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Essaouira
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Top attractions in Essaouira

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Top 7 things to do in Essaouira

The medieval architecture of this town is so splendid it was used as a backdrop in the film 'Othello'. This town has much to offer midway down on the Atlantic coast between Casablanca and Agadir. Fresh seafood, colorful bazaars, hiking, beaches, and desert adventures await you here!

Medina

Medina

A wonderful labyrinth of streets, this 18th mid-century fortified town was built with the principles of contemporary European military architecture in a North African context.

Skala du Port

Skala du Port

This active fishing port is pleasurably mesmerizing to watch as the fishing boats dock. You can even see wooden boats being made and the Île de Mogador in the distance.

Diabat
Photo: Martina Rathgens@flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Diabat

A former hippy enclave where The Rolling Stones used to hang out. Visit the ruined palace and Ranch de Diabat for horse and camel rides -- Moador Golf Academy is also nearby.

Hammam Lalla Mira

Hammam Lalla Mira

Heated by solar energy, this is one of the oldest Turkish baths providing a stunning interior and offering blissful massages. It's part of a guesthouse, so booking is essential.

Musee Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdallah

Anthropology and art unite at this quaint refurbished museum of regional art in a traditional house showcasing weapons, instruments, carpets, and historical photos of Essaouira.

Cooperative Feminine Marjana

Cooperative Feminine Marjana

Half an hour out of Essaouira, this is an escape from the norm, where the women make argan oil for sale using traditional methods of argan and almond oil extraction. 

Watersports

Watersports

The strong winds are ideal for kite and windsurfing, and the watersports center by the promenade offers advice for novices and equipment to rent for more experienced enthusiasts.

Planning Your Essaouira Visit

Are solo women travelers safe?

Essaouira is more relaxed and laid back than other Moroccan cities, but of course there's always exceptions, so always take care. Be aware that Moroccan men are not used to seeing bare shoulders and ankles, so that might attract some attention. Remaining pleasant, but assertive is the best way to act.

Is a day trip to Marrakech easy to do?

Yes, and it gives you a chance to see more of the countryside. You can either rent a car, go by bus, or hire a private driver -- which is more expensive. The cheap return bus runs twice per day, although you will be limited with times, and the journey takes 3 hours by bus.

I've heard of goats climbing trees here -- myth or fact?

Indeed they do! It's their special quirk in this area of Morocco. They're skilled climbers that are attracted to the Argan tree, which ripens in June/July each year. Each hoof has two toes which can spread out for balance, while the soft soles of their feet help them to grip the bark. Seeing 20 goats up a tree is a sight to behold! 

Good to know

  • Language
    Arabic
  • Currency
    Moroccan Dirham (MAD)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +212
  • Best time to visit
    Fall tends to be the best time to visit when the winds are calmer, sunshine and heat is not as intense as in the summertime, and the tourist crowds have departed.

Things to Do in Essaouira

Top Attractions in Essaouira

Cities in Morocco

Other Sightseeing Options in Essaouira

Want to discover all there is to do in Essaouira? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Essaouira

Good option to complement your visit to Marrakech

Everything went really smoothly from the pick up to the drop off, no complaints for the tour or the agency. Essaouira is as very pretty coastal town, very worth it. Impressive to see the fish market and the blue houses, a very worthwhile trip if you want to do an alternative from Marrakech without going to far. There are 2 stops in between- to see the goats in the trees (argan oil) and a women cooperative; both were disappointing. The 1st was only 1 tree and staged by 2 farmers. Many tourists looking at this 2 goats. The cooperative, although included in the tour, requests you pay for the tour if you don’t purchase any of their products.

Day Trip to Essaouira from Marrakech Reviewed by Rebeca, 05/29/2019

Excellent trip - absolutely worth the money

The trip was great and comfortable - Essaouira is an amazingly beautiful city. The driver was very nice and drove safely. On the way you gonna stop for a quick snack/coffee, to take some pictures of the famous goats in the trees and will have a small intro in a little organ oil manufacture. Once in Essaouira - you can choose if you want to have a one hour guided tour (tour guide was very nice, I think it's worth to have a quick intro into the city). After this you still have around 3-4 hours to wonder around by yourself. Would do this again and also would recommend it to my friends.

Day Trip to Essaouira from Marrakech Reviewed by Aurelija, 03/30/2019

Nice trip, but don’t go to restaurant number 11

The driver was very friendly. Always smiling. We had a very nice time. The only thing we didn’t enjoy was the restaurant that the local guide recommended us. He recommended us a restaurant that sold fresh fish. He said that it was the best and for a fix price, but the staff was extremely rude. We never saw something like this. They were yelling at us. They asked for more money than the actual cost of the menu. They were slow in serving with bad manners. It is the restaurant number 11 near the port area. It was awful and changed our experience.

Day Trip to Essaouira from Marrakech Reviewed by Anonymous, 03/16/2019

A lovely place and worth the long drive.

Getting collected from your Riad makes the difference. Once on the minibus you head off to Essaouira, it’s a long drive but you get a couple of stops on the way. You get dropped off by the fishing port and the guide (included in the price) takes you on a 90 min walking tour, then it is free time until you head back to Marrakesh. There are many places to eat around the main square and port, fresh fish is the best option. You get dropped off back at your Riad/hotel at the end of the day. Definitely worth visiting.

Day Trip to Essaouira from Marrakech Reviewed by Robin, 09/08/2019

Good value for money but not much time to explore

Good value for money transport wise. The tour party was very big and the tour guide had to translate in both English and french which made everything a bit cumbersome. The tour itself was interesting but ate up a lot of the free time we had in the town- this didn’t leave a lot of time for exploring. If I could go again I would likely skip the tour and explore the town instead.

Day Trip to Essaouira from Marrakech Reviewed by Sasha, 07/07/2019