We took a day trip from Marrakech to the coastal town Essaouira. We went on a “tour”, but the only thing included was the transport to and from Essaouira – exactly what we wanted. The price was 150DH (15EUR) per person, which is a good price – the local bus actually charges the same (we went in a maxi taxi with a small group of tourists). The drive is nearly three hours long, and we had five hours in Essaouira.
On our way to Essaouira we drove through an area where it is normal for goats to climb trees! This phenomenon you only find in certain parts of Morocco, where the Argan tree grows. The argan tree is the tree producing the famous argan oil, which you by the way should buy when you are in Morocco. The goats in this area climb the trees to eat the argan berries, and it looks hilarious!
Five hours in a town is not much, but it was enough time to see what we wanted to see. Essaouira, with its 60.000 inhabitants, is not a big city. It is a very popular destination among surfers, but during the winter, it is quite quiet.
Essaouira is an old fishing village, and after a visit to the port, it was clear that fishing still is important, in addition to tourism. The port was crazy – it is impossible to describe, but the pictures shows some of the chaos we experienced. Hundreds of boats (if the owner of the boat in the middle wants to go fishing, it must be impossible), fishermen, seagulls and stray cats. If you are in Essaouira, you must visit the port! We ate lunch at a restaurant near the port – it was a four-course lunch including shrimps and lobster, so delicious!
After visiting the beach and the port, we spent the rest of the day in the medina. The medina was quite similar to the old town in Marrakech. On the same time, I kind of felt as if I was on an island in Greece, because the town was full of blue painted doors and windows. As the medina of Marrakech, the medina in Essaouira is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Along the streets, you find hundreds of small shops, just like in Marrakech. There are also many restaurants and riads located within the walls of the medina. It is easier to navigate in the medina of Essaouira than in Marrakech, so take your time to explore the small, hidden streets tourists normally do not visit.