Greetings, fellow travelers! Journeying Jack here, back with another exciting edition of Suitcase Stories. Today, I’m going to share with you my top recommendations for things to do in Essaouira, Morocco. This enchanting coastal city has captured my heart, and I’m sure it will do the same for you. So, buckle up and join me as we explore the best things to do in Essaouira, Morocco.
Essaouira, a picturesque port city on the Atlantic coast, is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Morocco. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes, there’s no shortage of things to do in Essaouira, Morocco. From wandering through the ancient medina to soaking up the sun on the beach, this city offers a unique blend of experiences that cater to every type of traveler. In this blog post, I’ll be sharing my favorite things to do in Essaouira, Morocco, so you can make the most of your time in this magical city.
Exploring the Historic Medina
If you’re looking for things to do in Essaouira, Morocco, exploring the historic Medina is a must. The Medina is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is one of the most well-preserved examples of a fortified North African coastal town.
Visit the Skala de la Ville
One of the most iconic landmarks in Essaouira is the Skala de la Ville. This historic fortification was built in the 18th century to protect the city from attacks by sea. Today, it’s a popular spot for tourists to take in the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the city’s bustling port.
Wander the Souks
The Medina is home to a maze of narrow streets and alleys that are lined with traditional Moroccan shops and stalls. The souks are a great place to pick up souvenirs, spices, and traditional Moroccan handicrafts. Be prepared to haggle with the vendors to get the best price.
Visit the Moulay Hassan Square
Located in the heart of the Medina, the Moulay Hassan Square is a bustling hub of activity. It’s a great place to people-watch and soak up the local culture. The square is surrounded by cafes and restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat or a cup of Moroccan mint tea.
Explore the Essaouira Citadel
The Essaouira Citadel is another must-see attraction in the Medina. This historic fortress was built in the 18th century and is home to a number of interesting museums and galleries. It’s also a great place to take in the stunning views of the city and the surrounding countryside.
Exploring the historic Medina is one of the top things to do in Essaouira, Morocco. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or just want to soak up the local atmosphere, the Medina has something for everyone.
Beach Adventures and Water Sports
When it comes to things to do in Essaouira, Morocco, beach adventures and water sports are a must-try. The city’s long coastline and strong winds make it a perfect destination for water sports enthusiasts. Here are some of the activities you can enjoy:
Essaouira is known as one of the best kitesurfing spots in the world. The city’s strong winds and flat waters make it an ideal location for both beginners and experienced kitesurfers. You can take lessons from one of the many kitesurfing schools in the area or rent equipment and hit the waves on your own.
If you’re a fan of surfing, Essaouira has some great spots for you to catch some waves. The city’s beaches offer a variety of breaks for all levels of surfers. You can rent a board and wetsuit from one of the many surf shops in the area or take a lesson from a local surf school.
Windsurfing is another popular water sport in Essaouira. The city’s strong winds and flat waters make it an ideal location for windsurfing enthusiasts. You can rent equipment and take lessons from one of the many windsurfing schools in the area.
For those who prefer a more adrenaline-fueled activity, jet skiing is a great option. You can rent a jet ski and explore the coastline at high speeds. Make sure to follow all safety guidelines and wear a life jacket.
If you’re looking for a more relaxed beach adventure, consider taking a camel ride along the coastline. You can enjoy the beautiful scenery and take in the fresh sea air while riding on the back of a camel.
In conclusion, Essaouira, Morocco, offers a wide range of beach adventures and water sports for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced water sports enthusiast, there’s something for everyone. So, don’t miss out on these exciting activities when planning your trip to Essaouira.
Indulging in Local Cuisine
When visiting Essaouira, one of the must-do things to do in Essaouira Morocco is to indulge in the local cuisine. The city is known for its fresh seafood, spices, and unique flavors that are sure to tantalize your taste buds.
Try the Grilled Fish
One of the most popular dishes in Essaouira is grilled fish. You can find it at almost every restaurant in the city. The fish is usually caught fresh that day and grilled to perfection with a blend of spices. Some of the best places to try grilled fish are at the port or in the medina.
Savor the Tagine
Another must-try dish in Essaouira is the tagine. This slow-cooked stew is made with a variety of meats, vegetables, and spices. The dish is cooked in a traditional clay pot, which helps to infuse the flavors and create a delicious, tender meal. You can find tagine at many restaurants in the city, but for an authentic experience, head to a local’s home for a homemade version.
Sample the Street Food
If you’re looking for a quick and tasty snack, be sure to try some of the street food in Essaouira. You can find everything from grilled meats to sweet pastries. Some of the most popular street food items include grilled sardines, harira soup, and msemen (a type of Moroccan pancake).
Take a Cooking Class
For those who want to learn more about the local cuisine, taking a cooking class is a great way to do so. Many restaurants and cooking schools in Essaouira offer classes where you can learn how to make traditional Moroccan dishes. Not only will you get to enjoy a delicious meal, but you’ll also learn new skills that you can take home with you.
In conclusion, indulging in the local cuisine is one of the top things to do in Essaouira Morocco. From grilled fish to tagine and street food, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Don’t forget to take a cooking class to learn more about the flavors and techniques used in Moroccan cuisine.
Art and Culture Immersion
If you’re looking for things to do in Essaouira, Morocco that will immerse you in the local art and culture scene, you’re in luck. Essaouira is known for its vibrant arts and crafts community, and there are plenty of opportunities to explore this side of the city.
Visit the Essaouira Museum
The Essaouira Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history and culture of the city. The museum is housed in a beautifully restored 19th-century palace and features exhibits on everything from traditional Moroccan clothing to local music and art. It’s a great way to learn more about the city’s rich cultural heritage.
