There can't be many beaches to compare to Essaouira. At one end a castle in the sand collapses into the frothing blue water, at the other a grand medina sits on rocky outcrop praying each day that the great Atlantic breakers don't breach its seawall defences. In between a beach as sandy as the Sahara curves along the coast, like a bite of ocean taken out of the desert, leaving enough space for an enigmatic island to hide the setting sun.
Many visit Essaouira on a day trip - it's only 3 hours away (even less if the traffic is good). But it's worth much more of your time than that - a couple of nights at least. Give yourself a break from the madness of Marrakech with a side-trip to a quiet, beautiful, isolated yet completely civilized town on the edge of the African continent.
It is an easy daytrip to Essaouira, where you can eat fresh fish and walk along the sea. You cannot buy a retour busticket. But at the busstation in Essaouira if they don't have anymore tickets, they arrange small private busses back to Marrkesh.
If you are going to marrakech then it is compulsory to take to the shores of the charming seaside port of essaouira. Only 2hrs out of the hustle and bustle escape the heat of Marrakech cool down there and enjoy the porteguese left 18th century ports and enjoy lunch with sea views.
Do your self a favor and go to Essaouira,
Feel the sea wind on your face after the heat of marrakesh.
This is the place to do your shopping no Hassle prices you pay a lot less then the souqs of
marrakesh same souvenirs.
And no taxi drivers ripping you off.
The first thing you will notice as you head out of Marrakesh and into the coastal area is the change in colour of the buildings, taxi's and various signs from pink and green which represent the earth to white and blue which represent the sea and sky.
This busy little fishing port has a mini medina which is built around several French piazza's. There is a beach where the surf is internationally renowned to those whose partake of the sport.
After strolling about the town you will no doubt find yourself perched in one of the cannon crevices or on the beach or possibly drinking a cool drink in one of the squares, watching the world go by.
There was a time when a Jewish community lived here but they deminished when independence was declared in 1956.
A few little facts:
1) Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) visits annually
2) Orson Wells stopped by to make part of his Othello here
3) Sir Francis Drake ate a Christmas lunch in the vacinity
We took a day trip booked thru the Hotel Sofitel to Essouira. It is a seaside town on the Atlantic - it was a port for the Portugese at one time and several movies have been filmed there "Kingdom of Heaven" with Orlando Bloom being one of them. It is about a 2.5 hour drive from Marrakech and the guide we had was AWESOME - he had impeccible english which was quite a WELCOMED find in Morocco!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Sofitel! and was very entertaining. We stopped along the way at a couple sites and had a lovely lunch in Essouria. It is a much more slower paced place then Marrakech!