Essaouira, Morocco is both a remarkable fortified maritime citadel and a comfortable seaside resort that fulfills all of the holiday-maker’s expectations.
Here, walking is an art that is accomplished slowly, as distances are short. On the beach it is possible to take an enchanting horse or camel ride.
On the ramparts, you will find yourself scrutinizing the horizon as the artillery men that used the now silent heavy canons certainly once did.
In front of the cabinet-maker’s and marquetry workshops, marvel at the talent of the craftsmen. Located in the old Jewish quarter, the mellah, is under restoration as one of the local priorities.
The souk’s alleyways lead you to Moulay El Hassan square and its cafés. Fascinating Essaouira confirms its status as an artist’s town. It has always inspired artists and the number of art galleries spread across the town is impressive.
The town has many café terraces and chic restaurants. Some of the better placed of these, in addition to offering a refreshing drink or a succulent meal, have views without compare.
The immensity of the ocean combined with the maritime heritage is a source of inspiration.
At the end of the morning, don’t miss the colourful and lively spectacle of the return of the boats to port with their baskets full of fish.
Families can walk around the ramparts and sit on the old Sqala canons to feel like a pirate. Donkey-back excursions are organized for families to discover the surrounding area at a slow pace.
In the villages your guides will introduce you to the craftsmen and allow you to try pottery, learn to cook or make traditional Berber bread.
Take the 15-minute boat ride to the Mogador islands which are a true link between the ocean and the continent, but you are not allowed to disembark, it is a protected bird sanctuary.
Whether you prefer shopping or a quad safari, Essaouira has activities on both ends of those spectrums. Choose an argan-oil therapy session which is used for its moisturizing and anti-aging properties. It is one of the foremost local specialties with the argan tree, where the oil is derived from, endemic to Morocco.
The resort at neighbouring Mogador is set on 600 hectares of forest and bordered with a magnificent natural dune and four kilometres of untapped wild beach.
Mogador is a golf destination with two 18-hole golf courses with a unique golfing experience.
The course is designed by Gary Player and the dunes are perfectly replaced by bunkers while each natural element intervenes to add a touch of beauty to a leisurely stroll.
For those travelling as friends, in a couple or with family, Mogador offers a wide variety of cultural activities to choose from namely art galleries, museums, bookshop cafes, lounge bars and restaurants.
Sports fans won’t be disappointed since they can make use of the existing nautical club to try a pure sailing experience, windsurfing or kite surfing as well as an equestrian centre for strolls along the beach.