Explore the Medina
The Medina of Essaouira is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to a thriving arts and crafts community. Take a stroll through the narrow streets and alleyways and you’ll find everything from pottery and textiles to jewelry and woodcarvings. It’s a great place to pick up some unique souvenirs and support local artisans.
Attend a Gnawa Music Festival
Gnawa music is a traditional style of music that originated in West Africa and is now an integral part of Moroccan culture. Essaouira is home to an annual Gnawa Music Festival, which takes place in June and attracts musicians and music lovers from all over the world. It’s a great way to experience the local music scene and immerse yourself in the culture.
Take a Cooking Class
Moroccan cuisine is known for its bold flavors and unique spices, and taking a cooking class is a great way to learn more about the local food culture. There are several cooking schools in Essaouira that offer classes on everything from tagine to couscous. You’ll get to learn from local chefs and even get to enjoy the fruits of your labor at the end of the class.
Whether you’re interested in history, music, or food, there are plenty of things to do in Essaouira, Morocco that will immerse you in the local art and culture scene. Don’t miss out on these unique experiences during your visit to this beautiful city.
Shopping at Traditional Souks
If you’re looking for unique souvenirs and gifts to take back home, shopping at the traditional souks in Essaouira is a must-do activity. The souks are bustling marketplaces where you can find everything from spices and textiles to jewelry and pottery. Here are some of the best things to do in Essaouira Morocco when it comes to shopping at traditional souks:
Explore the Medina
The Medina of Essaouira is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to some of the best traditional souks in Morocco. The narrow streets are lined with shops selling everything from handmade carpets to leather goods. Take your time to explore the Medina and discover hidden gems that you won’t find anywhere else.
Visit the Jewelry Souk
The Jewelry Souk is a must-visit for anyone looking for unique and beautiful jewelry. You’ll find a wide range of jewelry made from silver, gold, and precious stones. The souk is also a great place to buy traditional Moroccan wedding jewelry.
Shop for Spices
Moroccan cuisine is famous for its use of spices, and the souks in Essaouira are a great place to stock up on them. You’ll find a wide range of spices, including saffron, cumin, and paprika. Don’t forget to haggle with the vendors to get the best price.
Buy Traditional Textiles
Moroccan textiles are known for their intricate designs and beautiful colors. The souks in Essaouira are a great place to buy traditional textiles, including rugs, blankets, and clothing. You can also find beautiful hand-woven baskets and bags.
Bargain Like a Pro
Bargaining is a way of life in the souks of Essaouira. Don’t be afraid to haggle with the vendors to get the best price. Start by offering half of the asking price and work your way up from there. Remember to be polite and respectful, and you’ll be sure to get a good deal.
Shopping at traditional souks is one of the best things to do in Essaouira Morocco. Whether you’re looking for unique souvenirs or just want to experience the vibrant culture of Morocco, the souks are a must-visit. So, put on your bargaining hat and get ready to shop till you drop!
Unwinding in Moroccan Hammams
If you’re looking for a unique way to relax and rejuvenate during your trip to Essaouira, a visit to a traditional Moroccan hammam is a must-do activity. These steam baths have been a part of Moroccan culture for centuries and offer a truly authentic experience.
What is a Hammam?
A hammam is a traditional Moroccan steam bath that is designed to cleanse the body and promote relaxation. The experience typically involves a series of steps, including:
- Entering a warm room to relax and prepare your body for the steam
- Moving to a hotter room to sweat out toxins
- Being scrubbed down with black soap and a kessa glove to exfoliate the skin
- Rinsing off with cool water
- Relaxing in a cool room with mint tea and snacks
Where to Find Hammams in Essaouira
There are several hammams located throughout Essaouira, ranging from luxurious spas to more traditional, local establishments. Some of the most popular options include:
- Hammam Ghita: This upscale spa offers a range of treatments, including traditional hammam experiences and massages. It’s located in the heart of the medina and is a great option for those looking for a more luxurious experience.
- Hammam Ziani: This traditional hammam is located just outside the medina walls and offers a more authentic experience. It’s a great option for those looking to immerse themselves in Moroccan culture.
- Les Bains de Marrakech: While not located in Essaouira, this spa is a popular day trip option for those looking to experience a hammam. It’s located in nearby Marrakech and offers a range of treatments, including hammam experiences and massages.
Tips for Visiting a Hammam
- Bring a swimsuit and flip flops to wear during your visit
- Consider bringing your own towel and toiletries
- Be prepared for nudity in the steam room (although some hammams offer private rooms)
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions or speak up if you’re uncomfortable with any part of the experience
Overall, visiting a hammam is a unique and relaxing way to experience Moroccan culture during your trip to Essaouira. So add it to your list of things to do in Essaouira Morocco and enjoy the ultimate spa experience!
In conclusion, my fellow travelers, Essaouira is a gem that should not be missed on your Moroccan adventure. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes, there are countless things to do in Essaouira Morocco that will leave you with unforgettable memories. From exploring the ancient medina to indulging in the local cuisine, and from riding camels on the beach to learning about traditional crafts, the list of things to do in Essaouira Morocco is endless.
As Journeying Jack, I can assure you that this coastal city has something for everyone, and I hope that my Suitcase Stories have inspired you to add Essaouira to your travel bucket list. So, pack your bags, and get ready to embark on a journey filled with exciting things to do in Essaouira Morocco. I guarantee that you’ll leave this enchanting city with a suitcase full of stories to share with your loved ones back home.
Until our next adventure, happy travels, and remember – the best things to do in Essaouira Morocco are often the ones that leave a lasting impression on your heart.