Essaouira

The Medina

Explore the cobbled streets and winding alleyways of the old city. Tucked away in white buildings with their doors customarily finished blue; you will discover the cafes, restaurants, galleries and handicraft shops for which Essaouira is famous.

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The markets of Essaouira

Between Avenue l’Istiqlal and the Bab Doukkala you find a huge variety of shops dealing in just about everything.

Here you can find fine thuya wood products, hand-woven carpets and intricately embroidered traditional clothing like the Jellaba. Going further on you will get to see the bustle of the fruit and vegetable market. This is fallowed by the fish market and then the Berber market where chickens, ducks, doves and rabbits are all for sale. There is also a big weekly market or “souq” which takes place in “Nouvelle Sqala” every Sunday

Fishmarket

You can buy fish at the fish market or directly at the harbor. The best time to go is in the afternoon when the fishermen return with the day’s catch.

Unless it is Sunday, or there has been stormy weather, you will find a large selection of seafood. For a little extra, the traders will prepare your choice for the kitchen or barbecue. Even if you do not want to buy, the fish market is always worth a visit.

Marché au grain

The wheat market can be found next to the old cavern. Here they deal in second-hand merchandise. If you are around near 5pm you will see callers pedding their goods. This is a tradition that has been kept for centuries.

Juwelers market

You will find the jeweller’s market near Mohammed El Gorry street. When the Jewish community in Essaouira was strong, this market was famous for its quality output.

However, since most of the Jewish silversmiths departure, there are but a few tradesmen who still make their own jewelery.

The beach

The magnificent white sand beach stretches as far as the eye can see.

Locals offer camel and horseback rides and the bay is famous for providing top-notch windsurfing conditions.

A few hundred meters across the water you will see the Purple Isles topped with the ruins of a Portuguese fort. 

Along the beach you will find several small cafes – the perfect place to sip a mint tea or cafe-au-lait while admiring the astonishing view.

L’île de Mogador
(The Purple Isle)

During the first century A.D. Juba II manufactured a highly valued dye in Essaouira. The red dye, made from the purple snail, gave the islands their name. You can see a ruined Portuguese Fort that was later used as a prison and further along you will notice the ruins of an old mosque. Nowadays the islands serve as a sanctuary for Eleonora’s falcons.

To visit, you will need to convince a fisherman to take you, as there are no official tours. You will also need to obtain permission from the commissariat.

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