One of the key characteristics of Essaouira is the wind. This makes water activities like kite surfing very popular. Surfing schools such as Kite Morocco offer lessons and rentals for everyone from beginners to experts. Most rental companies also offer kayak rentals for those who want to explore the coast in a more leisurely fashion.
If staying on land is more your style, horseback and camel riding are among the more popular activities. Zounia Cheval offers treks ranging from one hour up to eight days, which allow travelers to traverse the beaches and countryside surrounding Essaouira, soaking up the natural beauty and environment.
If you are visiting this coastal city, you must try some of the local seafood. Located off the plaza Moulay Hassan are several open air stands serving fresh grilled fish and seafood such as squid, crab, shrimp and eel. Select the items you would like to have and take a seat. Salad, bread and hot sauce are included with the meal. Be sure to try the grilled sardines—a true specialty.
With a full stomach, embark on a cultural activity such as visiting the argan biosphere, where visitors can take advantage of a host of walking tours. If you’re a foodie (or you’d prefer to stay indoors), consider checking out L’atelier Madada, which offers cooking classes featuring Moroccan main dishes as well as pastries. Or, if you just want to spend the afternoon relaxing, grab an umbrella and towel and stake your claim at the beach!
There are many very good restaurants owned by both Moroccans and expats in Essaouira. Al Farachah and D’orient D’ailleurs are two fabulous choices for a quiet and delicious meal. The menus are a mix of traditional Moroccan offerings combined with European flare. And while you will be served a high-quality meal regardless of where you eat, the prices at both restaurants are reasonable.
At night, the medina of Essaouaira begins to fill up with shoppers and families out for an evening walk. Stroll through the winding streets and be sure to step into some of the numerous art galleries.
You’ll find many stands selling crepes, so stop by and purchase one to nibble on for a treat. Opt for the amalou and almond crepe to taste the famous argan oils. Be sure to make it to the ramparts by sunset to watch as the sun dips below the ocean-line.
Essaouira, a must-stop destination
It’s easy to see why Essaouira is becoming a go-to destination instead of simply an aside on a Moroccan tour. With a magnitude of activities to fit anyone’s idea of a great vacation, you’re sure to find Essaouaira becoming a destination of choice for years to come.