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7 Reasons to Visit Essaouira - a Hidden Gem in Morrocco

7 Reasons to Visit Essaouira - a Hidden Gem in Morrocco


When Morocco is mentioned you probably think about Marrakesh or other bigger cities, however, there are lots of lesser-known places that have a unique charm and that contrasts a lot with the typical busy Moroccan city. One of those places is Essauira, a small and charming coastal town where history dances with modern vibes. Let's dive into why Essaouira should be at the top of your travel bucket list!

1. A Camel-tastic Adventure:

Sure, camel trekking is always a must-do in Morocco, but did you know that Essaouira offers something even more magical? How about a sunrise camel ride through the dunes that surround the city? Imagine the sun casting a warm, golden glow over the sands as you embark on a mystical journey led by these gentle giants. It's a surreal experience that will make you feel like the protagonist of an Arabian Nights tale!

camel in Essaouira

Especially when the tide is low you can find many locals providing camel rides for around 20€ each. The morning is a good time to participate in this activity since in the afternoon the beach is normally packed with people enjoying the sun or playing futebol (if there is something the Moroccans love more than selling your trinkets is futebol).

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2. Beaches Beyond Belief:

The long sandy beaches of Essaouira aren't just beautiful – they're home to a quirky phenomenon that's every photographer's dream. Known as the "Blue Rocks," these whimsical boulders adorned in shades of blue and turquoise stand like works of art against the backdrop of the ocean. Whether you're a professional photographer or just an amateur with an eye for beauty, these unique formations will leave you utterly spellbound.

3. Artisan Alleyways:

As most cities in Morocco, Essaouira also has a beautiful medina, a labyrinth of narrow alleyways, secret corners, and bustling markets maintaining culture mixed with the chill beachy vibe. Here, you'll encounter everything from intricately woven carpets to handcrafted pottery, ornate lanterns, and leather goods. Keep an eye out for hidden workshops where skilled artisans transform raw materials into works of art right before your eyes. It's a living testament to Essaouira's rich artistic heritage.

essaouira commerce

Did you know that Essaouira is a haven for Gnawa musicians and instrument makers? Gnawa music is a soul-stirring blend of traditional African, Berber, and Islamic rhythms. If you're lucky, you might stumble upon an impromptu Gnawa jam session that'll have you dancing to a rhythm you never knew existed.

4. Seaside Citadel:

Behind the medina's walls lies a secret that history buffs will appreciate – the Skala de la Ville. This massive sea-facing bastion isn't just a defensive fortress; it's a tribute to the city's strategic importance during the Age of Exploration. The canons that once guarded the harbor now offer some of the best panoramic views of Essaouira, making it the ideal spot for a breathtaking sunset.

Essaouira fortress

5. Kitesurfing Capital:

Prepare to be surprised by Essaouira's dynamic side as the wind beckons thrill-seekers to indulge in kitesurfing adventures. With consistent trade winds and flat waters, Essaouira has earned its reputation as a kitesurfing paradise. Whether you're a seasoned kiter or a curious newbie, the city's schools and rental shops will ensure you have a blast riding the waves.

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There are many other sports you can participate on if kitesurf seems too radical. Essauira’s beach is great for windsurfing too, to learn to surf or even to go on fishing trips.

6. Hollywood Connection:

Hold on to your hats, because Essaouira has even caught the attention of Hollywood! Remember those scenic landscapes from the TV series "Game of Thrones"? Essaouira served as the backdrop for the city of Astapor, where Daenerys Targaryen acquired the Unsullied army. So, if you're a fan of the series, walking through Essaouira might just feel like stepping into Westeros!

7. Fresh Catch Delights:

Calling all seafood aficionados! Essaouira is renowned for its seafood, and it's not just any seafood – it's some of the freshest you'll ever taste. Stroll along the harbor and take your pick from a plethora of seafood stalls offering everything from succulent grilled fish to mouthwatering seafood tagines. If you want a more authentic experience, you can walk straight into the fish market, right by the see, and buy your own super fresh fish or any type of seafood. Once you have chosen your lunch you can walk back to the medina ando on your way for sure someone will volunteer to grill your fish.

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‏‎ ‎Next time you plan on going to Morroco don’t miss out on this perfect little vilage, where you’ll find a mixture of traditional Moroccan architecture with a laid-back coastal vibe creates a unique atmosphere that's impossible to resist. Where friendly locals are always up for a chat, and if you're lucky, you might even stumble upon a street performer or two, adding a touch of whimsy to your wanderings.

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