Things to do in
Essaouira

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Our most recommended things to do in Essaouira

From Marrakech: Essaouira Full-Day Trip

1. From Marrakech: Essaouira Full-Day Trip

Leave Marrakech at 08:00, ready for a 3-hour journey to the beautiful Essaouira on the Atlantic Coast. Once you arrive at the port city, formerly known as Mogador, you will have time to enjoy the charming sights of Essaouira, including its ocher-colored walls, the beautiful Moulay El Hassan square, and the souks, as well as the little streets of the city's old Medina. Enjoy a lunch of fresh fish in a local restaurant. During your trip, visit an association of Berber women producing argan oil, see the local markets, and marvel at the gems in the jeweler's quarter.  You will return to Marrakech at the end of the afternoon, arriving back to the "Red City" at around 19:00.

Essaouria: Beach & Big Dunes 2-Hour Quad Biking Tour

2. Essaouria: Beach & Big Dunes 2-Hour Quad Biking Tour

Enjoy an exciting two-hour quad bike tour, with incredible views of Essaouira. To ensure you can safely enjoy the vast beaches of Essaouira and the big dunes of Capsim you will need to go through a safety briefing and be instructed on how to drive a quad bike.  You will get geared up with clean, professional equipment and take a test ride on your quad before you head out on your adventure. After a few minutes on the road, cross the Oued Ksob and the ruins of the Sultan's Palace that lead you to the amazing beach After visiting the beach, navigate the magnificent dune fields, driving on the curvy sandy dunes. Enjoy the amazing views of the desert and have fun on your quad bike. Revive your energy with water and a snack. You will be able to take as many breaks as you want to enjoy the scenery while on your tour. 

From Marrakech: Essaouira & Atlantic Coast Full-Day Trip

3. From Marrakech: Essaouira & Atlantic Coast Full-Day Trip

Experience the bohemian vibe of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast on a full-day tour from Marrakech. Transfer by air-conditioned vehicle across west Morocco, enjoying views of the arid landscape and argan trees en route. Stop at the town of Chichaoua for coffee. Arrive in Essaouira approximately 2 hours after your departure from Marrakech. Get your 1st views of more than 6 miles (10 kilometers) of golden beaches, popular with surfers for the constant, bracing winds. Once in Essaouira you are free to explore the medina and Portuguese architecture on your own. Alternatively, meet your local guide for a 1.5-hour tour of the Skala du Port and bastion southeast of the medina. Stroll the labyrinthine streets of the medina, hearing traditional Gnaoua Muic music on every corner. Watch artisans at work, crafting thuya wood crafts. Continue to the fishing port to see the fishermen selling their catch of the day. Taste fresh seafood over lunch in the port. Then, take a walk along the beach before your transfer back to Marrakech. En route, stop at an argan oil co-operative to see how the Berber ladies process the traditional argan oil, known locally as “liquid gold.”

Essaouira Sand Dunes: Half Day Quad Bike Tour

4. Essaouira Sand Dunes: Half Day Quad Bike Tour

Enjoy the golden sand dunes of Essaouira by thrilling quad bike transit. After a brief safety information session, and after having adorned yourself in protective gear, you will have a tour test to get used to your quad bike and the safety rules. Once this is completed, your 3 hour quad bike tour will begin. Your tour will begin by crossing Oued Ksob to the ruins of the Sultan's Palace that accompany you to the wild beach of Diabat. Following this you will navigate through the magnificent dune fields, driving on both sandy and rocky paths to overlook the Atlantic Ocean.

Essaouira: One Hour Dromedary Ride

5. Essaouira: One Hour Dromedary Ride

Depart the Ranch de Diabat on a peaceful dromedary camel. Discover the charming nature of these large animals while exploring the surrounding. This tour is ideal for groups and families with small children as the dromedary has a gentle nature.  Enjoy a ride just a few minutes from Essaouira. Walking a large beach with soft sand. Relax in the ocean breeze and see the famous island of Mogador. Pass by dunes and see the tucked away, former home of the Black Sultan. Finally cross the forest of wild Mimosas and Thuya on your return. 

Essaouira: Guided Quad Biking Adventure

6. Essaouira: Guided Quad Biking Adventure

Experience the thrill of a quad biking adventure in Essaouira with a group of friends or family. Discover the hinterland of this beautiful region accompanied by an expert guide. Explore diverse landscapes including vast sand dunes, lush pine forests and cherished landmarks like Dar Sultan Palace, Bourj El Baroud and more.  Whether you’re an experienced driver or just a beginner, benefit from an expert instructor who will tailor your experience to your skill level and preferences. Pump up your adrenaline as you zoom around this stunning location and snap some atmospheric photos as souvenirs along the way.

