Essaouira, Morocco

Essaouira is a fishing town located in the Western region of Morocco. A stop we nearly overlooked during our time in Morocco, came to be one of our favorite parts of our trip. We recommend spending two days in this charming little port town.

How to get to Essaouira – MED Taxi

There are a few different transport options. Essaouira does have an airport. Alternatively, you can find transport services from major cities such as Marrakesh. MED Taxi, which was 50 euros each way, is my preferred taxi service.

Med Taxi even lets you stop along the road when you see something totally insane, like this…

goats in a tree
goats in a tree

Where to stay – Dar Skala BNB

We stayed in “Dar Skala Essaouira” Airbnb, which was fantastic. It was one of the best Airbnb experiences I’ve had. Jorge greeted us warmly upon arrival and gave us a map along with tips for the best experience during our time here. You can expect to wake up to a delicious breakfast, and enjoy it on Jorge’s rooftop while watching the waves of the sea crash against the beach.

Dar Skala BNB, Essaouira
Dar Skala BNB, Essaouira

Where to Eat – Gusto Italia & Triskala

Gusto Italia is not traditional Moroccan food, but offers some delicious Italian, which you may be craving after eating traditional Moroccan dishes all week! Triskala was so beautifully decorated and is where you’ll find your traditional Moroccan food.

What to do in Essouira

We visited during December, and the town was nearly empty. I assume during peak tourism, it’s quite busy during the day with all the day trip tours from Marrakech. This is why I recommend spending 2 days here, so you get to explore it when it’s more quiet in the evenings. Overall, it should be MUCH more low key than Marrakech.

1. Explore the Port.

Essaouira, Morocco
Essaouira, Morocco

Exploring the port is one of the main things you’ll want to during your time in Essaouira. I would even suggest visiting during twice, both during the morning and late evening so you can get a glimpse of the morning craziness and the quiet nighttime.

2. Shop in the Medina.

Essaouira Medina

The Medina of Essaouira is much more manageable than Marrakesh’s gigantic maze. It has a lot of similar things that you’ll find in the Marrakesh markets, only they will be cheaper! Shopkeepers were much more tame in the Essaouira markets. They greeted you warmly and left you alone as you did your shopping. It was a breath of fresh air in comparison to the Marrakesh medina, where people would be badgering you to buy left and right! The historical Essaouira Medina is listed as a UNESCO site.

Shopping tip – buy a Moroccan scarf! They are a cheap souvenir that you can pack easily in your luggage.

3. Watch the sunset on the beach.

Morocco wins hands down for the prettiest sunsets I’ve seen. Laying on the beach watching the sun go down was certainly a nice way to end our trip. One of my greatest appeals to Morocco is that you get the beach, city, and desert all within a reasonable driving distance. It adds so much variety to your trip!

Essaouira Beach

4. Get a traditional Hammam & Massage at Azur Spa

As we were approaching the end of our trip, we were totally exhausted. We decided to take advantage of the cheap prices and booked ourselves a massage and traditional hammam. We had no clue what a Moroccan Hammam was and didn’t have the internet to really do the research. So, we said yes (it was only $12), and oh man were we in for a treat. We were told to strip down and get completely naked. Next, buckets of water were poured on our heads while we were bathed. It was all so comical as we had absolutely no idea what we had gotten ourselves into. We couldn’t stop laughing, I’m sure the nice spa ladies thought we were totally nuts.

All jokes aside, I’m glad I got to experience a classic cleansing technique of Middle Eastern culture. Azur Spa was so beautiful! We were greeted with delicious mint tea while we gazed around at the rose petals and fountains decorated throughout. It was such a peaceful place to enjoy a massage after an exhausting trip.

That concludes a perfect trip to the beautiful port town of Essaouira!

Essaouira was a stop that was nearly looked over when planning our itinerary. It’s really quite a gem of a town that is entirely different than the rest of Morocco. If you are looking for an experience that is both cultural and relaxing, this is the place for you.

Essaouira, Morocco
Essaouira, Morocco

Click here for the Essaouira Pocket Guide. This is the perfect guide to screenshot, save, or pin for your travels.

Essaouira Pocket Guide

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