Destinations

Essaouira – Things to do in essaouira, Morocco

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Where Essaouira is located ?

essaouira-morocco-where-is-located

Essaouira is the 2nd biggest city in Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz located in the atlantic coast with a population of 77 966 ( 2014 ). Thanks to its natural, historical and cultural assets, it has a strong tourist potential.

The city is 371km from Casablanca, 191km from Marrakech and 258km from Agadir according to google map.

essaouira to marrakech distance
essaouira to marrakech distance
casablanca to essaouira distance
casablanca to essaouira distance

Some Facts :

  • Region : Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz
  • Zone : CET ( Central European Time )
  • Population : 77 966
  • Latitude : 31.512500
  • Longitude : -9.770000
  • Elevation : 7m over sea level
  • Airport : Essaouira Airport.

International Cinema in Essaouira

The beautiful decorations of the ramparts and the medina are used by big names in the cinema for their films and you have some examples bellow :

  • ” Othello ” turned by a big Essaouira city lover Orson Welles in 1952;
  • ” Game of Thrones ” where the ramparts and Ait-ben-Haddou village are used as backdrop in some episodes.
  • ” Kingdom of Heaven ” by Ridley Scott in 2005;
  • ” Alexander ”  directed by Oliver Stone in 2004.

Weather in Essaouira

Essaouira is called a windy city and compared to the other regions in Morocco, it is cold in summer and warm in winter. In summer, you can find water temperature cold ( 14-18 °C ) and there is strong and persistent northerly winds. So, it can be very good for windsurfing but annoying for sunbathers.

Usually, the weather is very nice and no winds when it is rainning. In general, during the winter, it is warm in the day and temperatures can go down to max 13 °C at night.

So, if you don´t like strong winds and not too cold nights, the best seasons to visit Essaouira are the spring ( April and May ) and the autumn ( October and November ).

Top Things To See And Do In Essaouira

In essaouira, there are lots of enjoyable things to see and do. Let’s discover the best of them :

The Ramparts

The ramparts of Essaouira is an important historical place located at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. The first ramparts of the city, called Mogador, build by the Portuguese in 1506, is considered as a strategic place. Then, the Mogador became an important trading area for the Portuguese after building a port.

Essaouira Corniche

Corniche-Essaouira-morocco

The Corniche, Entirely refurbished between 2015 and 2018, runs along Essaouira beach for 3 kilometers. The corniche offers a pedestrian area, a bike path and facilities joining the ramparts gardens of the city.
Pleasant for jogging, walking, enjoying the terraces of cafes and there are also games for children facing the Bay of Essaouira.

Beaches and Water Sports

essaouira_beach-morroco

essaouira Beaches and Water Sports

Essaouira is known by strong winds almost all a year, especially in summer and Essaouira beaches are a great touristic destination to practice water sports and are known worldwide. So, it attracts a lot of water sports fans like windsurfers, kitesurfers and the 2018 version of the PWA Windsurf World Cup took place in Essaouira. In addition, there are lots of surf equipments shops, surfing, windsurfing schools for beginners and experts.

On the Atlantic coast, 175 km from Marrakech, Moulay Bouzerktoune spot is a must-see destination for windsurfers. Also, towards the road of Agadir, few kilometers to the south, you can appreciate a virgin beach ” Sidi Kaouki”, located in 25 km from the city.

Fishing Port and market

port-Morocco-Essaouira

In the mid 1900s, Essaouira was the main fishing port in Morocco and even now, fishing is an important trade in Essaouira. So, the fishing port is a must see to enjoy the authenticity of the surroundings. In the port, there is an unending wave of bright blue formed by small boats and a little away, you can buy the freshest catch of the day.

Sidi Mohamad Ben Abdellah Museum

Musee Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah essaouira

The museum of Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdallah, located in a pasha residence, dates back to the 19th century. On October 20th, 1980, to preserve the cultural heritage of the region, the building was chosen to house the museum of the city. The majority of articles you will see in the museum are related to Berber culture : 

  • Traditional garments;
  • Tapestries;
  • Musical instruments (both old and modern) ;
  • Woodwork and carpets Collection;
  • Traditional costumes Old photographs;
  • …etc

Gnawa Music Festival

For music lovers, Essaouira hosts the yearly Gnawa World Music Festival witch is an opportunity to discover the gnawa music, culture and traditions. Some of Gnawa musiciens are descendants of black population coming from sub-Saharan countries.

Visit an argan oil cooperative

Visit an argan oil cooperative

Argan oil, is exclusive to this region and it is an opportunity to see traditional cooperatives and numerous fields of Argan tree native to the country. Morocco is among best places to find argan oil and argan products witch can’t be found anywhere in the world. 

Inside the cooperatives, womens still use ancient tools and are welcoming to give you a chance to witness all the traditional process to make argan oil. So, cooperatives is really among must see places.

How To Get to Essaouira from Marrakech ?

One day in Essaouira can be enough to enjoy the town and to see all of the sights. But, it will be better to spend more than one day in Essaouira known but its relaxed atmosphere.

From Marrakech, you have several ways to go to Essaouira and public transport is a cheaper way to travel to Essaouira, especially CTM buses ( the most reliable company ).
Concerning CTM buses, there are two daily departures to Essaouira : First one at 8h45 am and the second one at 12:30 pm according to CTM website and the bus take 2h30. To return to Marrakech, the first departure at 12:45pm and the second one at 5pm and the ticket costs 80 dirham per person. 

If you prefer traveling by taxi, you have to make sure you are good in negociating. Then, commuting from Marrakech to Essaouira by taxi, can last two to three hours. If you are alone, you can share the taxi with other people to pay less.
The taxi price can be 1000 dirhams, 800 dirhams or even 600 dhs… actually, the final price will depend on your negociation skills and you have to be patient when you do that.

Essaouira Places on Google Map

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