The Top 8 Reasons to Visit Essaouira, Morocco

The Top 8 Reasons to Visit Essaouira, Morocco

The Top 8 Reasons to Visit Essaouira, Morocco

The charming coastal town of Essaouira (pronounced sweera, essa-weera, or es-sweera depending on who you talk to) is located about 2.5 hours west of Marrakech. It has become a popular destination for expats from around the world, who have opened colorful riads and lively restaurants in this peaceful place. Many tell stories of visiting once and immediately falling in love with Essaouira, eventually purchasing one-way tickets to stay for good.

The old town of Essaouira is located directly on the water but is enclosed by towering fort walls that once protected the city. Climbing to the rooftop of one of the many terrace restaurants offers breathtaking views of the sea and the bright blue fishing boats docked at the port.

Essaouira is known as the ‘Windy City of Africa’, so it’s not the ideal place for sunbathing or lounging on the beach. The coastal wind, called alizee, makes it the perfect destination for learning to kitesurf. However, you can still enjoy your time here by shopping in the souk, sipping tea on rooftop terraces, and indulging in evenings filled with wine and live music.

Essaouira is a magical town that is sure to capture your heart with its colorful streets, stunning architecture, and lively atmosphere. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Morocco.

Best Time to Visit Essaouira

Essaouira enjoys exceptionally pleasant weather all year round. It is located on the West Coast, and a cold current that travels over the Atlantic maintains temperatures at or below 73°F throughout the summer. It is the perfect location for kite surfers and anybody wishing to escape the stifling heat of Marrakech since a fresh wind blows there all year.

Essaouira is best visited in the summer, although it will be busy with tourists and Moroccans seeking solace from farther interior. Despite the higher temperatures, the beach is not the best place for swimming or sunbathing because of the huge waves and windy weather.

The average maximum temperature in the winter is approximately 66°F, although the persistent wind will make it feel colder. Winters are also moderate. Many riads have gorgeous rooftop areas that are ideal for lounging, making them quite lovely to visit in the summer. However, because they are open-air, they can get quite chilly in the winter.


Essaouira’s narrow lanes are quaint and evocative, with a mix of local and tourist hotspots that work beautifully together. There is enough to do and see in the distinctively Essaouira manner, while it isn’t as chaotic as the exotic medina of Fez or home to the major attractions of Marrakech.

Stroll around the neighborhood flea market, Souk Joutiya, at the northern end of Avenue Mohammed Zerktouni. Shoppers from the area conduct their shopping here. Huge quantities of fresh fish are served alongside an incredible variety of exotic seasonal produce. For the greatest atmosphere, visit in the morning.

Essaouira is shielded from the Atlantic by the Skala de la Ville, which is to the west of the medina. Excellent views may be had from its fortress-like walls. Just below is a bustling woodworker’s market selling all kinds of useful (and not so useful) goods.

2: Browse the Shop for Handmade Crafts.

The Top 8 Reasons to Visit Essaouira, Morocco

Particularly well-known for its woodcarving and cabinet-making are the regional arts and crafts of Essaouira. At the numerous gift shops and markets scattered throughout the city, you can purchase a wide range of exquisite hand-carved decorative items as well as substantial furniture. These handcrafted products are frequently highly detailed and manufactured using traditional methods.

Handwoven wool or silk blankets are another popular thing to buy in Essaouira. These blankets are reasonably priced and offered in a variety of colorful hues. They are ideal as a decorative addition to your home or for keeping warm on chilly evenings.

The area is renowned for producing premium leather items. Many of the stores in the area sell leather belts, shoes, and bags. The leather is expertly produced with great care and attention to detail, resulting in goods that are attractive and durable.

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Argan oil is made in Essaouira, Morocco. This oil, which is sold in several stores and marketplaces all around the area, is renowned for its anti-aging and skin-moisturizing qualities.

You may enjoy shopping at the little kiosks and trying on the vibrantly colored, flowing apparel as you go around the tiny medina. As you look through the souvenir shops, don’t forget to try the nutella crepes.

3: Explore religious sites

Ssaouira has a long history of religious variety, and the remnants of the city’s once-significant Jewish community may still be seen there. The Rabbi Chaim Pinto Synagogue, which is a well-maintained synagogue that still conducts daily services, is one of the noteworthy religious locations to visit. It is accessible to guests and situated in the center of the medina.

Two old cemeteries are also worth seeing in addition to the synagogue. Just beyond the city gates, there is a Jewish cemetery with gravestones that date back hundreds of years. It offers a window into the city’s Jewish heritage and is a tranquil and contemplative destination.

The Top 8 Reasons to Visit Essaouira, Morocco

Additionally outside the city walls is the Mogador Christian cemetery, which is an interesting site that serves as a reminder of the once-present religious diversity in Essaouira despite being poorly maintained. It has grave markers from many historical eras, some of which go as far back as the 18th century.

