Hello fellow budget hunters,
Today I will be sharing with you the 5 reasons you NEED to visit Essaouira! I visited Morocco back in January 2017 and I loved Essaouira the most out of the places we went! I found it so beautiful and I believe most people would love it!
Essaouira, was formerly known as Mogador until the 1960s, and has quite the history. It is surrounded by fortress walls and has been a settlement for over 2000 years. Being in occupation by the Portuguese, then the French, before becoming Morocco’s busiest seaport, lots of history has happened in this awesome little town. In the 1960s, Essaouira became a hippy hangout, a favourite of Jimi Hendrix and many awesome musicians. It is also known as the windy city – lots of tourists avoid it, due to the wind preventing sunbathing… however it is a honey pot of cultures, history and great food.
This is my list of 5 reasons you need to visit Essaouira: –
- The food – Morocco has such amazing foods, especially lots of tagines and very flavourful foods. Essaouira goes one step further, it has a beautiful fishing culture. The boats go out early morning and return with the catch. When it’s in, if you walk along the market, you can buy your fish and walk to the end, where it will be fried for you! The fish is so fresh and tasty in Essaouira, you need to try it!
Due to the French history in Morocco, french cuisine is available everywhere. It can be more expensive that Moroccan food, but I enjoyed french desserts. French patisseries were everywhere, as we’re Nutella crêpes!
- The beach and location – Essaouira to me felt like a charming French fishing village had been dropped on the coast of Morocco. The beach is stunning and the architecture feels so French. The coast is a long expanse that sweeps around the bay and is fairly empty compared to most european beaches.
- Watersports – Essaouira has a huge surfing culture. The location on the Atlantic means the waves are powerful and great for watersports! Along the beach there was many different watersports centres and this is also helpful with the strong wind for sports like windsurfing.
I also believe there is the opportunity to view whales and dolphins from boats around different seasons!
- Culture – compared to Marrakech, Essaouira is so quiet. From my experience the people are generally more polite and well mannered! The souks are on much wider streets which is great if you prefer personal space.Also if you’re not a fan of bartering, most of Essaouira had fixed price shops, around the same price as a good deal in Marrakech. We had great fun looking around the beautiful stalls, with less pressure to buy anything and just understand more about the spices or wooden carved objects. Orange juice and market stalls were a little more pricey, but the food was generally the same price as you found in Marrakech! The way of life was a lot more relaxed than in Marrakech, it seemed calmer and nobody was in such a hurry.
5. History – the castle and city walls were built by a Moroccan King in 1760-1770. There is so many historical events that took place in Essaouira, the history is everywhere you look. The cannons on top of the walls are dutch, there is evidence from every invasion and occupation around the city. Most tourist stick to the coastal area, but you can explore such a history in the outer areas of the city too.
I hope if you’re in Morocco that you enjoy this guide and visit Essaouira. This is still one of my favourite places, I hope it stays the same for years to come!
Until next time,
The Great Ambini
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I also wrote these posts about Morocco:-
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