10 Charming Things to Do in Essaouira, Morocco

There are plenty of natural wonders to see in Morocco, from the blue city of Chefcaouen to the dunes of Erg Chebbi. Apart from beautiful deserts, Morocco is also blessed with miles of coastline overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, which can be enjoyed in the port city of Essaouira. Located about a three-hour drive from Marrakech, this small town offers a charm that combines Morocco’s rich history and vibrant culture. From the bustle of its port to the historic ramparts of Skala de la Kasbah, discover all the charming things you can do while visiting Essaouira!

  • Address:
    4 Rue Tetouan, Essaouira 44000, Morocco

What better way to discover a local culture than through art? Also known as Kasbah Gallery, this art gallery is housed in an 18th-century riad, showcasing thousands of works by local (and international) artists. Explore different artistic styles, from realism to calligraphy, while admiring the architectural beauty of the property. However, its courtyard is the highlight of the gallery, an open-air space showcasing artwork among sunlight and potted plants.

9 Moroccan cooking workshop Take A L’Atelier

  • Address:
    Rue Mohamed Ben Masoud, Essaouira 44000, Morocco

Moroccan cuisine is a blend of flavors and colors thanks to influences from various parts of the world. Now tourists can learn How? ‘Or’ What cook traditional Moroccan dishes thanks to L’Atelier. Starting at US$59, visitors can take a cooking class through L’Atelier, learning traditional dishes and cooking methods to create decadent pastries and hearty meals. Learn from local chefs as they guide visitors in crafting standard fare like harira, bissara, chakchouka, ghoriba and more!

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8 Shop in the Medina of Essaouira

Essaouira’s medina (formerly known as Mogador) is the city’s fortified old town. The city is so well preserved from the 18th century that it is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Travelers exploring Medina can admire its Arab-Muslim architecture, inspired by European influences. A former international trading port, Essaouira’s medina is now teeming with art galleries, cafes and boutiques, ideal for visitors looking for souvenirs and local dishes.

seven Relax at Essaouira beach

Need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city? Essaouira Beach is a famous beach for soaking up the Atlantic coast while practicing water sports like surfing. While enjoying the ocean view, visitors can have a meal at a nearby restaurant or cafe. This beach makes a perfect stopover after a long day of shopping in the nearby boutiques and medina.

6 Learn to kitesurf

Travelers heading to beach destinations love taking surf lessons to catch the biggest waves in the world. However, kitesurfing, another adventure water sport, is also a fun activity that can be done in Essaouira! Travelers to this Moroccan port city between late March and September can enjoy a nice breeze on the beach, ideal for kitesurfing. In (or near) Essaouira, kitesurfing is best done in places like Essaouira Bay, Moulayand the village of Sidi KaoukI. Moreover, there are many kitesurfing schools right next to Essaouira beach.

5 Watch a show at Dar Souiri

  • Address:
    Association Essaouira Mogador، 10, avenue du Caire, Dar Souiri.، Essaouira 44000, Morocco

This restored historic mansion serves as the headquarters of the Essaouira Mogador Association and is also a venue for community events. From art exhibitions to concerts all year round, but also hosts language courses and other classes. While attending a show or admiring local art, tourists can admire the architectural beauty of Dar Souiri.

4 Discover the island of Mogador

Also known as Iles Purpuraires (Purple Isles), this Moroccan island attracted the Romans for its natural purple dyes found in local molluscs. However, today, the island of Mogador is not open to the public as it is a protected wildlife sanctuary. However, visitors can still take a boat ride close to the island for bird watching. Specifically, the island is home to Falcons of Eleonora and other flying birds. Binoculars can also be useful for observing the island’s wildlife up close.

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3 Learn some history at Bayt Dakira

  • Address:
    Rue Ziry Ibn Atiyah, Essaouira, Morocco

Also known as House of memory, Bayt Dakira serves as a museum for the Moroccan Jewish community. Considered a spiritual place, visitors can find Bayt Dakira in Essaouira’s Jewish quarter or “Mellah”. The building houses an array of ancient artefacts, texts and photographs (some of which are rare) and serves as a symbolic reminder of religious harmony and coexistence. Upon entering the building, visitors will be greeted with the phrase “Shalom Aleykum, Salam Lekoulam”!

2 Walk around the port of Essaouira

Located near sites such as the Castelo Real de Mogador, the ramparts of Essaouira and the Burj El Barmil, the port of Essaouira was once a busy fishing port. Today, tourists can stroll through the harbor to get a glimpse of life in the past, strolling along the old city walls while admiring the view of the city’s iconic blue boats. Then, admire the Atlantic coastline as you browse the stalls to see what the fishermen have caught for the day. There is a wide choice of seafood, from fish to shellfish, to please traveling gourmets!

1 Horseback riding!

Adventure-seeking tourists love the adrenaline-pumping activities on their epic solo journeys, from bungee jumping to skydiving. Although horseback riding may not appeal to many adventurous tourists, it is still an enjoyable activity. In Essaouira, visit a local ranch for horseback riding, whether along the beach or among the sand dunes of Morocco. Exploring Morocco’s port city on horseback is one of the best ways to admire Essaouira!

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