You could also be interested in making a quick stop to the medina’s Simon Attias Synagogue, a little synagogue. Although it is closed for daily services, it is a worthwhile place to visit because of its historical significance and stunning architecture.

4: Become Fully Immersed in the Arts

The Top 8 Reasons to Visit Essaouira, Morocco

Essaouira is a center of Moroccan culture and art, and many well-known painters have drawn inspiration from this city. You may find lovely and distinctive works of art at the city’s many tiny art galleries.

The annual Gnaoua Festival of World Music, which draws musicians from all over the world, will be taking place in Essaouira in June, and you may go if you do. A wide variety of musical styles, including gnaoua, jazz, reggae, and rock, are performed during the four-day event.

There are several possibilities in Essaouira for individuals who enjoy museums. A blend of African and European influences may be found at the local art museum, Dar Souiri, which was established in the 1950s. Along with an art gallery that features a variety of works by local artists, the museum also has a small library.

The Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah Museum is a different museum worth seeing. It has a large collection of regional art that includes rugs, costumes, furniture, and jewelry. A visit to this museum is highly recommended since it offers insight into Essaouira’s cultural background.

You may find many local artists’ little workshops when traveling, in addition to the museums and galleries, by looking them up online. You are welcome to watch them at work and perhaps buy a piece from them to take home as a memento.

The Moroccan arts and culture may be experienced in full at Essaouira. There is something for everyone to enjoy with its museums, art galleries, and skilled local artists.

5: Take a Moroccan cooking class

The Top 8 Reasons to Visit Essaouira, Morocco

Any food lover should try Moroccan cuisine, which is renowned for its distinctive blend of spices and flavors. Learning to prepare Moroccan food yourself is among the finest ways to enjoy it. Fortunately, Essaouira provides both short-term and long-term guests with a selection of culinary lessons.

Taking a lengthier cookery course is strongly advised if you have the time. These classes will teach you how to make a whole meal from beginning to end and often take a few hours. Along with the meal, you’ll discover how to prepare Moroccan tea, a crucial component of any Moroccan meal. These courses are a wonderful opportunity to become fully immersed in Moroccan culture and discover the fascinating history of its cuisine.

A pastry making lesson is a fantastic choice for people who are short on time. You can learn to prepare traditional Moroccan sweets like chebakia, ghriba, and feqqas in only a few hours. These pastries are a tasty delicacy to share with friends and family and are frequently provided on special events, such as Ramadan or weddings.

Whatever cooking class you decide to take, you’re certain to walk away with a fresh appreciation for Moroccan food and a set of cooking skills. You’ll not only be able to prepare typical Moroccan cuisine, but you’ll also know more about the history and culture of the nation.

Taking a cooking class is a terrific opportunity to meet new people as well as learn how to cook. Since many of the classes are small and personal, you can get to know your classmates and share advice with them. Additionally, it’s a wonderful chance to meet people in the neighborhood and gain knowledge from seasoned Moroccan chefs.

The Top 8 Reasons to Visit Essaouira, Morocco

It’s crucial to conduct research and choose a reliable supplier before selecting a culinary class. Look for workshops taught by seasoned chefs who are enthusiastic about their art and that use local, fresh ingredients. To learn more about prior students’ experiences, you should read their reviews.

A cooking lesson is a must-do activity if you’re planning a vacation to Essaouira. You will pick up new skills, meet new people, and get a greater understanding of Moroccan culture and food whether you choose a lengthier course or a pastry making session. So prepare to whip up a storm in the kitchen by rolling up your sleeves and donning an apron.

6. Essaouira Beach

The Top 8 Reasons to Visit Essaouira, Morocco

The lovely Essaouira Beach is one of the area’s key draws. Essaouira is a gorgeous coastal town in Morocco. This sandy beach, which stretches along the Bay of Essaouira, provides breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and Mogador Island.

A excellent place for swimming, sunbathing, and other beach activities is the gently sloping, sandy beach. Because Mogador Island is situated at the mouth of the bay, it acts as a natural barrier against the waves of the open ocean, making the beach a secure area for kids to play and swim. The waves are typically thigh-high and the water is often calm, making it the ideal environment for beginning surfers and swimmers.

The Bay of Essaouira is renowned for having trade winds, which makes it a well-liked spot for kiteboarding. Visitors may select from a range of water sport businesses that offer certified instruction in kite-surfing, traditional surfing, and paddleboarding, including Bluekite, Loving Surf, Ion Club, Ananas, Yalla Surf, Kite Paradise, Mogasurf, and Yousurf. Visitors may easily experience the excitement of these water activities thanks to the companies’ instruction and equipment rentals.

If you’re not into water activities, you may ride a horse or a camel to the quieter southern part of Essaouira Beach. A one-of-a-kind and memorable approach to appreciate the beauty of the beach and surroundings is to go on a horseback or camel ride at sunset.

Essaouira Beach is a fantastic location to view the Atlantic Ocean sunset. A spectacular scene that should not be missed is created by the sun sinking over the ocean in warm tones.

