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Holidays in Essaouira

Sea Wall

The word Essaouira means image. Observed from any angle, Essaouira is a perfect photograph. Behind its purple ramparts and inside its whitewashed medina with blue doors lies a city that has been influenced by various cultures (Berber, Carthaginian, Portuguese, English, Bambara and others). It was the Jewish traders that once formed the majority of the population and it was they who transformed Essaouira into what became Morocco's most prosperous city in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Today, the creative nature of Essaouira is unveiled in the ateliers of its artisan workers located in recesses under the Skala fortress where Orson Wells filmed most of Othello in 1949. This setting transforms the city's craftsmen into artists, its street orators into poets and its musicians into soul healers. The most celebrated of its craftsmen create marquetry and sculptured wood from the roots of the Thuya tree.

Essaouira stands on a vast bay sweeping south with miles of superb sandy beach and wooded hills dominating the skyline to the east. The medina with its honeycomb of souks lends a potent mystique to the town.

Probably the best known coastal tourist town of Morocco, Essaouira is nevertheless called the windy city and is more of a town on the coast than a beach resort. The fortified harbour is a hive of activity with fishing nets laid out on the quayside, boats unloading their catches, fish auctions and stalls serving seafood sizzling on grills.

Like the other cities, Essaouira has big hotels along with the medina riads.

Gnaoua and World Music Festival

Is held in Essaouira every June - read more about the Gnaoua festival.

We had a truly wonderful stay at Essaouira -it's a delightful place, not untouched but unspoilt by tourism, a real souk, charming people, no hassle, great harbour and lots of fantastic seafood in the restaurants. R.M. October 2007

Accommodation in Essaouira

Heure Bleue

Heure Bleue

(Relais et Chateau) in Essaouira

A 'Relais et Chateaux' riad in the style of a colonial residence

More about Heure Bleue
Villa Maroc

Villa Maroc

in Essaouira

Staying at the Villa Maroc is more like staying in a private house.

More about Villa Maroc
Dar Loulema

Dar Loulema

in Essaouira

Light and Brilliance characterise this riad

More about Dar Loulema
Sofitel Thalassa

Sofitel Thalassa

in Essaouira

Offering a superb thalassotherapy center

More about Sofitel Thalassa
Ocean Vagabond

Ocean Vagabond

in Essaouira

Offering a superb accommodation

More about Ocean Vagabond