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Do you dream of travelling to Morocco? Would you like to see in your own eyes magnificent filming locations of the “Game of Thrones”? Search for cheap air tickets to Essaouira, the wonderful, unspoiled treasure of Western Morocco and you will feel like you’re living in a dream! With a backdrop like a painting has come to life, Essaouira has the gift of captivating visitors. The reasons? Natural beauty, relaxing atmosphere, laid-back atmosphere and serenity, to name a few! Essaouira has it all; historic monuments, castles and fortifications, interesting cuisine and extra-welcoming locals, making up an extraordinary, special destination for your holidays. Book your flights, organise your accommodation in Essaouira and allow at least four to five days to enjoy the city to the most!
Sitting at the end of a vast area of lush olive and argan groves, Essaouira is a place where magic happens. Blue and white houses, charming neighbourhoods, picturesque castles and an Old Town that ranks among the top Medinas of Morocco, while flocks of seagulls flood the city’s busy port; and this is your first picture of Essaouira!
Even though it ranks among the most popular destinations of Morocco, Essaouira remains low-profile, genuine and laid-back; it is precisely this sense of serenity that adds up to the city’s incredible scenery and makes it even more charming to the visitor!
Bearing the titles of the third largest port and the most well-known sea resort of Morocco, Essaouira will not astound you with its wealth of attractions and sights. However, go for a long walk around the streets of the Medina, enjoy the view from the ramparts and gaze at the port and you will immediately know that you don’t actually need any!
The airport of Essaouira (Mogador Airport) is located 17 kilometres southeast of the city centre and is accessible by bus and taxi.
Getting around Essaouira
In Essaouira walking is the most popular way of getting around. You can also take the bus though.
Essaouira is a tiny town with a compact city centre, easily walkable and easy to explore. Begin your exploration at the Old Town, the Medina of Essaouira, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001. Founded in the 18th century, the Medina of Essaouira represents a fine example of European military architecture found in Northern Africa. With narrow cobbled streets lined with colourful shops and white-washed houses, this is the perfect place for the longest walks you have ever taken!
Focal point of the Medina is the Place Moulay Hassan, the old town’s central square that hosts the annual Gnaoua & World Music Festival.
The Medina is surrounded by a vast network of fortifications, constructed during the 18th century to provide protection from waves, winds and nature’s mighty strength. Cross the main gate at Rue Laalouj and you’ll reach the first level of the ramparts.
The ramparts are known as the Skala de la Kasbah and were built in 1765 by French architect Théodore Cornut, using as a model the French fortifications of the town Saint-Malo.
The Skala comprises in two levels; the ground floor, where military equipment was kept in storage facilities and the second platform, lined with Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch bronze cannons, which you can still see today.
Apart from its historical value, the Skala de la Kasbah is also of great beauty; the view from up there to the Atlantic and the Medina is wonderful!
Continue to the much-photographed port of Essaouira, a picturesque, dreamy location and Morocco’s third largest port, after the ports of Agadir and Safi. Photogenic and idyllic, the port of Essaouira is busy and lively, with fishing boats getting in and out, getting fresh fish for the locals.
A few steps away, at the Skala du Port, you can find a second entrance to the ramparts, as well as available passenger boats that can take you to the nearby Île de Mogador, one of the inhabited isles off the coast, known as Îles Purpuraires (Purple Isles), official sanctuaries for endangered falcon species.
Your experience in Essaouira could be complete without paying a visit to the Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah Museum, housed in a 19th-century restored mansion. Named after the founder of Essaouira, the museum boasts exceptional collections of antiques, military equipment and samples of traditional Moroccan costumes, as well as a photographic exhibition of the city during the 19th century.
The official languages of Morocco are Arabic and Berber. French is also widely spoken by the locals and English seems to become more and more popular.
To travel to Morocco, you need to have:
- a valid passport not expiring for at least 6 months after your travel dates
- a return ticket
Greek citizens are not required to have a tourist Visa, for a maximum stay of 3 months. In case you would like to stay longer, you should visit a local police station and state so, within 15 days of your arrival in Morocco.
When to Go
The best time to visit Essaouira is during the months of spring and autumn, when rainfall is occasional and temperatures remain at pleasant levels, 20ºC-25ºC during daytime and 10ºC lower during the night.
The period from November to January is also appropriate weather-wise, with more or less the same weather conditions and a bit lower temperatures at night.
Summer in Essaouira is extremely hot, temperatures can rise up to 40ºC, but it’s in no way prohibitive, as long as you are prepared and organised.