Essaouira is a city I’ve visited for the third time. I’m totally in love with the atmosphere of this port town on the western coast of Morocco. I spent there four full days discovering what it had to offer. I loved the chilled atmosphere of Essaouira. I spent a lot of time wandering around in the medina. I tried out street food and restaurants on the way. Moreover, I walked hours on the beach barefoot and I booked horseback riding on the beach twice. I tell you about the top 10 things to do in Essaouira. Pick up your favorites and enjoy your time there as you like! How to get to Essaouira? Or where to stay in Essaouira? The answers you can learn from me! 🙂 By the way, Essaouira is one of the filming locations of the Game of Thrones. Check out my pictures and find Astapor. 🙂
Table of contents
1. The top 10 things to do in Essaouira
1. Hang out and shop in the medina
The walled medina of Essaouira which is from the 18th century is on Unesco’s World Heritage list. It’s actually my favorite medina in Morocco.
2. Try street food and drinks
My favorites: 😀
– Rghifa, the oily Moroccan pancake filled with vegetables.
Price: 5 Dh (~0.50€/USD)
– Fresh pressed sugarcane juice
Price for 3 dl: 10Dh (~0.90€/1USD)
– Fresh pressed orange juice
Price for 5 dl: ~10-13Dh (~0.90€-1.20€/1-1.30USD)
3. Try cafés and restaurants
My top recommendations
In the medina, there are little squares with small restaurants. They all have tables outside. One of these restaurants is the Tara Café where I had a super delicious veggie couscous.
The Three Little Birds
What I loved about the place the most is that there is a music store just across the restaurant where they play Gnawa music. Gnawa music is a special mix of sub-Saharan beats and Islamic rituals. Have a seat outside and enjoy a nice tajine! 🙂 I had chicken tajine with olives and I loved it! 🙂
4. Visit the fortress tower at the port
Entrance fee: 60Dh (5.50€/6.20 USD)
5. Explore the port buy some fish from the fishermen
6. Visit the Skala Fort ramparts
7. Go for a camel or horse ride
I wanted to learn horse riding like forever. You can just randomly go for a horse or camel ride on the beach. But preferred to booked a one-hour horse ride on the beach with the ranch called Ranch de Diabat. You can coordinate an appointment with them on Whatsapp. The prices are set. They pick you up, take you to the ranch, you pay, give you a short introduction and you can go to ride a horse or a camel. I enjoyed it so much that I even booked with them twice. The price for a 1-hour horse riding is 150Dh (13.80€/15.50USD).
More about my horse riding experience here:
Horse Riding in Diabat, Morocco (Blog coming soon)
8. Try a traditional Moroccan Hammam
There are traditional hammams for the locals and the fancier ones for tourists. I checked all the touristic hammams online. I think they are pretty overpriced and don’t offer anything authentic and extraordinary. However, I can recommend you to to try a traditional hammam. I didn’t try any in Essaouira, because just a few days before I went to a traditional hammam. My hammam experience by myself was quite funny as I was totally unprepared. 😀 You can read about it in my blog about Awrir.
If you go to a traditional hammam it’s good to do it with Moroccan friends as I did 6 years ago. My friend, Siham, prepared everything and explained all about the traditional hammams in Morocco. If you don’t have Moroccan friends, I can offer you a solution. I found this on Trip Advisor with excellent rating: Hammam with Fatima. Fatima and her daughters explain and take care of everything you need for the hammam. The price is 250 dirhams (23 € / 26 USD).
Later, by the way, when I meet my Moroccan friends, I’ll go to a traditional hammam again and write about how the traditional hammam works. 🙂
9. Learn kite surfing on the Essaouira beach
Just like Taghazout is a paradise for surfers, Essaouira is the paradise for kite surfers. You can always get recommendations for kite surfing schools in your hostel or hotel.
10. Take a long walk on the Essaouira beach
Essaouira can be very windy. Entertain yourself by taking funny selfies!
2. How to get to Essaouira
From Taghazout to Essaouira
1. From Taghazout to Agadir
If you use public transport, you need around 1 hour 10 minutes. Just check the buses and schedule on Google Maps.
First, take a bus (#32 or #33) from Taghazout to Agadir city. The bus ticket costs 7.50 dirhams. Then, change for a bus (#2, #16,#22) to the bus station called Gare Routiere. This ticket is only 4 dirhams. Generally, this is the price for a bus ticket in Agadir.
This means that for the whole journey you pay 11.50 dirhams (~1 €). By taxi, it would cost you around 15-2o € and would take you about 35 minutes.
2. From Agadir to Essaouira
There is no train from Agadir, only bus. There is a bus from CTM at 8 am and a bus from Supratours at 9 am, each for 70 dirhams.
I missed both of them because I didn’t plan my day. Just woke up early and went to the bus station. 🙂 At the station, there are men asking where you travel to and sell bus tickets from other companies. One of these guys told me that there was a bus coming in about 2o minutes going to Essaouira. Without much thinking, I bought a ticket from him for 70 dirhams. He took me to the other side of the street and told me to wait for the bus there. It as so weird but I was too hungry and sleepy to care, so I just went with the flow. 🙂 I sat down on the street and waited for the bus. Some other people joined me too later. So it didn’t feel so weird anymore. I use to travel a lot in Morocco, but it seems like I forgot the old days. 🙂 Then, about 20 minutes later, a bus stopped and picked us up. I didn’t note the name of the company. The bus was not as comfortable and new as a CTM or Supratours bus, but all I cared about is that I was on the way to Essaouira. On a side note, I don’t think that the real price is 70 dirhams for a bus ticket from this company. It was probably a cheaper ticket because as far as I know CTM and Supratours are the most expensive. In the bus, I also had to pay for my baggage which was 10 dirhams without giving me a ticket. And again, even Supratours charges only 5 dirhams for the baggage and you get a proper ticket.
Buses with Supratours (70 Dh)
09:00 – 12:44
12:00 – 16:00
Buses with CTM (70 Dh)
08:00 – 11:15
11:15 – 15:00 (65 Dh)
13:30 – 17:00
Total price from Agadir to Essaouira: 80 dirhams (~7.40 €)
Total price from Taghazout to Essaouira: 91.50 dirhams (~8.40 €)
From Marrakesh to Essaouira
Buses with Supratours (80 Dh)
08:00 – 11:00
09:00 – 12:00 (110 Dh)
10:45 – 13:45
15:00 – 18:00
17:00 – 20:00
19:00 – 21:00
Buses with CTM (80 Dh)
08:30 – 11:00
12:30 – 15:00
3. Where to stay in Essaouira
Best budget choice
Chill Art Hostel is the riad located in the heart of medina where I stayed and l rated them with the maximum points on booking.com :-). Most and foremost, I somehow loved the atmosphere. The hostel is very clean and quiet. It has an extremely kind and helpful staff who always helped me in solving anything I needed. They serve very nice communal breakfasts, such as traditional Moroccan breakfast. I booked a bed in a 4-bed hostel room, but they also have very pretty private rooms.
Best rated traditional riads in the center of medina
Best rated villas outside the medina
Wanna know more? Ask me, The Globetrotting Detective!
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