Villa Daba

Douar El Ghazoua, km8 route d'Agadir, Essaouira, 44000, Morocco
Villa Daba
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Travel Tips for Essaouira

Goats in the Argan trees

by angiebabe

Argan trees grow prolifically in the area around Essaouira and on down through to Tafroute. Its a nut much like an almond, with a hard shell that needs to be cracked to get to the nut inside which is sought after mostly for the oil that can be obtained.

Products made with Argan oil are in demand and reach quite a high price - its usually women that work in enterprises and cooperatives obtaining and processing the crops - as cooking oils, skin and beauty products and delicious concoctions to drink.

Amazingly goats like these nuts too and will climb up into these trees to eat the leaves and the green fleshly skin that covers the young nut still growing. Its quite a sight to see and glad to have had at least 2 sightings of goats up in Argan trees chomping away merrily during my most recent visit enjoying the stunning coastal drive between Agadir and Essaouira.

Its been said though that tourists are reporting goat shepherds actually tieing goats up into the trees with the specific intention of luring tourists to stop for photos and then charging fees. Thankfully this was not the case with the goats I saw up in the trees - they were indeed freely moving about in the trees, jumping up into the trees or jumping out of them in front of me.

At the first place along the road that I excitedly saw goats up in the trees the woman shepherd came running up for money for taking photos of her goats - which is annoying and does make one wonder that giving money for a public landscape shot with someones goats in it warrants payment and if it reinforces to the locals that tourists will happily succumb to their demands .But on the other hand these people who live out in the country eking out a living reliant on their own hands and physical abilities that the small price we pay is an opportunity to help them along a bit.

Extraction of the oil.


The fourth step in mixing a long time the almond paste by hand, which will allow the extraction of the oil. On the left of the picture, the stone mill is better seen than on the previous picture, where it was used.

Sunset on the African Sea

by LuisGuimaraes

Sunsets are always special..they're the end and the beginning of something, and that's why they're so beautiful when seen in a nice place or shared with a beloved person.

The main square in Essaouira is usually full of people and movement, especially at lunch time (see other member's grilled-fish stands tips, on "Restaurants"), but around 7 o'clock people begin gathering for the great "show", that is the sun walking down (actually very quickly - or is it the moment that is so fragile?) right in front of us, disappearing under the ocean.

It is a special sunset because of its 0ยบ position (you are looking West directly), because seagulls fly over your head, because there are so many people gathered for the event that create such a positive energy, and because you are in a unique coast-town in North Africa, surrounded by old colonial towers!

A different but not inferior version is enjoying the sunset at the nearby harbour. Just try one each day!

Skala de la Ville

by angiebabe

Skala means sea bastion and two were built in Essaouira to protect the town - the Skala du Port in the south and the Skala de la Ville in the northwest.

The fortifications of the old city are a mixture of Portuguese, French and Berber military architecture . The Skala de la Ville is the impressive sea bastion built along the cliffs consisting of a crenellated platform, with Spanish cannons, up to the North Bastion built on the site of a citadel constructed by the Portugeuse in about 1505.

It is here that is popular with locals and tourists to stroll and watch the sun set.
A passageway leads from the bastion down into the former munition stores where now are dozens of souvenir shops and thuya woodcarving and marquetry workshops.

This is the real thing !


Here, this is the real thing, though it will be used soon in a film. This part is made of real stones and not of polystyrene moldings ! I do not remember the name of the film, which does not matter, as there are so often films that are shot here ! One of the best-known foreign movies made in Essaouira is the Orson Wells production of Shakespeare's Othello, filmed in 1949. Rock stars such as Jimmy Hendrix and Cat Stevens began spending time in the city and its neighboring villages, and the Living Theater of Julian Beck and Judith Malina performed there for the first time. Now, several films are shot each year in Essaouira.


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