Things to do in
Essaouira

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Our most recommended things to do in Essaouira

From Marrakech: Essaouira Full-Day Trip

1. From Marrakech: Essaouira Full-Day Trip

Leave Marrakech at 08:00, ready for a 3-hour journey to the beautiful Essaouira on the Atlantic Coast. Once you arrive at the port city, formerly known as Mogador, you will have time to enjoy the charming sights of Essaouira, including its ocher-colored walls, the beautiful Moulay El Hassan square, and the souks, as well as the little streets of the city's old Medina. Enjoy a lunch of fresh fish in a local restaurant. During your trip, visit an association of Berber women producing argan oil, see the local markets, and marvel at the gems in the jeweler's quarter.  You will return to Marrakech at the end of the afternoon, arriving back to the "Red City" at around 19:00.

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From Marrakech: Essaouira & Atlantic Coast Full-Day Trip

2. From Marrakech: Essaouira & Atlantic Coast Full-Day Trip

Experience the bohemian vibe of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast on a full-day tour from Marrakech. Transfer by air-conditioned vehicle across west Morocco, enjoying views of the arid landscape and argan trees en route. Stop at the town of Chochaoua for coffee. Arrive in Essaouira approximately 2 hours after your departure from Marrakech. Get your 1st views of more than 6 miles (10 kilometers) of golden beaches, popular with surfers for the constant, bracing winds. Once in Essaouira you are free to explore the medina and Portuguese architecture on your own. Alternatively, meet your local guide for a 1.5-hour tour of the Skala du Port and bastion southeast of the medina. Stroll the labyrinthine streets of the medina, hearing traditional Gnaoua Muic music on every corner. Watch artisans at work, crafting thuya wood crafts. Continue to the fishing port to see the fishermen selling their catch of the day. Taste fresh seafood over lunch in the port. Then, take a walk along the beach before your transfer back to Marrakech. En route, stop at an argan oil co-operative to see how the Berber ladies process the traditional argan oil, known locally as “liquid gold.”

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From Marrakech: Day Trip to Essaouira

3. From Marrakech: Day Trip to Essaouira

Depart from Marrakech in the early morning and head to Essaouira in a minibus. On the way, take a break in the town of Sidi Moukhtar and then visit one of the women's cooperatives producing argan oils. Once you arrive at Essaouira, spend time exploring. Visit the medina and stroll through the shops that interest you. Climb some of the ramparts to get some of the best views of the city.  Choose your lunch from a wide range of gastronomic options in Essaouira including seafood specialties, French cuisine, Japanese food, and vegetarian options. Enjoy a cup of mint tea in the main square before heading back to Marrakech.

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Discover Ancient Essaouira: Full-Day Trip from Agadir

4. Discover Ancient Essaouira: Full-Day Trip from Agadir

Your day-long adventure begins as you head north from Agadir to the former Portuguese city of Essaouira, passing isolated beaches, the palace of a Saudi prince, and the village of Taghazout along the way. Once known by its Portuguese name of Mogador, the city of Essaouira is a citadel with a prestigious past, occupied by various civilizations since prehistoric times. And famous for its Tyrian factory that once supplied Rome with its legendary purple dye, Essaouira is a cradle for artists of all types. Upon your arrival in the city, embark on a tour of the port and watch as the fishing boats return home. The Bab El Marse port not only has its Sqala canons on display, but it offers amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Medina. Travel to the Media itself—a UNESCO World Heritage site—and go inside to meet celebrated marquetry inlayers and cabinetmakers. Stop in at the Women's Cooperative manufacturer of argan oil, and then enjoy some free time exploring the alleyways of the Medin, strolling along the endless beach, or testing out some fresh fish at a local beachfront restaurant.

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From Essaouira: 1-Hour Horse Ride

5. From Essaouira: 1-Hour Horse Ride

Do something different during your time in Essaouira and spend an hour exploring the beautiful countryside on horse back. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel, if located outside the medina, and then make your way to the Ranch de Diabat, approximately 3 kilometers south of the city center. Benefit from a horse ride that can be adapted to your equestrian skills and ride at a gentle pace if your are a beginner, or gallop on the endless beaches if your are more advanced. First, head towards the river with your faithful companion and discover the ruins of the old palace of the sultan Mohammed III, who revived the fortunes of the city when he invited Jews and the English to trade there. Continue along the sandy beach and get stunning views of the Portuguese castle on Mogador island in the Atlantic Ocean. Return to the ranch through the forest for the end of the services.

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From Marrakesh: Essaouira Full-Day Trip

6. From Marrakesh: Essaouira Full-Day Trip

Your trip starts with pickup at approximately 8:00 AM from your accommodation in Marrakesh. In a new, comfortable, and air-conditioned car, start off for your unforgettable day tour to Essaouira, known for its beauty and serenity. During the 2-hour ride, make a stop at the "goat tree", an unforgettable Argan tree with goats perched in it. Once in Essaouira, discover this charming and musical city which will surprise you with its straight streets, designed by the French. Enjoy free time walk to visit the old ports and the local seafood markets. Your driver can suggest the perfect place for lunch, where you can have a delicious seafood meal in front of the sea. Visit a co-operative of Berber women who produce Argan oil, and learn more from them about this wonderful product. See the old bronze cannons facing the Atlantic Ocean and wander through the markets and cedar woodworking shops. After you finish your free time by yourself in Essaouira, your driver will take you back to Marrakesh for a 6:30 PM arrival.

