Greetings, fellow travelers! Journeying Jack here, back with another exciting edition of Suitcase Stories. Today, we’re venturing to the enchanting coastal city of Essaouira, Morocco. With its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes, there’s no shortage of things to do Essaouira. So, pack your bags and join me as we explore the top things to do Essaouira, and uncover the hidden gems that make this city a must-visit destination for every wanderlust-filled soul.
From wandering through the ancient medina to soaking up the sun on the pristine beaches, the list of things to do Essaouira is seemingly endless. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or an adventure seeker, Essaouira has something for everyone. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the magical world of Essaouira and discover the best things to do Essaouira that will make your trip truly unforgettable.
Exploring the Historic Medina
If you’re looking for things to do in Essaouira, exploring the historic Medina is a must. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a maze of narrow streets, alleys, and squares that are filled with history and culture.
Visit the Skala de la Ville
One of the top things to do in Essaouira is to visit the Skala de la Ville. This historic fortification was built in the 18th century to protect the city from attacks. Today, it offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Medina.
Wander through the Souks
The Souks in the Medina are a shopper’s paradise. You can find everything from spices and textiles to jewelry and pottery. Don’t forget to haggle for the best prices!
Explore the Moulay Hassan Square
Moulay Hassan Square is the heart of the Medina. It’s a great place to people-watch and soak up the local culture. You’ll find street performers, food vendors, and locals going about their daily lives.
Visit the Essaouira Citadel
The Essaouira Citadel is another must-see attraction in the Medina. This historic fortress was built in the 18th century and offers a glimpse into the city’s past.
Exploring the historic Medina is one of the top things to do in Essaouira. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and culture.
Beachside Activities and Watersports
If you’re looking for things to do in Essaouira, spending time at the beach is a must. The city’s long stretches of sandy beaches offer a variety of activities and watersports for visitors to enjoy.
Essaouira is known as one of the best kitesurfing destinations in the world. With strong winds and consistent waves, it’s the perfect place to try this thrilling watersport. There are several kitesurfing schools along the beach that offer lessons for beginners and equipment rental for experienced surfers.
If you prefer traditional surfing, Essaouira’s beaches also offer great waves for all levels of surfers. There are several surf schools in the area that offer lessons and equipment rental.
For a more relaxed beach activity, consider taking a horseback ride along the shore. Many local stables offer guided tours that take you through the dunes and along the beach.
Another unique way to experience the beach is by taking a camel ride. You can book a tour that takes you along the beach and through the nearby forests.
If you’re looking for a fun group activity, consider playing beach volleyball. Many of the beaches in Essaouira have volleyball nets set up and it’s a great way to spend an afternoon with friends.
Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure or a relaxing day at the beach, Essaouira has plenty of things to do to keep you entertained.
Art, Culture, and Museums
If you’re looking for things to do in Essaouira that are rich in art, culture, and history, then you’re in luck. This charming coastal town is home to a variety of museums and galleries that showcase the city’s unique heritage and artistic traditions.
Visit the Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah Museum
One of the top cultural attractions in Essaouira is the Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah Museum. This museum is housed in a beautifully restored 19th-century palace and features a collection of traditional Moroccan art and artifacts. Visitors can explore the museum’s many rooms and galleries, which are filled with intricate wood carvings, colorful textiles, and other fascinating objects.
Explore the Essaouira Citadel
Another must-see attraction in Essaouira is the city’s historic citadel. This impressive fortress was built in the 18th century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can wander through the citadel’s winding streets and admire its impressive ramparts and towers. The citadel is also home to several museums and galleries, including the Essaouira Museum of Modern Art.
Discover Local Art at the Galerie d’Art Frederic Damgaard
For those interested in contemporary art, the Galerie d’Art Frederic Damgaard is a must-visit destination. This gallery showcases the work of local and international artists and features a wide range of styles and mediums. Visitors can browse the gallery’s many exhibitions and even purchase artwork to take home as a souvenir.
Attend the Gnaoua World Music Festival
If you’re lucky enough to be in Essaouira during the summer months, be sure to check out the Gnaoua World Music Festival. This annual event celebrates the city’s rich musical heritage and features performances by musicians from around the world. The festival takes place in various venues throughout the city and is a great way to experience the vibrant culture of Essaouira.
Whether you’re interested in traditional Moroccan art, contemporary art, or music, Essaouira has something to offer. Be sure to add these art, culture, and museum experiences to your list of things to do in Essaouira.
