramparts, walk and shop along the medina, and take in stunning ocean views.
Places of Juma gives us an idea of what you can expect to see in Essaouira:
“The city walls and the citadel are another top attraction of Essaouira and a must-see if you are visiting this coastal city. The citadel dates back to the Portuguese colonial era. From the top visitors are spoilt with a fantastic view of the deep blue sea and the beautiful blue and white medina of Essaouira. The path over the city wall is lined with numerous cannons that still showing towards the sea. Without question, the photo opportunities of the fortress are unique and the fishing port with its famous blue boats make your travel photography perfect!”
Essaouira is an ancient city, with a low-key vibe. While the best thing to do in this city is to simply sit back and watch life go by, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy ocean activities, visit the market and eat fresh fish, and admire the gorgeous blue fishing boats.
Kimkim.com tells us more about what tourists and traveling Morrocans alike like to do in Essaouira:
“In case it wasn't already clear, the main thing to do in Essaouira is to simply be here. Wander the city walls, and watch the craftsmen working on their inlaid woodwork—it's a specialty of the town—from above. Take a stroll along the beach (the sand is unusually hard), and watch the kite surfers and camels roll by. Stop at the Place Orson Welles, commemorating the fact that parts of Othello were filmed here.”
At One World Bazaar, we highlight the beauty of handcrafted goods from around the globe, while striving to eliminate unnecessary waste, and focusing on economic sustainability for our producers. Open for seven weekends in the fall and located in an old barn that’s been converted into an international marketplace, our Bazaar is packed to the rafters with goods from all areas of the globe. Explore our items handcrafted by independent Moroccan artisans here!