Essaouira Transportation

  • Colourful minibuses at Avenue 2 Mars.
    Colourful minibuses at Avenue 2 Mars.
    by Bennytheball
  • En Route to Essaouira by Bus (Sidi Moktar)
    En Route to Essaouira by Bus (Sidi...
    by antistar
  • Lima local bus terminus.
    Lima local bus terminus.
    by Bennytheball

Most Recent Transportation in Essaouira

  • Bennytheball's Profile Photo

    A Caleche ride.......

    by Bennytheball Updated Dec 17, 2014

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    An interesting way of travelling between Bab Doukalla and the new Aswak Essalam supermarket at the top of Avenue al Aqaba is to experience a caleche ride, squashed in beside up to six other passengers in an uncomfortable ancient horse-drawn carriage, travelling "native style"........

    The carriages assemble at the road junction close to the supermarket, and wait until a full compliment of passengers have squeezed into position, the leaf spring carriage suspension is awful, every pothole in the road can be distinctly felt jarring the spine, but nobody complains, the fare for the local residents from the Skala housing estate is cheap, as they make their way to the Medina for shopping, unable to afford the supermarket prices.

    As the caleche journey progressed, I managed to capture some video footage of the bumpy trip, when the caleche reached Bab Doukalla I tried to watch what other passengers were paying, but there was much "sleight of hand" in evidence. I asked the driver, in French, how much I had to pay, his response was a toothy grin and expansive gesture with both arms, I offered five dirhams and he nodded in acceptance.

    I suspected the real fare was three dirhams, but I had managed to record some action video, so it was worth the small overcharge.

    ..................................................................................................................................................

    One caleche question always intrigued me, "what happens to these dilapidated carriages when they eventually fall apart?"

    I discovered the answer this year while snooping around the industrial estate off Avenue Aqaba, a side street with no name was packed with old broken carriages, some beyond repair were being 'cannibalised' to provide spare parts for those with some lifespan remaining. The man with the oxy-acetylene welding torch was always kept busy!

    My presence was not welcomed, I heard some distant angry shouts directed at me and had to move along, my investigations and photography interrupted yet again!

    Avenue al Aqaba The caleche departs......... Aswak Essalam supermarket. Caleche rank, Avenue Hicham, Bab Doukkala.. The caleche graveyard...
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  • Bennytheball's Profile Photo

    The local bus......

    by Bennytheball Updated Dec 16, 2014

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    In years gone by, the local bus terminus was further down the street adjacent to the Medina wall at Bab Doukalla, the buses were in grey livery and I remember travelling on one to Sidi Kaouki, fifteen kilometres south from Essaouira, and back again, sitting at the rear of the small bus behind the wheelarch, I had a good view of the passing scenery, not only through the window, but also through a large, gaping, rusty hole on the wheelarch floor!

    Fortunately, the local Lima bus fleet has now been replaced by (slightly) more modern and larger vehicles, which due to the requirements of their length, are now parked at a new longer stance in front of Bab Doukalla gate, these connect to towns and villages further distant from Essaouira.

    There is a lack of information available for these buses, no numbers or destination indicators, so enquiries have to be directed to the drivers or other waiting passengers.
    ......................................................................................................................................................
    There are also smaller minibuses which connect to surrounding villages from Essaouira, their informal terminus is on Avenue Deuxieme Mars, opposite the main bus station. these buses are very cheap, for example only 6 dirhams to Sidi Kaouki, but again there is no posted information as to their destinations, so drivers or other passengers must be consulted before boarding.

    These small minibuses may appear well-worn or even dilapidated, but to their owners and drivers they are treasured possessions and often the only means for transport workers to earn money to feed their families, accordingly they are maintained to as high a standard as finances permit and if a roadside breakdown occurs the driver will produce a box of tools and some emergency spare parts to fix the vehicle, enabling its cash revenue to continue uninterrupted.

    Visual presentation of the buses is always an important publicity feature, they are often elaborately-painted externally and the interiors resemble 1980's time warp "new age traveller" decoration!

    An inexpensive, interesting and pleasant means of transport around the outskirts of Essaouira.

    Lima local bus terminus. local bus stance, and taxi rank, Bab Doukalla waiting for the bus........ Colourful minibuses at Avenue 2 Mars.
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    Mogador Airport

    by antistar Updated Feb 19, 2014

    One day in Essaouira I was surprised to see a Ryanair plane flying low overhead. I was surprised because I didn't think there was an airport anywhere near Essaouira. I'd had romantic notions of being marooned three hours away from even the nearest train station. Then Ryanair spoiled it all.

