Essaouira, Morocco

The fortress-port of Essaouira is located 173 km north of Agadir. The city is easily recognizable by its dazzling white houses with bright blue windows. Essaouira (or the second spelling: Essaouira) is primarily appreciated by windsurfers – for the highest wave on the coast and a light constant breeze. But just bathers or lovers of sunbathing will not be very comfortable there – for the same reason.

There are two surf centers in Essaouira: Fanatic and Club Mistral, both of which have a very large selection of equipment and their own restaurants. Renting equipment for 7 days will cost about 180-250 EUR there.

The prices on the page are for August 2021.

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Buses

You can get from Casablanca to Essaouira by a comfortable CTM bus or by some other cheaper, but less comfortable bus. From Marrakech, it is better to take the bus of the Supratours railway company, departing from the city railway station. Transfer from Marrakech takes ~3 hours, from Casablanca ~6 hours.

Essaouira Hotels

There are not many hotels within the city walls. The best hotel here, Villa Maroc, occupies two 18th-century mansions, one of which was once a brothel. There are also riad hotels located in old houses. Usually they belong to Moroccan families who try to maintain a cozy homely atmosphere in them. Outside the city walls, the choice of hotels is richer, there are also chic Sofitel and simpler establishments.

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A complete list of Essaouira hotels.

Due to the high coastal wave, all hotels are located on the second line of the beach.

Cuisine and restaurants in Essaouira

Fish and seafood are the hallmark of Essaouira cuisine. Restaurants with a name are based on popular tourist promenades and closer to the port, working eateries are in the old town. As a quick (but tasty) snack, you can recommend a serving of spicy and fragrant harira soup, as well as all kinds of sandwiches in half a baguette and pizza. You can dine with the freshest fish “in a local way” right at the fish market: you just need to choose the fish you like, and it will be immediately fried for you in a small restaurant.

  • Center of Essaouira

Entertainment and attractions in Essaouira

Almost untouched by time, the slave market, the former residence of the pasha, and now the museum of Sidi Mohammed ben Abdullah (treasury of local art). Along Sighin Street are local craft workshops. As an excursion, you can take a boat ride around the nearby island of Mogador, inhabited only by seagulls, and also get to the ruins of Dar Sultan Castle.

An amazing feature of Essaouira’s natural world is the goats grazing in the trees. They deftly jump onto the branches and, munching, eat the fruits of a rare argan tree.

The city is located on a cape, so the winds from the Atlantic are especially strong there. Surfers in Essaouira are waiting for a good wave and a fair wind in their back. There are two surf centers in Essaouira: Fanatic and Club Mistral, both of which have a very large selection of equipment and their own restaurants. Renting equipment for 7 days will cost about 180-200 EUR there. The most popular surfer beaches are: Essaouira Bay, Sidi Kaouki, Cape Sim and Muley Buzertoun. It hosts international competitions in these sports.

By the way, Essaouira is a cult place for fans of Jimi Hendrix. The great guitarist lived here in the 60s and wrote his famous songs.

Essaouira, Morocco