This post is somewhat different from previous posts in this series. Essaouira is a special place, and I’d like to share it through the lense of my cousin’s camera. Thank you, Afaf, for sharing your photos and experiences on this trip with me, and thank you for allowing me to share them with others.
West of Marrakesh, on the Atlantic Coast, is a port city called Essaouira. The medina (old city) is guarded by ramparts built in the 18th century. They call it the Skala de la Kasbah. The brass cannons that once provided protection now attract tourists for stunning ocean views and beautiful photo opportunities.
Essaouira is a Moroccan gem. Unlike Marrakech or Casablanca, Essaouira is less about the hustle and bustle and more about the feel of the ocean breeze and the preservation of architectural history. It’s special for many reasons, but, like most of the cities in Morocco, the shopping is top quality.
The souks of essaouira
For a tourist that loves to shop, Essaouira does not disappoint. You’ll find colorful carpets, handmade jewelry and clothing, handwoven baskets and bags, tapestries, and stunning artwork.
The pace is slower in Essaouira, and you’ll find that the vendors are kind and little more patient than those of Marrakech. The streets are less crowded, and the shops are slightly bigger.
There’s a tranquility about the marketplace in Essaouira that adds to all that makes it special.
Like everything in this beautiful city, the restaurants are full of color and artistic expression. Mega Loft is a cafe with a modern aesthetic. The art installations create a memorable dining experience.
The Mega Loft brand did not originate in Morocco. However, they are known to merge the cafe experience elegantly with the local culture. Mega Loft Essaouira does just that.
The wall of vibrantly decorated baskets you see displayed on the wall are all made and designed in traditional Berber style.
At night, they have live music. The atmosphere is laidback with a hippie feel. It’s comfortable and has something for everyone.
Blessings of the ocean: The fishing ports
You should expect nothing short of an impressive seafront from a port city, and you can always expect nothing less that dynamic colors and style from Morocco. That’s exactly how I would describe the boat docks in Essaouira.
In a port city, you can expect a feast of seafood; the markets of Essaouira have everything you could ask for and more. Local restaurants and dives serve fresh catch. This is a city for foodies as much as it is for shoppers and history buffs.
Join Me for Part 6: rabat…
Rabat is the home of the King and the capitol city of Morocco. It’s metropolitan and full of history. Subscribe to read the next installment of this series…