Essaouira day trip from Marrakech
Essaouira (pronounced ‘essa-weera’, or ‘es-Sweera’ in Arabic) is at once familiar and exotic with Huge walls surrounding the city and making it like an impenetrable fortress, its harbor filled with blue boats and old fishermen and the soaring seagulls screaming over the town. At first sight, you could mistake it for a city in Brittany, France – not such a strange thought given that Essaouira was designed by the same Frenchman who designed Saint-Mao, Brittany’s most famous port town. But as soon as you enter the walls, All doubt is gone, the city embraces its Moroccan origin and touch with the narrow alleyways, the crazy wind, the smells of fish guts and sea air mixed with the aroma of spices and thuya wood, women in white haiks (veils),, and the sound of drums and Gnawa singing that reverberates from shops and houses.
Essaouira is considered as the hipper little sister of Marrakech, but with a different hue, a day trip from Marrakech to Essaouira is a great opportunity to appreciate this similarity and contrast at the same time and also escape the heat of the red city on summer days.
Morocco is a collector’s dream cave, so a day trip from Marrakech to Essaouira should be on the "To Do list" of every art and fabrics collector. While the souk in Mogador is relatively smaller and slower-paced than the ones found on the biger sister -Marrakech-, You can actually find authentic ceramics and special rugs made from recycled fabrics. The tousirst never gets bored touring in the souks of Essaouira, and most of the visitors confirm that it is a cultural choc for them to find such nice and rare things here.
The fish market is not for faint hearted but seeing the haul with its prehistoric-look is an essential experience while visiting Essaouira. The fish market also offers a wonderful selection of highly fresh sea food on the go, you can buy it from the fishermen at a very good price and grill it right there. The fish market is at the end of the peninsula in town.
One could say that these ramparts are the only trace and influence left in the city from Portuguese architecture, the ramparts solely protect Essaouira from the crashing waves of the Atlantic and provide some exquisite sunset views.
You can read some more advice and orientations about Essaouira from one of its local guides webpage here