Why visit Essaouira?

Travel to Essaouira

In Essaouira, you can escape the hustle and bustle of big cities while immersing yourself in Morocco’s history. This city was already inhabited in prehistoric times, and in the first century BC, there was a dye factory there. In the 16th century, the port city became a hotspot for the export of sugar and molasses, which attracted pirates. Today, Essaouira is much more peaceful and worth a visit for its unspoiled medina, creative arts scene, delicious cuisine and beaches.

What to visit in Essaouira?

The citadel dates from the Portuguese colonial era and is a remarkable example of late 18th century fortresses. It was built according to contemporary European military architecture. Defense being a priority at the time, the path on the ramparts is always lined with cannons. The fortress offers you a fantastic view of the deep blue sea and the small blue and white fishing boats. The fishermen bring back their catches every day. So you can buy your lunch directly on site.

Essaouira wouldn’t be a true Moroccan city without its old fortified district – the medina. This is original, because its architecture is inspired by the fortified city of Saint-Malo in Brittany. Several streets run through the entire city center and lead to four different gates. Bab Doukkala is the main gate, facing north. This arrangement facilitated the intense commercial activity of the port city. Furthermore, the medina offers everything you could hope for in an old Moroccan town: colorful market stalls, delicious aromas and the magic of the Orient. Definitely a highlight of your vacation in Essaouira!

The surroundings of Essaouira are perfect for superb hikes. During your excursions, you will discover the many facets of the region: forests of olive trees, fig trees, thujas and eucalyptus, as well as small villages where carpet making is still a profession. You can also climb breathtaking peaks, such as Jebel el Hadid, 650 meters high. This sacred mountain, located about 30 kilometers from the city, is said to be the resting place of the walker Sidi Ali Saih, who retired there to pray.

In the past, Essaouira was called Mogador. Today, this name is that of the small island which is a little over a kilometer from the city. No one lives on the island anymore, except for the falcon Eleonora. However, in the first century BC, it was home to an important production site for purple dye extracted from shells. The dye was used for the togas of Roman statesmen. If you want to visit Mogador, you will need to obtain special permission, as the island is now a bird sanctuary.

Why visit a coastal town if you’re not relaxing on the beach? Essaouira’s wide beach serves as a park for residents. The seafront promenade is particularly popular with joggers, walkers and footballers. It is not for nothing that Essaouira has become a famous seaside resort. The conditions are ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing. You can therefore do water activities there. In addition, the landscaped beach boulevard invites you to take a romantic evening stroll: a grand end to the day during your vacation in Essaouira.

Omar your marrakech tour guide

Discover Marrakech through the eyes of a seasoned local expert, Omar. Certified by Morocco’s tourism board, Omar brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for showcasing the beauty and cultural richness of his homeland. With Omar as your guide, you’ll unlock the secrets of Marrakech’s bustling markets, hidden gems, and historic sites, ensuring an unforgettable journey. For inquiries and bookings, reach out to Omar at:


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