Travel to Essaouira – Relax in Old Mogador
Originally built on a rocky peninsula and overlooking the Atlantic, Essaouira is one of Morocco’s must-see destinations. With a whitewashed medina enclosed by huge pink sandstone ramparts which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and with a rich Portuguese and Andalusian heritage, Essaouira holds great appeal to both local and international travellers. From a long white sandy beach and dunes to a bustling fishing port with excellent seafood and colourful wooden fishing boats, Essaouira has always been a favourite retreat of hippies, sailors, artists and musicians.
Originally founded by the Phoenicians in the 7th century BC, the Portuguese arrived in the 15th century and established the first fortifications and a trading post. The town of Essaouira itself wasn’t built until the latter half of the 1700’s, sanctioned by an Alouite sultan, Mohammmed II. It was actually a renowned French architect who designed and built the town, harbour and fortifications in the style of a European fortress.
There are several great attractions in Essaouira as well as the Festivals of Andalusian and Gnawa music. Try and watch the sunset over the Purple Islands, just off the coast.
Windsurfing, kite surfing, surfing, buggy and quad-biking are all popular and well-established activities in and around Essaouira.
A great place to unwind is the atmospheric seafood restaurant of Chez Sam’s, and perhaps enjoy a fresh seafood platter and an inspirational view over the Atlantic.
Located 176 km from Marrakech and just over 173 km from Agadir, Essaouira is centrally positioned for those arriving by air from either gateway. The duration of the drive from Marrakech depends very much on traffic and time of day, and typically takes from 2 1/2 to 3 hours. From Agadir, along a scenic coastal route, the drive can take from 2 to 3 hours. The backstreets and passageways of the old medina are best explored on foot, although taxis are readily available for journeys outside the medina.
- Explore the atmospheric alleyways of the ancient medina and old ochre ramparts which now provide protection from the wind-assisted waves of the Atlantic Ocean.
- Relax in a pleasant temperate climate which provides escape from the Saharan-induced heat of inland Morocco.
- Lovers of the wind will go wild in Essaouira – with dream conditions it is a windsurfers and kite surfers paradise.