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Day trips from Marrakech - Essaouira

Updated on February 21, 2015

Day trips From Marrakech - Essaouira

Exchange the desert siroccos of Marrakech for the coastal breeze of Essaouira where the faded grace of whitewashed walls embraces cobalt blue doors battered by centuries of Atlantic winds and European invaders.

This ancient port nestles in a hazy, tranquil cove surrounded by a backdrop of olive groved hills providing a contrast as different as day from night to the hectic pace of Marrakech.

Handy guide book for Marrakech with useful information on day trips

Set your watch to timewarp as you travel back through time to à by-gone era.

Fill your day clambering along the sea walls ascending to the ramparts followed by some shopping in the shady souks where you'll find yourself immersed in a cornucopia of trinkets and objets d'art.

For a slower paced afternoon stroll the ancient medina with its cafe lined streets. Take a load off along the way stopping to sip Arabic café nus-nus and nibble on freshly caught seafood.

As evening falls follow the sound of mystical Moroccan music as it wafts down the hills accompanied by the haunting call to prayer. You only need climb a few stairs to discover charismatic nightspots perched all along the cliff tops.

Spend your night there sipping minty cocktails on an amber-lit rooftop terrace surrounded by Moroccan splendour.

Stargaze across the Atlantic as silken clad belly dancers wiggle and tiptoe seductively by. Smoke burning bright shisha from mysterious Arabian water pipes then lose yourself to the rhythm of the night as like 1001 nights before, time drifts away in a wispy puff of fragrant smoke, evaporating into the distant hills.

Three hours across the desert on a newly built road will get you there, so don't miss "Le Port D'Essaouira".

Escape the heat. Set your course for the coast. Buckle up, navigate the labyrinth streets of Marrakech and go.


Rocks and sand, sand and rocks, the occasional donkey, some more sand, some more rocks. Another donkey. You get the idea.

You'lI just love the road to Essaouira! I do. My Moroccan companion tells me I'm crazy. But I suspect he really loves it too. Perhaps, as an Australian, I love to see a landscape with just as much nothing beteween towns as home? It's probably true. The golden pink, rocky landscapes could be mistaken for Mars.

It's a good idea to be considerate of other cultures when taking out the camera during these roadside stops. Surprisingly, not all cultures are crazy about Facebook! Most Moroccans are quite happy to have their photo taken but do prefer to be asked.

Peppered along the way are conservative Islamic villages bustling with life .

Tall tales and true

You silly old goat

Just when you think it might be time for a snooze what do you know? There they are! Those notorious silly goats perched in trees, imbibing on spiky thorns.

They do eat anything of course. My goats once ate the washing right off the clothes line. It's true, they will eat anything!

For generations my father, instilled with the passion of Irish storytellers, has greatly entertained himself and the entire family telling ridiculous stories. All his credibility, from children through to great grandchildren, whether telling tall tales or true, is long lost. We love him and his stories of course. We just refuse to believe them.

Naturally upon returning from North Africa a few years ago, he was full of adventurous tales, describing the Moroccans goats with enthusiasm explaining how they occupy spiky treetops along the desert roadsides. I rolled my eyes like a teenager, pulled a face and probably called him a silly goat under my breath. Yet here they are.

The locals insist this is planned solely for the amusement of tourists. Who cares if it is or it isn't? Not me. It's too funny!

Now if those clever Moroccans could just coax a camel up a tree. Now THAT would be something for my father to talk about. In different company he probably already does.

Tell me what you think

Do you believe Moroccan goats climb trees?

See results

The horizon dips away. We're nearly there.

Open the ancient door

To Experience the Relief a Coastal Breeze

Top 10 Things to see and do in Essaouira

Count the vowels in Essaouira? No, no there's not enough time for that.

  1. Take a camel ride. There's ponies for the feint of heart.
  2. Eat fresly caught fish.
  3. Drink an Arabic cafe nus-nus (tiny strong coffee served in petite glasses)
  4. Surf the coast line around the bay from the fishing port.
  5. Visit the Womens Cooperatives for Argan Oil
  6. Shop the souks for objets d'art.
  7. Climb up the ramparts.
  8. Visit the nightspots.
  9. Stargaze the Atlantic.
  10. Do absolutely nothing on the beach.

Wander the medina

See the famous blue boats

European cafes line the streets. Rest your weary legs.

Drink a cafe nus-nus or eat some yummy sardines

Dishevelled and shambolic Le Port D'Essaouira, whilst strangling so many vowels, finds itself suited to the uniqueness of it's name. With captivating charm this historical port rests happily in the convolutions of it's title.

Gull cries pierce the afternoon torpor

A faded glory - Steeped in history, resplendant with ancient architecture and blessed with sandy beaches the variety of available entertainment in this centurie

Take a detour to the surf beach - Cast your gaze across the windy Atlantic ocean as it whips up some rolling surf.

Hippy style cafes and accommodations dot the landscape.

Take a camel ride along the beach. - Perform your own version of fantasia. Horse riding is available around the corner at the wild and free surf beaches.

Visit the Cooperatives des Femmes de l'Arganeraie - Womens Cooperatives for Argan Oil

Along the way visit these cooperatives to see the processes and meet some truly charming locals. A single cooperative can serve women and girls from up to ten villages (approximately 250 women), and on average increase household incomes by 25 percent

At the city entrance young Moroccans leap through the traffic waving keys at incoming visitors looking for accomodation. They know what they're doing as you'll never want to leave the restful ambience of this ancient, embattled port of days gone by.

Women Explore Morocco. Marrakech and Essaouira Tour 2011 video

Can you decide?

How do you pronounce Essaouira? It's easy really, try Essaweera. That's just perfect!

Essaouira on film

Authentic accompanying Moroccan music sets the mood here. Sit back, relax and take a quick trip to Morocco.

Next stop.......

Coming Soon : Day trip to Agidir

Shattered by earthquakes and adventurous in spirit, Agidir and it's Berber population play glamorous host to international conventions, ancient forts and yummy seafood markets all visited by me! But there's plenty more than that.

Agidir is next on the list as last but not least.


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    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I have not yet been. This is top in my list.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 5 years ago from New Zealand

      I spent last month in Morocco - I loved it. Essaouira was one of my favorite spots. And I have seen those goats up in the trees.

    • Jen Maskill profile image

      Jen Maskill 5 years ago

      Amazing! I would love to visit there

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Beautiful pictures. And thanks for the pronunciation box because I was stumped how to say the name of that one location.

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 5 years ago

      Wonderful photos. Would love to visit some day!

    • profile image

      cheapsneaker 5 years ago

      Never heard about the place so curiosity is increasing to watch it.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Excellent lens - thanks so much for sharing!

    • profile image

      AngryBaker 5 years ago

      wow... I will have to see it for myself some day.

    • BestRatedStuff profile image

      BestRatedStuff 5 years ago

      Lovely pictures, love the desert as long as I can escape it at the end of the day. Nice lens.