Essaouira

Intimate and romantic, Essaouira is a beautiful Atlantic coastal town with a tantalising blend of Moroccan history and authenticity.

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Essaouira Holidays

Located on the Atlantic coast, 176km west of Marrakech and 360km south of Casablanca – this beautiful and mystical town is of great historical importance.

Formerly Amogdul (meaning well protected in Berber) but better known as Mogador in French, Essaouira is the embodiment of Moroccan history and is built on a peninsula that is swept by the Trade Winds, giving it a temperate climate through the year. Its medina is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The city draws its character from two things: the cannon-topped ramparts and the tightly packed streets within. The former are a sign of the city’s rich trading history when goods from Europe travelled south to be exchanged with the riches from Africa coming north. Essaouira has always been cosmopolitan, but the traders of the past have been replaced by visitors of all nationalities, who enjoy the town’s laid back atmosphere and shopping in the cloistered markets or just sit in the squares and watch the world go by.

There are restaurants and bars throughout the medina to suit all budgets from the excellent Taros and El Mar, to well run local cafes. One of the best times of the day is the morning when the fishermen bring in their catch and take it to the fish stalls just outside the harbour by Place Moulay Hassan (the seafront square). The fish is fresh and if you want a wider choice there are two excellent seafood restaurants in the harbour, Le Coquillage and Sam’s. 

There are numerous excursions possible from Essaouira, including visits to the pottery capital of Safi, the Argan valley where the impossibly enriching oil derives from, quad biking, camel riding, sailing, windsurfing and walking – all of which can be arranged before you arrive or while you are there. Golfers are well catered for at the Mogador Golf Club, designed by the great Gary Player. The course juts out into the Bay of Mogador and features wide beautifully groomed fairways and seriously challenging bunkers.

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To Reasons To Visit Essaouira

Often the best safaris involve looking beyond the obvious highlights. It’s about the exhilarating encounters that will make your heart sing. These are encounters that nobody could ever predict, but that make your safari genuinely unique.

Best time to go visit Essaouria

With its famous music festivals, year-round warm weather and little rainfall, Essaouria is a year-round holiday destination.

Essaouira is the home of music festivals – the Alizes Springtime Chamber Musicale in early May, the world famous Gnaoua Music Festival is in late June, which is a wonderful family event, and in late October there is the Andalousies Atlantiques Festival which features Judeo-Moroccan music.

If you are in Essaouira between May and September, be sure to occasionally cast your eyes skywards and look out for the slender, long-winged Eleonora’s Falcon scudding across the sky.

Best time to go visit Essaouria

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Our Favourite Camps & Lodges

When it comes to accommodation, there’s a huge range of choice available for every budget and every trip type. For an all-encompassing experience, we recommend mixing and matching accommodation types, from light tented camps immersed in the wild to stylish luxury camps where you can kick back without missing any of the action.
Heure Bleue

One of the defining features of this historic riad is the panoramic roof terrace with a heated pool – a rarity in Essaouira.

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Essaouira Holiday (FAQS) NEED TO KNOW

What are the best things to do in Essaouira?

There is so much to see and do whilst visiting. You can visit simply soak up the culture and the town’s laid back atmosphere by watching the world go by, shop in the cloistered markets or be more active and go on a day trip. Visit the pottery capital of Safi, the Argan valley where the impossibly enriching oil derives from, take to the seas on a boat trip, or get off grid quad biking or on a camel safari. If you time your visit well, you can catch one of the town’s famous music festivals. 

Is it possible to combine a trip to Essaouira with other Moroccan destinations?

Depending on the length of your trip, you will be able to combine your trip with other destinations. You can either take an internal flight from Essaouira or go by road to another destination, for example the journey takes around three hours to Marrakech and Agadir. If Essaouira is to be combined with only one other destination, it’s a tough contest between the High Atlas and Marrakech…perhaps one to talk through with us.

Is Essaouira a safe destination for families?

Essaouira has a relaxed feeling that is different to the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. Shopkeepers let you browse in peace, restaurants welcome you with open arms and if you’re lucky enough to catch a music festival then they are more than accommodating for families. The peace and tranquility of Essaouira makes it a favourable family trip for many. 

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It takes genuine local knowledge to craft trips that go beyond the ordinary. The Natural High team have unrivalled experience and will take your ideas and turn them into your trip of a lifetime.

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