Things To See And Do In Essaouira
A beautiful seaside fishing city in the touristy region of Marrakech, Essaouira attracts a lot of yearly visitors, including the production crew of Game of Thrones who used the majestic city as a backdrop in some episodes. Rich in history, which can be seen predominantly in its beautiful coastal ramparts, and full of culture, famous in particular for its music, Essaouria boasts a range of relaxing and enjoyable things to do and see. Read on to discover the best of the city.
Walk around the port
Essaouira was once home to one of Morocco’s main fishing ports. The port is still active today, with fishermen setting sail on the ocean hoping to return with a bountiful catch. Workers scurry through the port, helping to haul nets and offload seafood on the boats’ return. Strong ropes lie across the paths as people repair huge nets and patch up boats. Big and small boats sit in the port and there are, naturally, more boats moored up in the evenings after the fishermen have returned from sea.
Eat fresh seafood :
Essaouira has plenty of seafood restaurants where you can sink your teeth into the freshest catches. There are also vendors close to the port selling seafood snacks, and the fish market is ideal for people who want to source ingredients to prepare their own dishes. From seafood tagine to grilled fish, many local dishes make use of the local fishing industry. Sardines are particularly abundant, and you’ll also find sea urchins, squid, mussels, prawns, eel, and a variety of other ocean fish.
Shop in the souks :
The traditional souks of Essaouira spread through the old medina, with small stores and stalls found down narrow alleyways, in larger squares, and along wider walkways. The atmosphere is much more laid back than in the souks of Marrakech, Fez, Tangier, and other larger cities, though you will still need to negotiate to get the best prices on items. Arts and crafts, created by local artists, are among the more unique items to take home, and local products include carved wood and lacquer goods. Pottery, clothing, household wares, toys, carpets, and spices are also common items in the souks, and ornate lamps and tea sets can make for great gifts for anyone who loves Morocco’s spirit. Due to Essaouira’s prime location close to the country’s argan-growing area, argan oil products, including shampoos, soaps, and moisturisers, are abundant. Peek into small workshops throughout the souks and you’ll see artisans hard at work.
Wander along the beach
Essaouira has a long and wide sandy beach, providing a perfect spot to admire the views and walk along the sands. A strong wind blows through the area for most of the year, making sunbathing and swimming impossible for all but the most stubborn! The winds do, however, help to create the ideal conditions for surfing, kitesurfing, and windsurfing. Camels often provide rides along the sands too.