Top attractions in Essaouira
Top 7 things to do in Essaouira
The medieval architecture of this town is so splendid it was used as a backdrop in the film 'Othello'. This town has much to offer midway down on the Atlantic coast between Casablanca and Agadir. Fresh seafood, colorful bazaars, hiking, beaches, and desert adventures await you here!
A wonderful labyrinth of streets, this 18th mid-century fortified town was built with the principles of contemporary European military architecture in a North African context.
2. Skala du Port
This active fishing port is pleasurably mesmerizing to watch as the fishing boats dock. You can even see wooden boats being made and the Île de Mogador in the distance.
A former hippy enclave where The Rolling Stones used to hang out. Visit the ruined palace and Ranch de Diabat for horse and camel rides -- Moador Golf Academy is also nearby.
4. Hammam Lalla Mira
Heated by solar energy, this is one of the oldest Turkish baths providing a stunning interior and offering blissful massages. It's part of a guesthouse, so booking is essential.
5. Musee Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdallah
Anthropology and art unite at this quaint refurbished museum of regional art in a traditional house showcasing weapons, instruments, carpets, and historical photos of Essaouira.
6. Cooperative Feminine Marjana
Half an hour out of Essaouira, this is an escape from the norm, where the women make argan oil for sale using traditional methods of argan and almond oil extraction.
The strong winds are ideal for kite and windsurfing, and the watersports center by the promenade offers advice for novices and equipment to rent for more experienced enthusiasts.
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
- Moroccan Dirham (MAD)
- Time Zone
- UTC (+01:00)
- Country Code
- 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
Want to discover all there is to do in Essaouira? Click here for a full list.
What people are saying about Essaouira
We were unsure about a camel ride at all, as we didn’t want to see any animals being mistreated or badly kept. But we were reassured by reviews and decided to go for a one-hour ride. It was an excellent choice and we had a great time. We didn’t see any evidence at all of bad treatment. As it was only an hour trip, the scenery wasn’t very inspiring, but we did get down to the beach. The guide was good at taking photos and we were offered mint tea back at the stables.
The experience was good! Everything was as described, the transportation was clean and the guide was charismatic! However the fact that there was only one guide that had to translate the same thing into 3 different languages (English, Spanish, French as not everyone spoke English) was a bit of a time waster. Essaouira is very nice and definitely worth the visit!
A good way to get to the coast - excellent driver and pick up went well. Essaouira is very attractive - lovely sandy beach and lots of surfing activities. Many shops - bit cheaper than Marrakech. Fun to wander around away from the shopping streets. Terrible cafe stop on the way - expensive, disorganised and horrid food and coffee!
3 hour trip from Marrakech, stopped for coffee and saw the goats in argon oil trees, All set up for tourists but still interesting to see. Essaquira was lovely, lots to see and do , had a lovely meal before return trip.
Wonderful trip! The goat trees were hilarious and the argan oil interesting. Comfortable van to travel (and nap) in. The tour includes a guide for an hour when you arrive, which was great. Loved the city overall!