Essaouira, Morocco. a beautiful coastal city.

DSC_1084A little more than 3.50 hours drive by car from Marrakech is the coastal city of  Essaouira, formerly known as Mogador. Surrounded by seawalls and city walls, designed by a French architect in the 18th century, a harbor with fish market, and a long beach with numerous water sports opportunities. Once a hippie hangout, Jimi Hendrix and Cat Stevens spent some time here. Orson Welles filmed part of his Othello “The Moor of Venice” in town. The city is also a designated UNESCO world heritage site. it’s a hip laid back town.

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Essaouira is also renowned for its kitesurfing and  wind surfing , the powerful trade wind blowing almost constantly onto the protected, almost wave less, bay. Several world-class clubs rent top-notch material on a weekly basis. Located 25 km south of Essaouira The township of Sidi Kaouki is becoming one of the best locations in Morocco for surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.There are several businesses which offer gear rental.

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It goes without saying that the seafood is amazing , and you have a big choice of restaurant.Lots of wonderful restaurant.

I know ! those two look totally innocent, but don’t be fooled. They are just waiting for you to head to the docks, where the boats arriving with their catch, are welcomed by a massive amount of their friends. These seagulls, hundreds of them ,just fly like dive bombers for scraps and I don’t have to tell you ” duck for the droppings” . It’s still worth seeing.

 

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Essaouira at night

This is a beautiful resort city, really worth visiting after Marrakech.. The best way to go is with the bus  Supratours   from Marrakech for approximately  130 dirham. The buses are very modern and comfortable and they do make a pit stop for some tea and PP.

 

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If you are a big fan of music , do not miss the Gnaoua Festival this year on the 21st to the 24th of June. The Gnaoua Festival is an eclectic music, arts and culture festival in the Moroccan port city .Deeply rooted in North African styles, sounds and traditions, the festival is a vibrant and immersive experience, filling the city’s streets, squares, docks and performance venues with a fantastic extravaganza of sound and color.

Beyond traditional local rhythms to include contemporary funk, blues, jazz and soul both from Africa and from further afield, transforming Essaouira into a musical, artistic and cultural hub over the course of four days.

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Essaouira is also a center of argan oil production. It has become a tourist attraction due to the tree-climbing goats who are unique to the region, as argan trees are the only type the goats climb. They call them the flying goats.

The carving of Thuya wood  (using the Tetraclinis tree) has been practiced for centuries in Essaouira. This wood is very rare and very fragrant , a bit like cedar. It’s expensive but you can pick up a small PC for a reasonable price. Makes a fabulous fragrant souvenir.

Essaouira has so much to offer , you will have to discover it for yourself. Go ! Go! Go!

 

 

 

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