Essaouira Morocco: the windy beauty of the Atlantic.

Also named Mogador by the Portuguese or Amegdul by the berbere, Essaouira is a small and charming coastal city in the western Moroccan region of Maṛṛakesh-Safi, on the Atlantic coast. Formerly a fishing village, a Portuguese fortress, and even a game of thrones castle, Essaouira is rich in history, culture, and traditions, It distinguishes itself from other coastal cities thanks to the harmony by which the atmosphere of its ramparts and its aquatic activities mingle together in a seamless blend.

Alluring things to do and enjoy in Essaouira.

Essaouira is indeed a small town, full of surprises and alluring activities to enjoy. Some of what I’ve enjoyed during my stay there are walked through below: 

Mogador Castle Fortress

Built on the ruins of a medieval Portuguese castle called Castelo Real, the modern Mogador castle was established around 1760 by a french military architect to protect the port and enhance commerce with European countries. Its ramparts are exquisite and release a sweet historical vibe. you can explore the rich history of the medina embedded within these walls while enjoying the beautiful sea scenery. 

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan and chances are you are, the scenes in the city of Astapor were filmed here so you can actually feel like a slaver’s bay lord while walking in the ramparts.

Essaouira Beaches

Essaouira is not only a coastal city full of rocky seashores it also has beautiful sandy Atlantic beaches. its main beach is famous for the abundance of watersports such as windsurfing and kitesurfing among others thanks to the strong winds all year round. You can find lots of surf shops in the city you can even register in beginner-friendly surfing schools if you want to learn how to surf.

Riding horses though the coastline of Essaouira Beach

contrary to the adventurous water sports activities, horse riding is a very peaceful experience especially while enjoying a beautiful sunset on the sea. Don’t worry if you’ve never ridden a horse before the people responsible will guide you and help all the way through your little adventure, there are also plenty of plans that suit everyone from a 1 hour trip to several hours of horse riding.

Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah Museum

Named after the founder of the city, Mohammed ben Abdallah.King of Morocco from 1757 to 1790. The museum is a great spot for history lovers wishing to discover the rich history of Essaouira from antiquity to modern days passing by the Portuguese era. It is located in a 19th-century mansion, Rue Laâlouj, a central street of the city of Essaouira. The museum displays various artifacts, including ancient pottery, coins, jewelry, and carpets in relevance to the history of Essaouira.

Essaouira Port

Around 1950 Essaouira was the main fishing port of morocco, especially sardines fishing. the abundance of small blue boats alongside the sea view is actually a great setting for a beautiful afternoon after enjoying the day’s catch of fresh fish cooked in traditional delicious Moroccan dishes offered by various restaurants in the area.

The souk

Shopping is one of the most popular tourist attractions in this lovely city, Essaouira’s traditional souk offers a unique experience of shopping, the labyrinthine ramparts full of amazing sights and exotic smells often decorated with peaceful Gnaoua music are what makes this souk uniquely amazing.

The souk offers all sorts of traditional Moroccan artifacts, souvenirs, clothes, tapestries and even pottery (faience) shopping in this Souk is truly one amazing cultural and historic experience.

Gnaoua International Music Festival

Essaouira is the host city of the Gnaoua world music festival which is a huge festival entertaining up to 500,000 people over a 4 days period. If you could plan your trip to correspond to the festival date which is June each year you would be in for a blast.

The ancestor of Gnaoua music originated from sub-Saharan Ghanaian empire music. However, modern Gnaoua music is fusing its core spiritual music with multiple musical rhythms and genres like jazz, blues, reggae, and hip-hop. 

Exemplary past participants of the festival have included Randy Weston, Adam Rudolph, Bob Marley and The Wailers, Pharoah Sanders, Keziah Jones, Byron Wallen, Omar Sosa, Doudou N’Diaye Rose, and the Italian trumpet player Paolo Fresu. 

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