Morocco has in recent years established itself as a holiday alternative to the European Mediterranean countries. If you think Agadir is too touristy and Marrakech is too far from the beach, then it is possible that the coastal city of Essaouira in Morocco is exactly what you are looking for, because here you get both in the bag and the bag.
Compared to the hectic and hectic chaos many people perceive Moroccan metropolitan areas as, Essaouira is a peaceful and nice city where you actually get to stroll in peace on the streets.
The city’s medina is on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, and below the city center, miles of fine sandy beach extend south along a pleasant boardwalk flanked by hotels and restaurants.
Get to know Essaouria
Essaouria in Arabic (and Berber) means “the wall” and logically refers to the city wall that once extended around the city.
Essaouira has been inhabited for millennia, and established itself as a port and trading town as early as 3000 years ago, when the Phoenicians discovered this sheltered bay. The shells on the islands just off the bay, now called Ile de Mogador, were used to extract the coveted purple color, which among other things. was used to dye the robe of the Roman emperor.
During the Middle Ages, the bay became a hiding place for pirates, and the Portuguese established a fortress and trading post here in 1506. The city was then named Mogador, a name that was used until Morocco’s independence in 1956.
In the 19th century, Essaouria served as the port of Marrakech. This role naturally led to a great deal of demand from European countries and several diplomats were stationed in either Tangier or Essaouria.
Today, Essaouria is a city full of culture. Numerous art galleries can be visited and the World Music Festival held in late June brings together artists from around the world in addition to half a million visitors. The festival is called the Gnaoua Festival, but (with a twinkle in the eye) is often called Morocco’s Woodstock.
Special tips about Essaouria
40% of Essaouria consisted of Jews in the 19th century. Today you will find several memorials from this period in the city, including a large Jewish cemetery which is an attraction in itself. The Jewish period in Essaouria ended when Europe no longer depended on the caravans through the desert to trade with southern Africa.
And are you bird-watching so well-known that here at Essaouria the rare Eleanora falcon holds.