What To See And Do In The Magical Metropolis Of Essaouira

Essaouira is a fascinating, Atlantic coastal port metropolis with a medieval and fashionable bohemian vibe. Initially referred to as Mogadar by the Phoenician’s coming from their phrase migdol which implies “small fortress”, Essaouira adopted its present title not that way back in 1960. Roughly a 2.5 to 3-hour drive from Marrakech, it’s the proper getaway from the fast-paced large metropolis.

The climate right here is usually nice with loads of sunshine and funky, ocean breezes that hold the city from overheating through the warmth of the summer time. Artwork, music, historical past, and seafood are Essaouira’s principal sights and there may be loads to see and do right here.

Skala de la Ville

These historic metropolis partitions or ramparts have been constructed by the Portuguese through the 18th century to guard them from being washed away by huge, Atlantic waves and to behave as a protection towards pirates. It was geared up with 19 bronze cannons that may nonetheless be seen as we speak. From right here, you may soak up spectacular views of each the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. It’s an ideal place to observe the sundown with the silhouettes of Mogador Island and its Purple Islands (lles Purpuraires) on the horizon holding the wild winds at bay. The internationally fashionable TV collection, “Recreation of Thrones” used this location in Season 3 and also you’ll see why this makes a improbable cinematic location.

What to See and Do in the magical city of Essaouira - Skala de la Ville

Cooperative Artisanale des Marqueteurs

Go to this woodworkers cooperative and also you’ll be mesmerized as you watch these masters craft beautiful treasures on web site. Thuya wooden is a sort of evergreen tree that’s native to Morocco. Artisans have used this wooden for hundreds of years to make ornamental packing containers usually inlaid with mother-of-pearl and different picket objects like furnishings. In recent times, artisans have switched to utilizing cedar or walnut wooden to protect thuya as its numbers are reducing. Thuya wooden can be fragrant so this sensory impact enhances the fantastic thing about the handmade murals. Choose up an genuine memento made proper earlier than your eyes.

What to See and Do in the magical city of Essaouira - Cooperative Artisanale des Marqueteurs


Essaouira’s medina was constructed on a multicultural basis that which its inhabitants lived collectively harmoniously for hundreds of years. Amazighs (Berber) Africans, Arabs, and Europeans all the numerous non secular backgrounds peacefully co-existed right here and proceed to take action as we speak. This wealthy and diverse ethnic tapestry might be seen in every thing from textiles, ceramics, leather-based items, artwork, music, and meals. This Medina is much less intimitating than the massive cities however simply as colourful and eclectic.

The souks round listed here are full of unique handicrafts from kaftans (gown/tunic) to Amazigh-inspired silver jewellery and different native arts and crafts. That is additionally the proper alternative to have interaction with the locals and follow your Moroccan Arabic expertise. Exit by way of the Bab al Bahar and it’ll take you proper to the ocean’s entrance door.

What to See and Do in the magical city of Essaouira - Essaouira’s medina

Jewish Quarter (Mellah)

At one level throughout historical past, Essaouira had one of many largest Jewish populations in Morocco. This Mellah was established by Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah to guard the Jewish individuals, but additionally exploited Jewish service provider’s enterprise connections in Europe.  There have been a number of synagogues within the city, however just one nonetheless operates as we speak. Right this moment, only a few Jewish residents stay as many have fled to greater cities or emigrated to Israel post-1947.

Sadly, many of those buildings are in unhealthy form and in determined want of restore and renovation. There are two, small synagogues which have been restored and preserved as historic websites which are open to the general public. Regardless of the vacancy and lack of exercise, many Jews make an annual pilgrimage right here in reminiscence of Rabbi Haim Pinto’s demise in 1895. As soon as the Rabbi of Essaouira, his legacy as an iconic Jewish non secular determine shouldn’t be forgotten.

You’ll be able to go to Bayt Dakira (Home of Reminiscence) a museum devoted to the preservation of Jewish heritage in Essaouira. This cultural house features a temple, a library, non permanent artwork exhibitions, and a cultural residence for researchers. There are additionally Jewish cultural objects on show reminiscent of images, conventional clothes, audio, and visible recordings. This is a wonderful technique to dig just a little deeper and study in regards to the cultural historical past of Jews in Essaouira.

