Bohemian, free-spirited, artistic and magical are just some of the many words used to describe this pretty little place that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean, this port city is widely known as the most laid back and friendly resort on the Atlantic coast of Morocco.
Essaouira is full of character, with its atmospheric ancient ramparts, a charming fishing port, whitewashed houses down narrow streets and an amazing lively medina. The medina is a Unesco World Heritage site and it's Eighteenth Century fortified walls and beautiful fishing harbour are great places to explore, with many restaurants in the medina and along the beachfront.
The stunning and broad sandy beach is protected by a natural bay and is within a 10 minute stroll from the house. For sports enthusiasts, Essaouira offers near-perfect conditions for kite and windsurfing. You will see kite surfers soaring high into the sky and can enjoy camel rides to the famous crumbling fort ‘Bordj El Berod'. Kite and windsurfing, as well as horse riding can be arranged.
In later times Essaouira became the cultural inspiration for Orson Welles 'Othello', which was filmed on Essaouira’s streets and around the Skala area. More recently, Ridley Scotts' movie, ‘Kingdom of Heaven’, along with 'Sex and the City’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ have all been filmed in this stunning location.
Back in the 1960’s the town provided a haven and inspiration for musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and Cat Stevens. Nowadays the town hosts many music festivals such as the famous ‘Gnaoua Festival’ in late June and the gypsy and flamenco-based ‘Festival of the Atlantic Andalusias’ in October.
The medina, or old town is now thriving with restaurants & cafes set in beautiful shady plazas or sunny squares. There are many galleries with local artists work and chic boutiques representing many contemporary Moroccan designers’ collections.
Formerly known as Mogador, Essaouira was a portal gateway between Africa and Europe providing a meeting point for the flow of manufactured goods going South in exchange for African minerals such as salt, spices, sugar, feathers and gold.