From Marrakesh: Essaouira Full-Day Trip

7. From Marrakesh: Essaouira Full-Day Trip

Your trip starts with pickup at approximately 8:00 AM from your accommodation in Marrakesh. In a new, comfortable, and air-conditioned car, start off for your unforgettable day tour to Essaouira, known for its beauty and serenity. During the 2-hour ride, make a stop at the "goat tree", an unforgettable Argan tree with goats perched in it. Once in Essaouira, discover this charming and musical city which will surprise you with its straight streets, designed by the French. Enjoy free time walk to visit the old ports and the local seafood markets. Your driver can suggest the perfect place for lunch, where you can have a delicious seafood meal in front of the sea. Visit a co-operative of Berber women who produce Argan oil, and learn more from them about this wonderful product. See the old bronze cannons facing the Atlantic Ocean and wander through the markets and cedar woodworking shops. After you finish your free time by yourself in Essaouira, your driver will take you back to Marrakesh for a 6:30 PM arrival.

Essaouira: Private City Tour

8. Essaouira: Private City Tour

Visit the city of Essaouira and start off by the small fishing port of the city where you can marvel at this historical place.  See an old watchtower and get an impressive panoramic view of Essaouira. Stop at the main square to taste a real Moroccan tea before continuing to visit the most important monument of the city, the scala of the medina. Admire the location where several films have been shot such as the famous film of Orson Welles Othello, or the Game of Thrones TV show. Continue the visit in the old medina, the kasbah, the mellah, the old Jewish quarter. See the synagogues, the souks of the medina, and the fish market which is full of people who buy, grill, and eat the day's catch.

Essaouira: Traditional Family Style Moroccan Cooking Class

9. Essaouira: Traditional Family Style Moroccan Cooking Class

Enjoy an evening in the name of Moroccan food and culture. Visit a local market, where you shop for the ingredients you will cook with later. Cook up a traditional Moroccan feast for dinner at a local family home and discover the authentic flavors of this exciting cuisine.   Meet your guide who will take take you to visit the local market. Learn from him about the local produce you see as well as Moroccan traditions and customs. Feel free to ask your questions and share your culinary experiences.  Upon arrival to your host “Khadija’s Kuzina” in his traditional house, you will be welcomed with open arms and authentic Moroccan hospitality. Over the next few hours, Khadija & Hussein will teach you how to cook a tasty meal of local dishes. Cooking with Khadija is often a unique social experience. She will share stories about food, about her family, and about her life.  Once your culinary masterpieces are ready, you will savor the real taste of Moroccan family cooking, around a meal served with a lot of love.

Essaouira: 2-Hour Surf Lesson

10. Essaouira: 2-Hour Surf Lesson

Your surfing adventure starts at the local tour operator’s water sports store. Meet your guide for the day and get kitted out with all the necessary equipment you’ll need. Then head onto the beach where the real fun begins! If you’re a beginner, your guide will first help you focus on how to balance and pop up from your board to your feet. Learn about understanding the waves and how to catch the right wave at the optimum moment for a good surf. Then it’s time to work on your posture and stance to extend your ride on the board. If you’ve already got some surf experience, the lesson will be tailored to your level. Explain to your instructor the level of surf experience you have and then focus on your objectives for the session to perfect your skills.

Frequently asked questions about Essaouira

What top attractions are a must-see in Essaouira?

Which tours in Essaouira are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?

Planning Your Visit

  • Are solo women travelers safe?

    Essaouira is more relaxed and laid back than other Moroccan cities, but of course there's always exceptions, so always take care. Be aware that Moroccan men are not used to seeing bare shoulders and ankles, so that might attract some attention. Remaining pleasant, but assertive is the best way to act.

  • Is a day trip to Marrakech easy to do?

    Yes, and it gives you a chance to see more of the countryside. You can either rent a car, go by bus, or hire a private driver -- which is more expensive. The cheap return bus runs twice per day, although you will be limited with times, and the journey takes 3 hours by bus.

  • I've heard of goats climbing trees here -- myth or fact?

    Indeed they do! It's their special quirk in this area of Morocco. They're skilled climbers that are attracted to the Argan tree, which ripens in June/July each year. Each hoof has two toes which can spread out for balance, while the soft soles of their feet help them to grip the bark. Seeing 20 goats up a tree is a sight to behold! 

Good to know

  • Language
    Arabic
  • Currency
    Moroccan Dirham (MAD)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +212
  • Best time to visit
    Fall tends to be the best time to visit when the winds are calmer, sunshine and heat is not as intense as in the summertime, and the tourist crowds have departed.

Other Sightseeing Options in Essaouira

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What people are saying about Essaouira

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 3,280 reviews

Excellent! Very good service from beginning to end. Everything was very simple, professional and we were given all the information we required. Thank you for the great service.

Very good communication regarding the pick-up. Very modern car. Very nice driver Reda. On site great guide named Youness. Essaouira is a great city. Always happy.

Really good, great value for money with what was included and the driver and guide was very informative

Recomendable comprar souvenirs allí porque es más barato que en el zoco de Marraquech

Fantastic tour guide and Essaouira is well worth the visit