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A day in Essaouira: The hip little brother of Marrakesh

Essaouira Morocco is a small port city off of the Atlantic coast in Southern Morocco, referred to as the hipper little brother of Marrakesh. It makes for a perfect day trip when you're visiting Agadir or Marrakesh, and it's Neighbor to the cute little surf towns of Taghazout and Sidi Kaouki, we are pretty well-known for our eccentric crowd. My city is also one of the most popular destinations in Morocco, and for good reason. If the city of Essaouira doesn't quench your wanderlust, not much will!

Essaouira coast, where I take my morning walks.

 In Essaouira, We're known for our laid-back atmosphere, rich culture, amazing surf spots, perfect weather, beautiful beaches and seaside vibes. Due to the unique qualities of our city, Essaouira has been well-loved by Jimi Hendrix, Winston Churchill, Frank Zappa, Cat Stevens, and so many others. It's not hard to get sucked in by the charming spirit of Essaouira, where most everyone is friendly. I couldn't think of a better place in the world to live, actually.

The things that drew me to this popular Oceanside destination permanently was the amazing art scene. My husband is pretty fond of the live music and Essaouira nightlife, and the Gnawa festival in the summer. Fortunately, there are plenty of other people similar to us who have chosen to call Essaouira home for the same reasons. Our community is thriving with artists, musicians, tourists, cheerful locals, surfers, expats and creative types who are crazy about beach life.

A curious Seagull that I met on my walk near the Essaouira fishing Port.


In the time we've been here, we've made friends from all over the world, adopted three rescue cats, gone fully remote in our work, launched a small startup (Love, Gawria) and managed to land an awesome deal on a three-bedroom house in our beloved city. Permanently relocating to Morocco was a choice I made two years ago, and I've been literally all over the country, searching for the perfect spot. When I found Essaouira, I knew I was home.

Our population is really diverse, and I absolutely never run out of things to do here. Our expat community is thriving, and we have craft clubs, weekly meetups, jam sessions, and full moon parties, all kinds of things. Once visiting Essaouira, it'll be difficult to leave.

Local pottery in the Essaouira Medina, where you can find some of the best designs in all of Morocco.

Wood, Bone, and Stone Carvings in an Essaouira gallery

Near the town square in Essaouira

 On the weekends, Beach and Friends is popular chill out spot, along with Ocean Vagabond and Panoramique for coffee. There are some amazing Oceanside spas, as well as resorts. On the main beach, local vendors hawk their goods on the beach, though they're super friendly and you shouldn't ever feel pressured to buy anything. If you're feeling hungry or thirsty, you can buy various drinks, cakes, and cookies from them as well (hash cookies included). You can rent 4x4 to race around the sand dunes or ride camels and horses on the shorelines.

Fresh orange juice stand near the city walls

Unique Essaouira gallery finds

Boats in the Essaouira shoreline

 We have a bustling Medina with a neighbouring souk where you can purchase all kinds of artisan crafts ranging from pottery to wood carvings, traditional kaftan, cherry button necklaces, to beautiful Moroccan lanterns and handmade housewares. I usually start my days with a cup of coffee in the town square, then head off to medina. 

Assorted odds and ends in the Essaouira Medina

  Just a little past the square in the main Medina, You'll find the most amazing pure Argan oil co-ops, where they press the argan oil in the streets and sell various argan cosmetic items aside from the oil, such as face and body products. Local vendors sell their fresh vegetables and fish in our souks, and the majority incredibly gorgeous, and are a popular alternative to traditional hotels due to the dreamy decor. You can take kite surfing or actual surfing lessons on our main beach, catch a view of Isle de Mogador, visit one of our many Essaouira art galleries, catch some local music, eat fresh fish near the sea, or go for Tapas at one of our amazing ocean side restaurants. I love ending a day at Beach and Friends over a glass of wine and Creme brulee, watching the camels and horses near the ocean after a long day in the medina shopping and visiting the local galleries.

There's simply no other place in the world like Essaouira, particularly for a quirky expat or curious traveller, which makes me so proud to call it home. If you plan on visiting Essaouira, you can check out our post on things you definitely can't miss, which I'll be adding in the near future. You can find cheap flights to Essaouira here, and hotels here. Come see us soon!


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