Essaouira Beach not only boasts stunning natural beauty, but also a dynamic and exciting ambiance. Visitors may engage in a variety of activities and water sports during the day, while at night, street entertainers and local sellers animate the beach. Visitors may eat some of the local fare, such grilled fish, and take in some live entertainment.

7: Dine at the Port

The Top 8 Reasons to Visit Essaouira, Morocco

Additionally, this coastal region offers some of the freshest fish available worldwide. Get up early in the morning to see Essaouira’s fishing boats return to dock carrying the city’s most mouthwatering wares. Look at the recognizable blue boats parked outside the harbor and take in the smells of the ocean and fish. By going to the fish market, you’ll experience Essaouira authentically.

You may get a seafood platter or select your meal from the neighboring grilling stations. You won’t find a fresher or more genuine dinner.

Keep an eye out for Seagulls are known for being pretty brash when it comes to stealing your food, so keep an eye out for them. Don’t let it deter you from enjoying a meal by the water though.

8: Elegant Riads

The Top 8 Reasons to Visit Essaouira, Morocco

There are numerous lovely and distinctive lodging options in Essaouira, but the magnificent riads may be the most well-liked. Built around open-air courtyards, these traditional Moroccan residences frequently include exquisite tile work, complex wood carvings, and other architectural accents.

The chance to experience traditional Moroccan living is one of the nicest things about staying in a riad. Numerous riads have a calm, serene atmosphere with lots of room to unwind and take in the serenity of the surroundings.

There are several choices for riads in Essaouira to accommodate all preferences and price ranges. Some riads are tiny and cozy, with only a few rooms, while others are bigger and more sumptuous, with pricey extras like rooftop patios and swimming pools.

The Top 8 Reasons to Visit Essaouira, Morocco

Regardless of the type of riad you select, you can count on a friendly greeting from the staff, who will be happy to assist you with anything you need while you’re there. 

A stay at a riad is certain to be a special and educational experience, whether you’re traveling alone or in a group. So why not reserve a stay in one of Essaouira’s lovely and luxurious riads today to really experience the authentic Moroccan way of life?

Where is Essaouira located in Morocco?

Essaouira is a coastal city in western Morocco, located about 175 km (109 miles) west of Marrakesh.

What is Essaouira known for?

Essaouira is known for its beautiful beaches, historic walled city, and vibrant arts scene. It is also a popular destination for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

What is the weather like in Essaouira?

Essaouira has a mild climate, with temperatures averaging between 18°C (64°F) and 25°C (77°F) throughout the year. However, it can be quite windy, particularly in the summer months.

What is the best time of year to visit Essaouira?

The best time to visit Essaouira is in the spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November), when temperatures are mild and the crowds are smaller than in the peak summer months.

What are the top things to see and do in Essaouira?

Some of the top things to see and do in Essaouira include visiting the historic walled city, exploring the beach and port, checking out the local arts scene, and trying some of the city’s famous seafood dishes.

Is Essaouira safe for tourists?

Essaouira is generally considered to be a safe city for tourists. However, as with any destination, it is always wise to take precautions to protect yourself and your belongings Read More About Is Morocco Safe.

Why is Essaouira blue?

Essaouira is distinguished for its blue-painted buildings, which are a defining aspect of the city. Jews who immigrated to Essaouira in the 18th century are thought to have introduced the color blue. They used blue paint on their structures to represent the sky and heaven and to serve as a reminder of God’s omnipresence.

The color blue has more than just religious significance; it also serves utilitarian purposes. The blue paint’s natural insect repellent properties assist to keep pests and mosquitoes at bay. In the hot Moroccan heat, the blue color also reflects sunlight, keeping the structures cooler.

Today, Essaouira’s charm and personality are defined by the blue-painted buildings. The city’s blue and white architecture, which fosters a serene and relaxing ambiance, is frequently praised by tourists.

How far is Essaouira from airport?

The Essaouira-Mogador Airport (ESU), which serves the city, is a private airport at a distance from the city center of 15 kilometers (9.3 miles). The airport is quite tiny and only offers flights to a small number of locations, mostly in Morocco and from Europe.

You may take a bus, cab, or private conveyance to Essaouira if you land at a major airport like Marrakesh Menara Airport (RAK). The drive from Marrakesh to Essaouira by car takes around 2.5 to 3 hours and is about 175 kilometers (109 miles) long. Regular bus routes, private transfer alternatives, and shared taxis are all available between Marrakesh and Essaouira.

  • Essaouira only appears European from the outside; on the inside, with its wind-whipped tiny lanes filled with savory aromas, it feels truly Moroccan. The aroma of the sea and spices are joined by the sounds of Gnawa singing in the air.
  • With its vibrant streets, beautiful architecture, and bustling atmosphere, Essaouira is a wonderful town that is sure to win your heart. Anyone visiting Morocco should make sure to go there.
The Top 8 Reasons to Visit Essaouira, Morocco
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