I came to Essaouira to learn to kite surf with magic fun afrika, on my arrival i could not find the shop until the next day i saw the managers van, he explained all businesses have to move to make way for beach side cafès. We agreed to meet at 12pm to start my first lesson, however by 12.30 there was no sign of him, when he did show he had not brought any equiptment for me. He offered to go back to the shop but his lack of enthusiasm and unreliability had put me off spending so much money on his service. Instead I agreed at his suggestion, going the next day with him and some others to Moulay where he said the surf was better and they had another shop. The next day eagerly met up with him for the trip. The shop is under construction, and i was concerned keeping my belongings there but the manager assured me my stuff would be safe as he would be there the whole time. The surf however was rubbish; and after an hour of dodging torpedoing windsurfers I gave up and headed back to the shop. As I entered and went up the stairs I noticed my bag had been tampered with; I immediately opened it up and found my purse only to find that 600dh had been stolen. I ran down the owner explaining this, he simply shrugged and said 'ìmpossible, I ave been here the whole time', over and again I pleaded with him that I know exactly how much money I had but he refused to believe me and claimed all his workmen and staff were honest people, he barely looked at me and continued to set up a wind surfer. Furious I went to check if anything else had been taken, his colleague followed me up, he kept saying 'i believe you, but there is no way someone could have come up and taken it'. I gave up and waited to go home in disbelief; not so much that my money was stolen but the way they treated me.
Im not pointing fingers but the more I think of it the dodgier the whole thing feels.
The natives don't care about hygiene referring to food. For example the homemade bread (cheap, always fresh and delicious) is sold from the earth at the local market (look at the picture).
So, better be careful if your stomach is sensitive :-). Mine wasn't. I ate almost everything and nothing bad happened to me.
Though the amount of unwanted attention that tourists receive in Essaouira is much less than in Marrakech, there is still plenty of occasions for you to unnecessarily part with your Dirhams.
When our bus arrived in Essaouira there was a group of locals there to greet us. They offered to carry our bags into the medina, to find us hotels, to show us around, etc. We ignored all these offers; if you do accept them, make sure you agree the price beforehand. On the return journey a local guy insisted on loading our bags on the bus (despite our protests) and then demanded a tip.
Also, while walking the streets with our bags, a couple of guys asked us what hotel we were staying at and then tried to convince us that our hotel was full but that they could rent us a cheap room.
I was also offered drugs by one guy on a couple of occasions. The first time he spoke to us I thought he was trying to sell us carpets (tapis) raher than hashisch.