Day trip From Marrakech to Essaouira
Has a heatwave hit Marrakesh? Head to the Atlantic Ocean to spend a day at the beach and discover the cool historic coastal city of Essaouira, and important Moroccan UNESCO sight.
Following a morning pick up at your accommodations in Marrakesh, we will drive due west for two hours before reaching our destination: Essaouira.
For those interested, we can make a brief stop along the way at an Argan women’s cooperative where we can discover the many cosmetic, culinary, and salubrious uses of Argan oil.
Arriving in Essaouira, an array of sights and experiences await us.
Essaouira came to the forefront of history during the European Age of Exploration when nations, like Portugal, Spain, France, and England, all jockeyed for control over the port of Essaouira.
By the 18th century, Moroccans had firmly wrested back control of Essaouira.
Because Muslims were prohibited from conducting trade with the Christian enemy, the Jews of Essaouira acted as commercial intermediaries between the two groups and grew very rich.
As such, Essaouira features one of the most important Jewish neighborhoods, or Mellah, in Morocco.
Today, Essaouira’s Mellah has emptied of its original inhabitants and, like most across Morocco, is collapsing from neglect, risking the loss of this important chapter in Moroccan history.
After visiting the Mellah, we will discover other important sights in the Essaouira old city, such as the jewelry market, the port, and the fish market.
Speaking of fish, Essaouira is a great place to get a delightful fresh seafood lunch.
In the afternoon we will orient ourselves towards Essaouira’s massive sandy beaches where it’s possible to do a number of different activities.
Camel riding, horseback riding, quadbike riding, swimming, surfing, windsurfing, or just sunbathing—you’re free to enjoy the beach as you wish!
If spending time at the beach isn’t your cup of tea, there are other ways we can enjoy our afternoon.
For example, we can explore Essaouira’s rich musical history by learning about Gnawa music (did you know the Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page both spent time in Essaouira learning about traditional Moroccan music?).
Or we can visit a traditional herbal pharmacy and learn about old fashioned remedies to different ailments.
Once we’re ready to head back, we’ll hit the road and get you back to your accommodations in Marrakesh in no time.