Whenever you talk to people about Essaouira they immediately rave. I think it’s funny that when you ask them why they love it they usually say something like “well, it doesn’t really feel like Morocco, it’s peaceful and chill.” And I guess that’s not really as much of a knock against Morocco as it might sound, but the chaos can definitely get to you, and places like Essaouira serve as a nice break from the mayhem. Personally, after the challenges of Fez and spending way too much time in cities in general, I really needed the relaxation that Essaouira offered.
Time Needed: 2-3 days
Backpacker’s Budget: 35-40USD a day
Things to Do in Essaouira
- The Beach: The main reason people come here is to just sit on the beach and chill out. After the frantic nature of the rest of the country, no one would judge you if you didn’t leave the beach for an entire week
- The Medina: It’s definitely not like the Medina in Fez, but it’s very cool. You still get the narrow streets, the calls for pray, and the shops, but you don’t have to deal with the same aggression, or any aggression for that matter.
- The Pier: The pier is a great place to visit. It is always busy with fisherman, and is worth a couple photos.
- The Camels: I’m not really one to run down the beach at sunset on horseback. However, give me a camel and I might be game. You can do that here.
Where to Eat in Essaouira
Along the street that borders the beach there are plenty of good places to grab some food but it is a little bit expensive. Inside the medina, you’ll find lots of little stalls and small restaurants, these shops are a much better value and serve some great grub at the same time.
Where to Stay in Essaouira
I stayed at Hostel Essaouira which was fantastic. The rooms were a little bit cramped, but had power outlets, there is internet throughout, and the staff is awesome. As a bonus, there is a great rooftop patio to chill out on and have some evening drinks with new friends. If you’re camping, there is a site just outside of town, but you’ll likely need your own transport to make it worth a stay there.
Getting out of Town
Essaouira is decently connected, although the buses are almost always full. The most popular route is to Marrakesh, but if you’re heading that way be sure to buy a ticket a day or two in advance as the bus packs quickly. The bus to Marrakesh can also connect you to the train headed to Fez, Casablanca, or Rabat.
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