Tantalizing Moroccan Cuisine
When you visit Essaouira, you must indulge in the tantalizing Moroccan cuisine. The city is known for its delicious seafood, which is caught fresh daily from the Atlantic Ocean. You can find a variety of seafood dishes in the local restaurants, including grilled sardines, fish tagine, and seafood pastilla.
If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, head to the Essaouira medina, where you can find street food vendors selling traditional Moroccan dishes. Try the famous Moroccan soup, harira, or the savory meat-filled pastry, b’stilla.
For a sweet treat, don’t miss out on the traditional Moroccan dessert, pastilla. This pastry is filled with almonds, cinnamon, and sugar, and is a perfect way to end your meal.
In addition to the delicious food, many restaurants in Essaouira offer stunning views of the ocean and the city’s historic landmarks. So, make sure to add “enjoying Moroccan cuisine” to your list of things to do in Essaouira.
Overall, Essaouira is a food lover’s paradise, and you won’t be disappointed with the variety and quality of the local cuisine. So, make sure to try as many dishes as possible during your visit to this beautiful city.
Shopping in the Vibrant Souks
If you’re looking for unique souvenirs and gifts to take back home, then shopping in the souks of Essaouira is a must-do on your list of things to do in Essaouira. The souks are a maze of narrow alleys and streets lined with shops selling everything from spices and textiles to jewelry and pottery.
One of the most popular souks is the Moulay Hassan market, located in the heart of the medina. Here, you can find a wide variety of goods, including leather goods, carpets, and traditional Moroccan clothing. Don’t be afraid to haggle with the vendors to get the best price.
Another great place to shop is the Essaouira Craft Cooperative, which is run by local women and sells handmade goods such as rugs, blankets, and clothing. The cooperative is a great place to support local artisans and get unique, high-quality souvenirs.
If you’re looking for something specific, like argan oil or spices, head to the spice market. Here, you can find a wide variety of spices, including saffron, cumin, and paprika, as well as argan oil products like soap and lotion.
Overall, shopping in the souks of Essaouira is a fun and unique experience that should not be missed. Just remember to bring cash and be prepared to haggle for the best prices.
Day Trips and Excursions from Essaouira
If you’re looking for more things to do in Essaouira, consider taking a day trip or excursion to explore the surrounding areas. Here are some options to consider:
1. Visit the Mogador Island
Mogador Island is a small island located just off the coast of Essaouira. It’s a protected nature reserve and home to a variety of bird species. You can take a boat tour to the island and spend the day exploring the beaches and hiking trails. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
2. Explore the Argan Forest
The Argan Forest is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve located just outside of Essaouira. It’s home to the argan tree, which produces argan oil, a popular ingredient in cosmetics and cooking. You can take a guided tour of the forest to learn about the argan tree and its importance to the local economy. You can also visit a women’s cooperative to see how argan oil is made.
3. Visit the Ounara Village
Ounara Village is a small village located about 20 kilometers from Essaouira. It’s known for its traditional Moroccan architecture and historic landmarks, including the Moulay Bouzerktoun Mausoleum and the Sidi M’barek Mosque. You can take a guided tour of the village to learn about its history and culture.
4. Take a Camel Ride on the Beach
No trip to Morocco is complete without a camel ride. You can take a camel ride on the beach in Essaouira and enjoy the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a great way to relax and take in the beauty of the area.
5. Visit the Sidi Kaouki Beach
Sidi Kaouki Beach is a popular destination for surfers and beachgoers. It’s located about 25 kilometers from Essaouira and offers a more secluded and peaceful atmosphere than the beaches in Essaouira. You can spend the day relaxing on the beach, swimming in the ocean, or taking a surfing lesson.
These are just a few of the many day trips and excursions you can take from Essaouira. With so many things to do in Essaouira and its surrounding areas, you’ll never run out of options for adventure and exploration.
In conclusion, the enchanting coastal city of Essaouira offers a plethora of unique experiences and unforgettable memories. From exploring the vibrant medina to indulging in the local cuisine, there’s no shortage of things to do Essaouira. As Journeying Jack, I can confidently say that this charming city has left an indelible mark on my heart and my Suitcase Stories.
Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or a beach lover, the list of things to do Essaouira caters to every traveler’s taste. So, if you haven’t already, it’s time to pack your bags and embark on an adventure to discover the many things to do Essaouira. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!
As I bid farewell to this magical city, I can’t help but feel grateful for the memories I’ve made and the stories I’ve gathered for my Suitcase Stories. I hope that my journey has inspired you to explore the things to do Essaouira and create your own unforgettable experiences. Until our next adventure, happy travels, fellow wanderers!