A stroll through Essaouira and its medina

Cultural sights, arts and crafts, architecture, museums, art exhibitions, sports, watersports (including windsurfing, surfing and kite surfing), walking and horse-riding, 4WD and quad trips…, entertainment virtually year round and the famous Gnaoua festival each year in June.

Slip through the large traditional door of the Ryad Watier, and you plunge into the heart of the Essaouira medina. Welcome to Morocco! The unspoiled town opens at your feet and delights your senses: smell, taste, listen and discover the lives and the smiling faces of the townspeople as you stroll through the narrow streets. The whole town is within reach:

The harbour

At your feet, you see flashes of bright colours; these are the sardine boats, palangriers and trawlers. You can hear the muffled shouts of fisherman throwing their nets and unloading crates of silver fish. The fragrance of grilled sardines tickles your nose. You’ll never get bored watching the fishing port of Essaouira.

The market

You’ll feel like you’ve been transported to another time when you first discover the busiest market of Essaouira. Old women come to sell wool and exchange all sorts of objects, such as jewellery, shawls and crockery.

A thousand fragances in the market, with its fish, spices, grain, jewellry and auctions is a place of hustle and bustle, morning and evening. Not to be missed!

Arts and crafts

Essaouira is an important centre for marquetry in Morocco. A number of craftsmen sculpture wood from the roots of the thuya tree to make boxes, dishes, decorative objects and furniture. You can also find jewellery, rugs, leather goods, babouches (slippers), pottery and traditional decorative objects.

The beach

Whether day-dreaming in the sun on the long beach of golden sand in Essaouira, swimming in the bay sheltered by islands, surfing in the rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean or wind-surfing at Sidi Kaouki, the coast around Essaouira offers a multitude of opportunities for fun all year round. The weather is always fine, with over 3,200 hours of sun and less than 300mm of rain per year.

Life here drifts by, with no sense of time. Whether you have come to relax or enjoy sport, you can bask in the sun on the beach, or try your hand at surfing, kite surfing or windsurfing.

Mogador Island or the Purple islands

After you’ve seen the fish, go and look and the birds: seagulls and falcons inhabit the Purple Islands, making them a magnificent bird reserve. Ask a local fisherman to take you out there and don’t forget your binoculars!