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Things to do in Essaouira

What other names could this fantastic Moroccan city have?

Regardless of the term, it has a magnificent tone and appears to convey “how wonderful” when translated from Arabic. The city’s name has been pronounced in a variety of ways as a result of detailed and varied translations from the original Arabic into all major world languages. Americans, Europeans, and others, for example, call it Essaouira. However, because I was traveling with a European, I chose to refer to this location as Essaouira in Morocco.

Before meeting Essaouira in Morocco, all I knew was that its names perplexed me and that I had seen a few photos of the port city on Instagram. Essaouira is a port city, an Atlantic neighbor, and my future African metropolis. The adage “the lower the expectations, the higher the shocks” holds true. Essaouira surprised and delighted me, which is exactly what happened.
The Portuguese, who used to own the city, left their imprint on the stronghold as well as the European aspect of the city. Daenerys, by the way, used the fortress as a city from which she purchased slaves for her army. “Game of Thrones” fans will understand.

Essaouira was the “Mecca” of hippies in the 1960s when the city was submerged in uncontrolled freedom.

Essaouira, Morocco, is now a mestizo: a cross between East and West.

The air in the city is easy to breathe because it smells like the ocean, sounds like screaming seagulls, and tastes like fresh seafood.

One day, I’d like to move to Morocco’s Essaouira and start doing yoga, listening to music, and surfing. In this city, it’s also impossible not to fall in love—with myself, Essaouira, and the other person!

What are your intentions?

There are several options for getting to Essaouira, but none are practical unless you fly, take a bus, or drive your own, leased, or passing vehicle.

If you’re flying in from anywhere in the world, the best option is to fly to Casablanca or another large Moroccan city with connections to or even stops in a beautiful region of Europe, and then take a bus or travel independently to Essaouira in Morocco. Flying to Spain, taking a ferry to northern Morocco, and then taking a bus or car to Essaouira are other options.

By air

Essaouira Airport, 18 kilometers away, serves both domestic and international flights. As a result, flights to the port city are available from Eurasia and other Moroccan capital cities. Wizz Air, easyJet, airBaltic, Meridiana, Air Moldova, Aeroflot, Royal Air Maroc, Turkish Carriers, and other airlines fly directly from Moscow, but it takes two transfers to get anywhere in Europe, taking 20 to 30 hours and costing 150 EUR one-way. These flights, which take place only twice a month, necessitate a change of airports at some transfer locations. This is not an option for us, you must understand! Because it’s so short, we can’t fit everything in!

Another option is to fly from Moscow to Casablanca for 200 EUR, then to Essaouira on a direct flight from Casablanca. The one-way ticket costs approximately 80 EUR and takes approximately one and a half hours to complete. You will not save money, but you will save time. Only Casablanca offers nonstop service to Morocco’s Essaouira.

While flying is still the most convenient way to get to Essaouira in Morocco, the useful website Vandrouki is constantly presenting interesting and cost-effective ways to visit Arab Africa. Here’s an example of a December 2017 flight schedule: For only 100 EUR, you can fly from Tallinn to Milan and then to Morocco. However, you will be dropped off in Fez, Morocco, where everything is close by, including Essaouira at your feet and public transportation options such as buses and trains. Tallinn is easily accessible and reasonably priced for residents of St. Petersburg. You can also find the most convenient and cost-effective flights here.

Upon arrival at the airport

A taxi from the airport to the city center will cost you around 4-5 EUR.

by train

The country’s excellent train service is only available between major cities such as Marrakech, Casablanca, and Tangier, so getting to Morocco’s port city by train is not an option.

By Bus

Traveling by bus to the beautiful Essaouira is a cost-effective and practical option. The port of Essaouira is connected to nearly all major Moroccan cities. CTM and SUPRATOURS are two bus transportation companies. There are direct buses to Essaouira from cities such as Agadir, Casablanca, and Marrakech, among others.

From Marrakech, we took the bus. The trip took three hours and cost about four euros per person. It was both inexpensive and quick. Unlike many others, however, we took a local bus rather than a commercial tourist bus, saving us 4 EUR each. That proved to be correct because we had intended to hitchhike to the port town but were unable to do so. Instead, a bus full of Moroccan revelers boarded ahead of us, and the driver exclaimed, “To Essaouira, 40 DH! Get in.” The bus arrived and took us to the beach after we exchanged glances and nodded in agreement.

A commercial bus from Marrakech costs 8 EUR, which is more than double the price of a typical, cheerful Moroccan bus. I’m not sure how much it costs in other cities. However, we took a local bus from Essaouira to Casablanca for only 7,5 EUR, compared to around 15 EUR for a commercial bus. Overall, there is a noticeable difference, but the prices remain reasonable, and the buses, after spending time in Spain, are quite modern and comfortable.

Directions from the bus terminal

You can walk 700 meters from the bus terminal, where every bus stops, to the ocean, the Medina, and all the charms of spectacular Essaouira. You won’t need a cab, and walking is a great way to meet new people, get your bearings in the city, and ask for directions to the places you want to see.

By car

Because it is always available, owning or renting a car is the most practical option for independent travel. You can either attempt to travel from Russia to Essaouira via Europe or buy a four-wheeler in Morocco right away. Both scenarios are plausible, but the latter is more pertinent. This mode of transportation is familiar to many Moroccans, particularly Americans. This mode of transportation, however, appeals to our people as well. Morocco has excellent roads, both paid and unpaid. And, for renting a car, you can do so through rental company websites (such as this one), or you can do it once you arrive in Morocco by haggling with locals for a price. Low-cost vehicle rental.

I’m afraid I don’t know how much gasoline, rentals, or roads will cost. I’m still planning a road trip to Morocco:

via ferry

a seaside city that is inaccessible by ferry. It’s also in everyone’s best interests! Tourists would not have been able to visit Essaouira otherwise, and the city’s appeal and beach offerings would have suffered. Let’s just say that this lovely town is still out of reach. Traveling by sea from Spain to Tangier, a port city in northern Morocco, is simple. More information is available in the Fez article.

What season are we in? When is the most ideal time to travel?

Esauir’s climate is subtropical, with hot and humid summers and mild winters. The season is thought to be more similar to summer than winter. Everything is most likely due to the massive ocean and the Gnahua music festival (more on the event in the holiday section below).

Summer in Essaouira

Summer has finally arrived. Simply put, it’s warmer. Essaouira has a daytime temperature of +33 degrees Celsius and a nighttime temperature of 28 degrees Celsius. Furthermore, the temperature of the ocean is currently around +25 °C. Only the wind, the Gnahua festival, kitesurfing, windsurfing, and a positive attitude can save you.

Essaouira in Autumn

During the autumn, Essaouira’s daytime temperatures gradually fall from +30°C to +25°C, with overnight lows remaining around +25°C. Meanwhile, the ocean warms, much to the delight of both surfers and non-surfers alike. In my opinion, Esauir is stunning in the autumn.

Spring in Essaouira.

The spring season in Essaouira lasts three months, with temperatures ranging from 20 degrees in March to 25 degrees in April and 30 degrees in May. That is the temperature during the day; the evenings are only five degrees cooler. In the spring, the Atlantic warms to a comfortable +20 degrees, making swimming possible. Essaouira is best visited in the spring when the Gnahua music festival takes place on a regular basis in May.

Winter in Essaouira

We’ve had a beautiful winter—17 degrees! Furthermore, the city’s summertime vibe and proximity to the ocean provide everlasting joy.

We’ve officially entered winter in Essaouira, and I’ve even overheated in the sun.

Swimsuits are unusual, but sandals and gowns are required. Despite the fact that it was warm (+18 °C), we did not dare to swim in the ocean.

Winter nights are especially pleasant, with temperatures of +10 °C and no heating, but with the sound of the sea and birds, one can sleep soundly and comfortably.

Neighborhoods. What is the best city to live in?

According to map symbolism, Essaouira, one of Morocco’s smaller cities, is the only one that resembles a bird with its wings open. Similarly to how Spain is represented by a shirt and Italy by a boot, Essaouira is represented by a seagull, which serves as its own distinct symbol.

Seagulls are common in the city because it is a harbor, but for economic reasons, people prefer to live closer to seagulls than seagulls do. Essaouira’s treasures include two expansive, magnificent beaches, and the rest of the coastline is dotted with residences and a people yearning for the sound of the waves and the fragrance of the sea.

The city’s districts, like those of most Moroccan cities, are simply divided into old and new sections. The new sector is still in its early stages, whereas the first half has long been known as the Medina.

The most important aspects of the Medina are its long history and all aspects of city life. It also has a lot of interesting and appealing items. The new one has many avenues, rather tall residences, highways, a bus station, and the usual urban bustle.

The Medina

whether in Fez, Chefchaouen, or Esauir, draws visitors from all over the world for no apparent reason other than the fact that they are in Morocco. This force is still in effect until its very last second in the city. So it appears that exploring a new city neighborhood is simply impossible. And whether it stems from a strong desire to return to the city and see everything, including every road in the new Essaouira, or from the fact that we, as civilized people, crave silence and tranquillity.

Everything is scrutinized when it comes to city living. Both the new and the old include options for people of all tastes and abilities. A double room is €16 per night, a house is €350 per night, and a hostel is €5. Booking allows you to make a reservation and compare prices.

The beaches, harbor, and bus terminal are all nearby, and if this is your first visit to Esauir, stay in the Medina to fully immerse yourself in the city’s atmosphere.

based on my own experience.

In Esauir, we stayed at the cool and mysterious Atlantic Hostel. This hostel is reasonably priced and popular, but its most notable feature is its high level of energy. Because it is in Medina, local bystanders who pass by can help you find it.

In reality, this hostel is part of another, whose name I’ve forgotten but which is just across the hall. We slept there at first, but the circumstances were very different from those of Atlantic Hostel; specifically, the hostel was more of a sleeping location, so it was only occupied at night. With music, chess, cards, a guitar, and a patio, the Atlantic Hostel was humming with activity and good times. With its modest terrace, hammock, and sleeping area right on the roof, the neighboring hostel appeared vacant and lonely. Although it appeared to be a good hostel in general, it appeared to be a warehouse for surfers, so we switched to Atlantic Hostel.

The staff at the hostel are friendly and outgoing.

The rooms are cozy and tastefully decorated in traditional Moroccan style. The hostel also has a kitchen where Moroccan meals are prepared about once a week. They prepare tajine, couscous, or another dish, which is then served to the group. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet new people while also learning about Moroccan culture. The hostel also has a surf school with trained instructors and all the necessary equipment. Even though we haven’t yet learned or tried surfing, we have a long way to go!

The Atlantic Hostel’s patio is also noteworthy. It is large, stylish, and sunny, with a sea of sofas and pillows and a small bar with panoramic views of Essaouira, Morocco. The terrace is truly spectacular, the coolest I’ve ever seen, and I wouldn’t want to leave even if I could.

Breakfast is served on the terrace every morning for 3-4 EUR, but you can prepare your own by purchasing nearby fresh fruit and oriental sweets, then eating it all while watching the seagulls and enjoying the sunshine. In fact, we did exactly that.

Even if you don’t stay at Atlantic Hostel, you will undoubtedly enjoy visiting its terrace.

How much does a vacation cost?

Prices! How much weight do we give to this issue? Morocco is also not a place where everything is consistent and stable. Morocco is a place where almost anything can be traded or negotiated. There is no system, but there are tourists, and that is what truly distinguishes it. Visitors pay rubles for items that locals pay pennies for. Furthermore, while it appears to be correct, it is far from equitable.

You must understand that if you behave like a tourist, you will pay like a tourist; however, if you behave like a local, you will save 99 kopecks for other purposes. After all, Arabs always get what they want and reach a compromise through negotiation. There’s no reason to make things more complicated; both the seller and the buyer are interested in each other, so why shouldn’t they get to know each other? Overall, in Morocco, the vendor and the consumer agree on a price, and it is quite useful and interesting to investigate such a system on Moroccan soil.

And, assuming everything else is equal, it is normal to pay 3 to 5 EUR per night for housing with the bare necessities and utilities, and you can eat the filling and tasty meals for the same price in any well-known but not overly extravagant Moroccan restaurant (about this below in the section what and where to try).

The main illustrations. What to Do

Walking, breathing deeply, and keeping your eyes open are the best ways to get around Essaouira, Morocco’s lightest city. The most important thing is to take your time, take as many beautiful photos as you can, and smile at everyone you see. And the appeal can be found in even the smallest details, such as a speck of sand near the Atlantic, a local child’s shoelace, or a seagull’s flight path. Keep an eye out and trust your intuition!

Top 5

  • Essaouira Port embodies the city’s true existence. A sea of blue boats, mischievous seagulls, fresh seafood, and Moroccan yells. It must be seen, heard, and felt!
  • The Garden of Othello Esauir is the city’s sole green space, providing plenty of fresh air and vitality for your upcoming walks.
  • Street vendors sell a variety of Moroccan crafts that are more beautiful to look at than to purchase.
  • The unusual streets are hidden from sight. The simplest way to learn about Essaouira in Morocco is to simply walk around and get lost in it.
  • Beaches. Where can you go without the Atlantic and the sands brought in from the Sahara? Surfing, swimming, sunbathing, picnicking, and stargazing are all options.

Beaches. Which are the most effective?

The long, sandy beaches of Esauir provide a gradual ocean entrance and a constant breeze of freedom and change.

According to Google Maps, there are two such beaches in the city: one, known as Tagart, is near the port on the Medina’s right side if you’re facing out to sea toward America, and the other is virtually beyond the municipal limits. To get to the second one, we had to walk for about 20 minutes, past a small flea market, deserted beaches, and breathtaking ocean views.

The beach was wild and empty when we arrived in January, but it was also very beautiful. Right now, all you can do on the beach is listen to the water. The beach was wild and empty when we arrived in January, but it was also very beautiful. On the beach right now, your only options are to enjoy the sun, grin at the sun, and fly in the breeze. While driving, you can still surf (more on that later), catch waves, and have a picnic.

At other times of the year, the beaches are undoubtedly altered and filled with a variety of infrastructure, not to mention the influx of tourists seeking exotic African beaches.

Vacations on the Moroccan Atlantic, in my opinion, are only beneficial if you surf because the water is usually too cold and windy for swimming and the sun is quite abrasive. It appears that extreme ocean vacations, rather than traditional beach vacations, are required in some areas.

Camel herds, by the way, graze on Essaouira’s beaches on a regular basis, promoting calm.


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