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Essaouira: Full-Day Horse Riding Tour with Lunch

7. Essaouira: Full-Day Horse Riding Tour with Lunch

This full-day activity is suitable for horse riders of all abilities, from beginner to advanced. Starting from the Ranch de Diabat, your guide will take you on a route that first runs along the river. Stop to see the ruins of the Black Sultan’s palace before riding along a sandy beach. Admire the views of the Portuguese castle on the island of Mogador. Riders of intermediate or advanced ability will have the option of a longer tour, heading a bit inland. After a picnic lunch at noon, you’ll ride along the sand dunes, past fishermen’s cottages, and to a fresh water spring. The tour continues through a forest and then returns to the ranch. The pace of the tour will be adapted according to your preference and ability.

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Essaouira: One Hour Dromedary Ride

8. Essaouira: One Hour Dromedary Ride

Depart the Ranch de Diabat on a peaceful dromedary camel. Discover the charming nature of these large animals while exploring the surrounding. This tour is ideal for groups and families with small children as the dromedary has a gentle nature.  Enjoy a ride just a few minutes from Essaouira. Walking a large beach with soft sand. Relax in the ocean breeze and see the famous island of Mogador. Pass by dunes and see the tucked away, former home of the Black Sultan. Finally cross the forest of wild Mimosas and Thuya on your return. 

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Essaouira: Private City Tour

9. Essaouira: Private City Tour

Visit the city of Essaouira and start off by the small fishing port of the city where you can marvel at this historical place.  See an old watchtower and get an impressive panoramic view of Essaouira. Stop at the main square to taste a real Moroccan tea before continuing to visit the most important monument of the city, the scala of the medina. Admire the location where several films have been shot such as the famous film of Orson Welles Othello, or the Game of Thrones TV show. Continue the visit in the old medina, the kasbah, the mellah, the old Jewish quarter. See the synagogues, the souks of the medina, and the fish market which is full of people who buy, grill, and eat the day's catch.

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From Marrakech: Essaouira Full-Day Trip

10. From Marrakech: Essaouira Full-Day Trip

Depart Marrakech in the morning and drive to the coastal resort of Essaouira to explore its rich culture and many art galleries. Admire the well-preserved buildings and get stunning views of the Atlantic coast. Experience the warm hospitality of the locals as soon as you arrive, and get an appreciation for their simple lifestyle. Stroll around the busy harbor and see the fishermen selling fresh fish direct from their traditional blue boats. Go to the fortified harbor Scala to take amazing photos of the monumental Bab al Mersa ("Door of the Port"). Then, explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the old seaside Medina. Wander the colorful souks and maze of alleys. Enjoy lunch at a traditional restaurant, and then go to the old Jewish district to see the synagogues. Marvel at the cannons on the city ramparts before heading back to Marrakech at around 4:30 PM.

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Frequently asked questions about Essaouira

What top attractions are a must-see in Essaouira?

Planning Your Visit

  • Are solo women travelers safe?

    Essaouira is more relaxed and laid back than other Moroccan cities, but of course there's always exceptions, so always take care. Be aware that Moroccan men are not used to seeing bare shoulders and ankles, so that might attract some attention. Remaining pleasant, but assertive is the best way to act.

  • Is a day trip to Marrakech easy to do?

    Yes, and it gives you a chance to see more of the countryside. You can either rent a car, go by bus, or hire a private driver -- which is more expensive. The cheap return bus runs twice per day, although you will be limited with times, and the journey takes 3 hours by bus.

  • I've heard of goats climbing trees here -- myth or fact?

    Indeed they do! It's their special quirk in this area of Morocco. They're skilled climbers that are attracted to the Argan tree, which ripens in June/July each year. Each hoof has two toes which can spread out for balance, while the soft soles of their feet help them to grip the bark. Seeing 20 goats up a tree is a sight to behold! 

Good to know

  • Language
    Arabic
  • Currency
    Moroccan Dirham (MAD)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +212
  • Best time to visit
    Fall tends to be the best time to visit when the winds are calmer, sunshine and heat is not as intense as in the summertime, and the tourist crowds have departed.

Other Sightseeing Options in Essaouira

Want to discover all there is to do in Essaouira? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Essaouira

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 3,157 reviews

Great service. The driver came on time in the morning. We stopped on the way on interesting spots. Then a guide was waiting for us in Essaouira and gave us a nice tour around. This was included in the price. Afterwards we had some free time to explore on our own which was great. I can totaly recommend the tour!

Said was an excellent driver and guide in one person. We got from him a lot of info about the region. Also our guide in Essaouira gives us many interesting informations about the history of the city. The tour was great with nice guides.

Staff was super friendly like u are a family to them thank you guys and definitely am coming again

A recommendable trip to Essaouira, everything went well

that was good trip, the guide is very nice man. thanks