What You Will Find in This Post
Why you should visit this delightful Moroccan Port town plus the all important HOW TO GET TO ESSAOUIRA.
Why Visit Essaouira
Intriguing architecture, food, markets, restaurants and music. We recommend every Marrakech visitor adds an Essaouira experience to their itinerary.
Essaouira is wonderfully relaxing after the equally wonderful craziness that is Marrakech.
Essaouira has Famous Connections
Jimi Hendrix spent a little time here back in the day (1969) when Essaouira was a port on the hippy trail. Maybe it was that Jimmy died shortly after, but his Essaouira connection is remembered.
Some forty (40) movies have been shot here, the most known being Game of Thrones (where hasn’t it been filmed) and Orson Welles Othello (1951)
The Hendrix legend lingers, but the Purple Haze has long gone, superseded by Essaouira blue.
Essaouira blue paint peels off trawlers and fishing boats alike, is layered on doors, shutters, roof and walls. Even the multi use plastic and sky comply.
The appeal of white washed walls with lashings of blue should not be underestimated.
Beach Essaouira is long, wide and windy. Super popular with windsurfers and camel rides, walking and jogging, but for soaking up the sun, your best bet is to head to your favourite Beach Club. We loved Beach and Friends which opened in 2010 and is still popular today. Check it out on Facebook. Surrounded by wind breaks they offer sun lounges, bars, music and great food.
Being at the far end of the beach you do get to a long beach walk in also. The best of both beach worlds.
As much as I love Essaouira’s beach clubs the port is where all the action is. Check out these photos of boats, nets, pots and flags.
They mesh into a lively port scene overlooked by massive soaring gulls.[pinit]
I wonder if the youngest fishermen gets the job of cook.
Tea is the drink of choice in Morocco.
Essaouira has a huge cat population and they don’t stray far from the carts. They are quite well mannered and wait for the fishermen to throw them tidbits.
How to get to Essaouira from Marrakech
By Bus from Marrakech to Essaouira
Supratours (Government Owned) run comfortable air-conditioned coaches from Marrakech to Essaouira.
The 3 hour trip with one comfort/food stop represents good value. The tickets are Flexible and able to be refunded in person. If you have purchased on line you must print it out and take it in. 100% refund up to the night before and 80% refund to the time of travel on ticket.
On our arrival at the Marrakech Supra terminal located at Marrakech Train station, the 10.30 a.m. bus is sold out, so we purchase tickets for the 2.30 p.m. Noticing our disappointment, the ticket seller suggests we might get on the 10.30 a.m. if we wait.
A crowd forms around the driver as soon as he appears and we squeeze through and chat. He pencils our names in and motions us to wait with the ever growing crowd of would be passengers.
Eventually our names are called – we’re going to Essaouira.
Supratours is part of the Morocco Rail System ONCF. The Marrakech Express arrives at the same station. Buses are linked to train times. One way cost 80 MAD (11 AUD). 6 buses each day.
Day Trips from Marrakech to Essaouira
If you only have one day to visit Essaouira why not join others on a day trip from Marrakech to Essaouira.
Flights to Essaouira
Domestic Flights to Essaouira
There are no domestic flights to Essaouira.
International Direct Flights to Essaouira
Yes, the hippy days are long gone with the introduction of seasonal and direct flights to Essaouira.
- England (STN) London Stansted – Ryan Air – Beginning March 2022 you can fly London to Essaouira
- France (MRS) Marseille – Ryan Air – March to October
- France (ORY) Orly – Transavia – March to October
- France (BOD) Bordeaux – Easy Jet – October to November
- Belgium (CRL) Brussels Charleroi – Ryan Air – March to October
Other airports near Essaouira Morocco are Agadir and Marrakech.
We recommend choosing a Riad in the Medina (inside the walls of the old town). A Riad has an internal courtyard with a water feature and serves breakfast either in the Courtyard or on the flat rooftop. Be aware that the riad will have several floors and flights of stairs and probably no lift.
A scam operated at the joint train/bus station in 2012. It could have morphed into a variation by now, but should be recognisable. A cultured looking Moroccan man, well dressed in Polo Shirt and Slacks, speaking excellent English approaches offering a taxi sight-seeing trip around Marrakech, with an airport drop-off afterward, for a too-cheap price.
Chatting amiably we explain we have no intention of buying any carpets in Marrakech. No, No, that will not be necessary, he assures – he is only trying to help out a driver friend of his and promote Marrakech at the same time. We tell him how pleased we are because we’d accepted a similar deal in Bangkok and were eventually kicked out of the tuk-tuk for refusing to buy from a Gold Shop. Clucking sympathetically, he feigns a phone-call and then announces his driver friend is busy and won’t be able to take us after all. Oh – what bad luck and he was such a nice man.