    It's a tiny airport with three scheduled routes - all to France. Ryanair flies to Marseilles, and the other two fly to Paris.

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  • antistar's Profile Photo

    Bus

    by antistar Updated Feb 19, 2014

    Most tourists arrive in Essaouira by bus. There are two stations, one used by CTM and another by Supratours. It's an important difference. The CTM station is a long walk from the Medina, whereas the Supratours stop is right outside the city walls. If you've got to carry bags it can make a big difference.

    That said there will be plenty of help on hand when your bus arrives, although you might find it unwelcome. As soon as you exit the bus you will find yourself in a crowd of cart pullers, apartment touts and taxi drivers. If you don't know where you are going, spending 10-20 dirhams to have someone carry your bags might be worth it, but the apartment touts should probably be ignored. Although it's hassle, none of it is very aggressive and you are soon free.

    There are three main bus routes from Essaouira:

    North to Casablanca (6.5 hours) via Sufi
    South to Agadir (2.5 hours)
    East to Marrakech (3 hours)

    All these routes, especially Marrakech, are very popular so you should book at least a day in advance.

    En Route to Essaouira by Bus (Sidi Moktar)

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  • Bennytheball's Profile Photo

    The wheelbarrow people

    by Bennytheball Updated Aug 10, 2013

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    Essaouira's ancient Medina streets are too narrow to accommodate motorised traffic, so travellers arriving at either of the two bus stations or the several taxi ranks, and in possession of a "mountain" of luggage, will need the assistance of the wheelbarrow men to transport luggage to their Hotel or Riad, located within the Medina.

    In the main photograph a smartly-dressed porter, wearing a black apron and evidently in the "upper echelon" of the barrow people fraternity, can be seen in despatch to the taxi rank at Place Orson Welles to meet his Riad Malaika clientele, by prior arrangement.

    The second photograph shows the opportunist wheelbarrow men at the main bus station, Avenue Deuxieme Mars, these have no fixed commission so a price must be agreed in advance for transportation of luggage, some climb into their barrows and fall asleep, the other hopefuls just wait and wait ............

    Wheelbarrow people Bob Music narrow Medina street Another wheelbarrow Medina moment.... Wheelbarrow men pause for Friday prayers
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  • Supratours buses

    by yoshimi Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Supratours office (a small kiosk) is on Bab Marrakech square. Bus schedule and prices are available on ONCF's website (in French and Arabic). We paid 55 Dh/pers (~US$5.5/pers) for the trip from Essaouira to Marrakech.

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  • earthflyer's Profile Photo

    CTM Bus to Agadir

    by earthflyer Updated Feb 21, 2010

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    CTM have one bus to Agadir leaving at 14:00pm and arriving at 17:00pm - 60 dirhams plus 5 dirhams for luggage.

    Journey time is 3hrs.

    You can also travel to Inezgane a few km away and there are many buses to Agadir or further south.

    Inezgane is a huge transport hub and a grand taxi there is about 75 dirhams.

    Please use times and prices as a rough guide only.

    CTM buse to Agadir
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  • toonsarah's Profile Photo

    By grand taxi from Marrakech

    by toonsarah Written Nov 22, 2009

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    We travelled by grand taxi and paid 900 dirhams for the whole day (£72) which was good value given how long we were out and how helpful Mokhtar was in making accommodations for my restricted mobility. With more people sharing the taxi it would of course be cheaper, and I believe you can also book tours by minibus, or of course hire a car to drive there yourself.

    We stopped several times en route – for coffee in a small town called Sidi Moktar (did our driver choose it because it shared his name, we wondered), to visit a carpet co-operative (and succumb to temptation there!) and to see the local oddity known as “goats in trees”.

    Altogether the drive there took four hours with these stops but coming back we didn’t stop at all and completed the journey in less than three hours.

    In the village of Sidi Moktar In the village of Sidi Moktar

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  • suvanki's Profile Photo

    Organised day trip from Marrakesh

    by suvanki Updated Nov 13, 2009

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    9 buses depart Marrakesh daily for Essaouira between 0400 and 1700hrs for the 3 hour plus journey.

    However, I decided for convenience I'd book through my travel company (with the idea to probably do this trip again by local transport).

    Our mini bus arrived on time at my hotel, and wasn't too crowded. Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable.

    One stop off for tea/toilet break (about 30 minutes) on each stage of the journey.

