Essaouira is where Queen Daenerys from “Game of Thrones” met her loyal army of Unsullied for the first time. And this is where global tourists can experience a slice of coastal Morocco with historic ramparts along with rich culture and heritage. Known as the ‘Wind City of Africa’, the windsurfers head towards Essaouira between the months of April and November for some adventures. Wandering through the spice-scented lanes and palm lined avenues of the fortified medina can be truly enchanting. Morocco vacation is unaccomplished without exploring this port city.
Formerly known as Mogador, this coastal city has amalgamation of two tribes – the Arab Chiadma of the north and the Haha Berbers of the south. Essaouira’s laid back atmosphere makes it a perfect destination to relax by the sea. Holidays in Morocco must have this fishing town in your itinerary.
- Media of Essaouira
This bustling walled medina built in 18th century is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is an example of well-preserved European military architecture in North Africa. Strolling along the narrow alleyways of this medina, haggling with the street vendors and clicking those whitewashed houses with ornate wooden doors can be a great way to get lost into this coastal town. This very location was used to film the 1952 classic – Orson Welles’ Othello. You will definitely find it worth visiting this laid back medina on your trip to Morocco.
- Essaouira Beach
The breezy, bright beach of Essaouira is a great place to have leisurely walks. Swimming and sunbathing at times become difficult due to strong winds. Weekends are slightly crowded, with locals engaging in beach football. To the south, across the Ksob River, you can witness the ruins of the old fortress of Borj El Berod. Adventure sports lover frequent this Atlantic coastline to play with waves and winds. An evening stroll along Essaouira beach could be truly memorable and something which you wouldn’t want to miss out on your Morocco vacation.
- Skala du Port
Built in 1769, this Manueline styled architecture consists of two fortified wings of 200 meters intersecting at right angles and acts as a defense of the port. With a set of artillery pieces, the Sqala du Port has mainly Spanish made bronze cannons, but some Dutch origin cannons can also be spotted. Looking back at the walled medina from this location is simply amazing, while the seagulls cover up the area. This historic place is shutterbug’s paradise.
- Île de Mogador
Just off the coast to the southwest is Île de Mogador which is about 3 km long and 1.5 km wide and lies about 1.5 km from Essaouira. Designated as a nature reserve, it cannot be visited without an official authorization. The island is also designated as a protected Ramsar site since 2005. This uninhabited islands are a sanctuary for Eleonora’s falcons which can be viewed through binoculars from Essaouira beach. Don’t miss this serene island on your Morocco holidays.
- The Port of Essaouira
It’s blue everywhere – right from the fishing net, the boat color and the locker doors at the promenade, they all bear the same color. This noisy, lively and busy port is a renowned traditional fishing port of the country and remains the key supplier of sardines. A walk along the pungent fish market around the port can be exciting and watching the fish auction outside the port gates is a lifetime experience that you should witness on your trip to Morocco.
- Skala de la Ville
This fortification built along the cliffs of Essaouira coast is worth visiting and an amazing place to watch the sunset. This bastion is part of the ramparts that protect the medina from the crashing waves of Atlantic. The town’s main woodworking souk is on the narrow street underneath and a great place to visit.
- Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah Museum
This history museum in the city of Essaouira is named after the founder of the city, Mohammed ben Abdellah. Located in a 19th century mansion, on the central street, it is known for various historic artefacts, including ancient pottery, coins, jewellery and carpets. It also houses old musical instruments. A visit to this museum on your Morocco vacation will take you down the lanes of history.
- Mosque Sidi Ahmed ou Mohammed
Located at Avenue de l’Istiqlal, this 18th century shrine near Place Moulay Hassan is a prominent landmark of Essaouira and has an important library containing some manuscripts donated by Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah.