Essaouira is a port town located a few hours away from Marrakesh and right on the Atlantic Ocean. This was a very nice change for us and anyone coming from the craziness of Marrakesh and looking for a little slower pace of life. This laid back surf town was definitely one of our favorite stops on this trip. We explored the medina, walked on the beach, made some friends and even got the opportunity to take a private camel trek on a secluded beach. The days here just slipped away and sometimes after traveling for a few months that isn't such a bad thing.
We stayed at Riad Lunetoile which is the best boutique hotel inside the medina. The owner, Sue; was very welcoming and gave us some great recommendations. We loved this place and would recommend it to anyone visiting Essaouira. Morning breakfasts on the rooftop terrace were the best. Watching the early morning sun heat up the city with views that stretched from the ocean to the mountains was sublime. Breakfast consist of croissants with homemade jams, and fresh squeezed orange juice. A great way to slowly start the day.
Picking places to stay in Morocco is harder than normal because there are many choices and they all look pretty amazing, but I think we picked the perfect place in Essouira. Riad Lunetoile was funky and fun.
The shopping in Essaouira was more relaxing and fun than in Marrakesh. You could wander the streets freely and the shop keepers were much more friendly and funny than those in Marrakesh.
The beautiful beach has perfect waves for surfers. Wetsuits and boards can easily be rented along the beach.
The port here is about the only place that seems to have a little hustle and bustle. The fisherman are prepping chum or detangling nets, while others are bringing in their catch to sell at the nearby stalls.
A view of the whitewashed city from the port outside of the city walls.
Walking around the old town here was very pleasant. The people were nice, the town was easier to figure out, and we had plenty of time. It was nice to have a few days to enjoy the warmer weather and sit on the roof tops basking in the sun with the scent and noise of the ocean below.
Relaxed vibe in one of the town squares. People sitting in outdoor cafes sipping on mint tea.
The camel trek! Or at least the camel mini trek! Many people come to Morocco and head off to the Sahara desert and go on a 3-4 day camel trek. We were initially going to do this, but decided against it. The reason being it would have made the rest of the trip feel rushed; but we were lucky and got to enjoy a camel ride in perfect way. Our great riad owner has a friend who will take you out to a 25 kilometer long pristine beach and let you ride his camels! The sun was setting and as we dropped over the dune we saw a beautiful empty beach awaiting us. We cruised down the beach and it was an incredible time, it was 75 degrees, a perfect sunset, and the only things around were us and our camels.
The food in Essaouira was probably our favorite in all of Morocco. We found a few places that were expeptionally good and had no shame in going back to them everyday. Le Simon served up a $7 filet of beef and seafood pasta in a gorgeous setting with ocean views. We came here everyday.
View of the ocean from Le Simon
When coming to Essaouira you will undoubtedly find yourself at the rooftop bar called Taros. Decorated in blue and white with a funky terrace overlooking the ocean this place serves up oysters on the half shell and is one of the only places in town that serves alcohol.
We loved walking around the town and getting to meet some of the artisans.
This was our favorite street dog, he just cruised around with us and reaped the benefits of free food and unlimited head scratches.
Essaouira is so picturesque it is not hard to understand why this location is used as a set for movies. It was the location used as "Slavers Bay" in Game of Thrones. We walked along the wall by the canons exactly where Khalessi walked.
No trip to Morocco would be complete without visiting this beautiful seaside village. It is a different side of Morocco and we loved every second.