    Ok, I paid more, (400Dh) and lost out on the 'local travel experience' but I probably saw and learnt more about Essaouira than I would have in such a short time. If I'd travelled by public bus, I wouldn't have visited the Argan Oil Co- Operative for example- which I found to be very interesting.

    My 2nd trip to Essaouira was as part of an organised tour (Exodus-Marrakech and the Sahara), so I travelled in a 16 seater mini bus.

    Typical town en route
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  • Taxi

    by Veroali Written Nov 7, 2008

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    If you wanna go by taxi, the price around city centre is 6 DH for locals. Give 10 DH, still pretty good price and the driver will be satisfied too. Sometimes when we gave 6 DH, he mumbled against. Be sure, when you get off a car, just give him and that´s it. Because when they see you dont know, the price will be much more higher.

    Blue taxi- will you find?
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  • john9159's Profile Photo

    Marra to Ess and back again

    by john9159 Written Sep 10, 2008

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    The following are the times for coach departures.
    There is a stop halfway for snack and use of toilet facility.
    Hopefully this will help you plan your trip.

    Marrakech to Essaouira daily:
    08:30
    10:45
    14:45
    18:30

    Essaouira to Marrakech daily:
    06:00
    09:00
    12:00
    15:30
    18:30

    Journey time ia 2 - 2.5 hours.
    The price of the ticket is currently 65Dh but you really need to buy your ticket as soon as you can to guarantee seating, also when you arrive in Ess buy your return ticket immediately.
    It has been known to happen that the return journey be fully booked in which case you may have to stay overnight or take a taxi back at a much higher cost.

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  • SOLODANCER's Profile Photo

    Travel to Essaouira by Bus

    by SOLODANCER Written Sep 3, 2008

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    You should be fine actually in terms of safety. Morocco for first time visitors would seem to appear daunting, unsafe and even dangerous but that's just as one's fleeting impression - its exoticism and sort of other-worldliness that Westerners especially unfamiliar to the place and culture would feel nervous about will soon disappear as you feel the rare and exciting pulse to the place. There are frequent buses to Essaouira from Marrakech and it takes a good two to three hours with many stops along the way. If you can get one by 5PM, you'll be in Essaouira in mid-evening. Try to see if you can hop on one of those mini-vans (or dolmus or petite taxi, I think they're called) with fewer passengers on board but will get you to Essaouira quicker than the bus.

    Know also that in October, daylight is much diminished after summer, so you're travelling already in the cover of darkness. If I were you, I'd overnight in Marrakech and start out early to Essaouira, getting there much refreshed. But if extra cost/money plays a major factor in this travel, I'd consider taking the overnight bus to Essaouira and sleeping thru the trip.

    Enjoy Morocco and happy trails.

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  • pjmrio's Profile Photo

    Bus Service from Essaouira to Marrakech

    by pjmrio Written Mar 12, 2008

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    Here are the buses departing ESSAOUIRA for Marrakech each day:

    06h00 Supratours
    12h00 Supratours (only in summer)
    16h00 Supratours
    17h00 CTM
    18h30 Supratours (only in summer)

    024 43.55.25 - Supratours Marrakech office

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  • windcity's Profile Photo

    Transport your luggage and your kids

    by windcity Written Jul 16, 2007

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    Most travellers will arrive by bus from either Agadir or Marrakech, The main bus station is situated a short walk from the Medina and The Supratour bus stops by Bab Marrakech so no need to take a taxi. However if your luggage is heavy, you have small children or you are not sure about the location of your hotel you might like to hire a "carousa" basically a blue box on wheels. For 5 dirhams the carousa man will take you to your accommodation inside the Medina, taxis and cars are not permitted within the walls.
    It is preferable to discuss the price before you set off.
    THIS IS A BIG TIP If you are a slow walker, look for an elderly carousa man,

    Carousa  with fridge
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  • iwys's Profile Photo

    Supra Tours

    by iwys Updated Apr 3, 2007

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    The Supra Tours bus terminal is next to Bab Marrakesh. A ticket to Marrakech costs DH65, but you really need to book a day in advance as the buses are completely full with foreign tourists. The buses are non-stop and comfortable, with airconditioning.

    In October 2006 there were four per day, at 6am, 12 midday, 3.30pm and 6.40pm. But you should check, as the time and frequency of buses change seasonally. The journey takes just under 4 hours and the bus drops you in front of Marrakech train station in the new city. So, if you are planning to stay in the old city, you will need to take a taxi from there, for which you should pay no more than DH15.

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Essaouira Transportation

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