Essaouira, The Windy City of Morocco is certainly nothing compared to the hustle and bustle I’ve experienced from its neighbor Marrakesh(the Red city). During my 6-days trip to Marrakesh, Morocco, I visited two nearby cities including Essaouira; One of the most booked day trips from Marrakesh. I think the main reasons for that is because it’s not only about two hours driving from the Marrakesh, but it’s also a breath of fresh air if you want to escape the chaos of the city.
Essaouira (Moroccans pronounce it as sou-ee-ra) is an old coastal and fishing town right beside the Atlantic ocean. Essaouira is called the Windy City because it is in fact windy! It’s also known as a destination where kitesurfers get together and practice their sport. The city is traditionally Jewish, as it is known as one of the few cities in Morocco that used to house a large population of Moroccan Jews. You can still see the Jewish influences in the town’s architectural building styles and color; Most buildings are painted in blue and white.
Essaouira is also known as a place where hippies in the 60s and 70s got together. When I was there myself I could still see and feel the relaxing vibe around the town. I’ve also noticed that this city is very popular amongst backpackers.
I really enjoyed my day walking around this little coastal town where I explored the open market(where you could buy anything fresh), walked along the beach, and smell the fresh ocean breeze as I ate freshly caught fish with the Atlantic Ocean as my beautiful view.
Side Note: On the way to Essaouira(about 15 minutes driving before you enter the city) we stopped at one of the most craziest things I’ve ever seen: Goats standing in an argan tree!
Apparently these goats where put up there by their shepherds for tourists to take photos(and obviously pay them for it, as it goes with most things in Morocco).
For my day trip to Essaouira I paid €16, after much negotiation with one of the local agents in Marrakesh. This day trip like most other trips included a stop at an argan oil shop and factory where they show u how the popular Moroccan oil is made(obviously with the intention to sell you some).
In Essaouira itself I had around 4-5 hours to roam around. Unfortunately I had only 6 days in Morocco, but I would definitely visit little coastal town again and try to stay longer. If you ever plan on visiting Marrakesh, make sure to include a trip to the Windy City of Essaouira in your itinerary as well.
Have you been to Essaouira? Let me know! xo, Jey.