What to See and Do in the magical city of Essaouira - Jewish Quarter (Mellah)

Citadel (Fortress)

As you go by the mammoth arch of Bab el Mersa (the historic gate that connects the ocean to the town) you’ll be greeted on the port by a cluster of dynamic blue fishing boats often known as floukas. This appears like a scene straight out of an epic movie in regards to the medieval ages with fishermen unloading their every day catch of contemporary saltwater treasures so that you can take your choose of what’s for dinner.

What to See and Do in the magical city of Essaouira - The Citadel Fortress

Bordj El Berod

Are you up for just a little journey? Take a stroll alongside the seaside heading south from Essaouira to succeed in the ruins of an historic stone watchtower that has been dubbed ‘’the citadel within the sand’’. Positioned simply exterior the village of Diabat, this construction serves as a captivating piece of historical past that has been coated with layers of sand over time reworking it right into a fossilized monument.  This web site serves as a dramatic backdrop for a photograph shoot and as you’re taking a better look, you’ll discover the way it magically sparkles below the solar.

What to See and Do in the magical city of Essaouira - Bordj El Berod

Mogador Island (Purple Island)

When you can’t truly step foot on this island with out being granted particular permission, it’s completely price taking a ship journey round it to see all of the buzzing exercise of birds that swarm round it.  Mogador Island is situated throughout from the port of Essaouira and is a protected wildlife sanctuary that’s off-limits to the general public. It has witnessed an extended historical past that dates again to prehistoric occasions. It was right here the Phoenicians found the murex shell and established indigo dye manufacturing utilizing the crushed our bodies of those saltwater crustaceans to extract their wonderful colour. Later, got here the Romans who produced their prized Tyrian Purple utilizing the identical course of.  Centuries of settlers got here and went integrating this island into the tradition of Morocco. All through the years, fortifications have been constructed for cover, a mosque was erected, and constructed an open-air jail.

What to See and Do in the magical city of Essaouira - Mogador Island (Purple Island)

Essaouira Seaside

Well-known for its Alize or tropical commerce winds, Essaouira Seaside is a tremendous place for watersports reminiscent of kiting and windsurfing. Gear might be rented from native distributors {and professional} lecturers are blissful to information you alongside and educate you a number of strikes. Quad biking adventures are additionally obtainable if you wish to discover past the town partitions and go deeper into nature.

What to See and Do in the magical city of Essaouira - Essaouira Beach

Artwork and Music

Essaouira is dwelling to many native and worldwide artists and musicians. The town additionally hosts annual cultural occasions and two main festivals. The Competition des Alizes hosts jazz and classical musicians from all all over the world in April. The Gnaoua Music Competition is a four-day-long occasion in June that brings collectively native and world musicians that can hypnotize your senses and make you wish to be a part of the dancing festivities. You’ll be able to wander across the city any time of yr to browse a few of its artwork galleries that exhibit the work of native, native and worldwide artists. Escape Othello exhibits work and sculptures by native artists as does Galerie d’Artwork Frederic Damgaard.

What to See and Do in the magical city of Essaouira - Art and Music

Sidi Mohamed ben Abdellah Museum

Devoted to the founding father of the town, this ethnographic museum showcases a historic treasure trove of exceptional cultural artifacts that relate to the heritage of Essaouira. Housed in a former Nineteenth-century riad, the museum itself is beautiful. You will note fascinating relics collected from over the centuries that embody vintage musical devices, conventional costumes, ritual objects, historic pottery, jewellery, woodwork, and weapons. There’s additionally an in-depth look into Amazigh (Berber) tradition and heritage so you may study extra information about Morocco tradition.

What to See and Do in the magical city of Essaouira - Sidi Mohamed ben Abdellah Museum


Essaouira is nothing wanting magical and a visit right here will definitely refresh your creativity, ignite your creativeness, and go away you with long-lasting, unforgettable experiences.

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