Essaouira
31.5085° N, 9.7595° W
Western Morocco

Morocco’s picturesque coastal getaway.

Relaxed beach vibes, narrow cobblestone streets of white and blue, vagabond street performers, and some of the tastiest, fresh-off-the-boat seafood you can find. A relaxed sea-side town with a unique Santorini-esque atmosphere, Essaouria is a perfect hidden gem to round out your itinerary.

The Wayfaress SAYS...

Positano or Santorini vibes mixed with a Moroccan feel.

Often overlooked on a Morocco itinerary, Essaouira is a sort-of-hidden gem. To be honest, this little seaport town felt nothing like the rest of Morocco and nothing like what I expected to experience in Morocco. Think: chilled beach vibes, narrow cobblestone streets lined with white and blue homes, vagabond street performers, and some of the tastiest, fresh-off-the-boat seafood you can find.

There are tons of little hotels and charming Airbnbs in the old city. Or, if you want to get out of the bustle, stay nearby at family-run Riad Zahra where you’ll find charming Spanish-inspired accommodations and perhaps the best seafood dinner in town.

FEATURED HIGHLIGHTS

Here's a few things to look forward to in Essaouira.

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Skala De La Kasbah

Watch sunset from Skala De La Kasbah

These oceanfront ramparts, dotted with brass cannons and overlooking the rocky seaside are a must-visit while in Essaouira. Built in the 18th century by European architects, you’ll feel even more like you’ve been transported far away from North Africa as you wander these stone walkways.

The area is filled with travelers and locals alike, and it’s a lovely place to watch the sunset behind the ocean horizon.

Essaouira's seafood

Fresh seafood the Moroccan way

From quaint sea-side cafés to ornate full-course dining experiences, Essaouira's dining scene has something for everyone. Sea food is a must in this coastal town, with the catch of the day often coming straight from the warf to the chef's table with not even an hour in between.

Fisherman's Warf

Score the day’s catch at port

Just next to Essaouira’s old city is its iconic (both in its sea of blue boats and in its pungent, fishy smell) sea port. Early in the morning or in early evening, you can visit to watch the fishermen arrive back to the docks to unload their catches. In the morning it’s quiet and peaceful - you’ll likely be the only tourist there. In the evening, you can pick out some fresh seafood and have it grilled right in front of you for a tasty snack.

Kite and Windsurfing

Surf the beaches of Essaouira

Essaouira is perhaps best known for its sprawling, sandy beach. You’ll find beachside cafes where you can enjoy lunch, and chairs and umbrellas (although not so many bikinis) on the sand if you want to catch some sun. If leisurely beach days aren’t your thing, the strong “Alizée” trade winds make it a popular spot for surfing, kitesurfing, and windsurfing.

ALL HIGHLIGHTS

Here's everything else you can do

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