Enchanting Essaouira

A day on the Atlantic Coast


A full day visiting the enchanting Atlantic coastal town of Essaouira; enjoy a complete change of pace and scenery !

Activity code: RAKESS

Duration: 1 Day

Historic, characterful Essaouira has taken elements of many influences over the centuries, from Romans to Portuguese, French & Dutch. A drive along the Hadouz plain from Marrakech brings you to this traditional village, once the main port of Morocco, now mainly relying on fishing, tourism and artisans. Walk through the unspoilt Medina to discover the craftsmen, wood-carvers & artists and sample the amazing seafood in the harbour restaurants.

Abandoned by the Portuguese in 1541, it was not until 1765 when the Alaouite Sultan Sidi Mohammad Ibn Abdullah transformed Mogador, as it was known, into a fortified city but the ramparts were never that effective in keeping out the marauding tribesmen! It is now a charming artists' town with its old port and cannons overlooking the fishing fleet. Essaouira invites you to wander through the narrow alleyways which make up the Medina, to witness artisans at work making their wooden tables, boxes and sundry items in lemon or briar wood inlaid with mother of pearl - the purple dye, produced by the crushed shellfish, was exported in ancient times by the conquering Romans to colour the togas of the rich.

This excursion is available as part of any tailor made holiday with Rediscover the World.

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At around 8:30am your tour begins with a drive towards the west, to the Atlantic coast and the ancient Phoenician town of Mogador - a corruption of the Berber word Amegdul, meaning 'well-protected' - and now, since independence, called Essaouira - 'Little Picture'.

Perhaps a dip in the waters of the ocean before returning to the bustle of Marrakech? A camel ride along the beach? Lunch is not included, but we are sure you'll enjoy Essaouira's famed seafood, either on the quayside or in one of the several quaint cafes that decorate this charming historical town before returning to Marrakech by late evening.