The medina of Essaouira was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001 and is known as The pearl of the Atlantic or The sleeping beauty.
Essaouira is a small fortified town on the Atlantic coast located 112 miles (180 km) west of Marrakesh. The city is less touristy and the inhabitants are generally friendlier and are not as pushy when you shop for souvenirs as in Marrakech and other large cities in Morocco.
The city has one of the most important fishing harbors in Morocco. If you arrive early enough, you’ll see a human chain of fishermen unloading the fish they caught at dawn.
A great place for food
If you like seafood or fish then you'll love Essaouira, where you'll be able to eat in very cheap seafood restaurants. You can even buy the fish directly from the fishermen and any beach bar will cook it for you.
Getting to Essaouira
- Book a day trip: With Introducing Marrakech, we offer day tours with English-speaking chauffeurs and hotel pickup for just € 30 (US$ 32.30) per person. We also offer very low-priced private tours. Click here to check out our day trip to Essaouira from Marrakech.
- Bus: Buses leave from Marrakech’s bus station and the ticket costs approximately 50 dirhams. It's the cheapest way of getting to this coastal city. There are several bus companies, but we recommend CTM. The journey takes 2.5 hours.
- Rent a car: Driving in Morocco is not easy and some of the highways are not very well kept. If this is the best option for you, we suggest getting a GPS to avoid getting lost.
- Hiring a taxi for the whole day: You can hire a taxi for the whole day for approximately € 80 (US$ 86.10) – € 100 (US$ 107.70) if you're good at haggling. Keep in mind that most taxi drivers speak very little English, the cars are normally very old, and the driving leaves a lot to be desired.