Frequently Asked Questions About Essaouira
Essaouira is a stunning coastal city located in the southwestern part of Morocco. It is a popular destination for travelers looking to explore its beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and bustling markets. With its rich history, diverse cuisine, and stunning natural beauty, Essaouira offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for an adventure-filled vacation or just want to relax on the beach with a good book, this coastal town has it all! From enjoying freshly caught seafood at the beachfront restaurants to exploring traditional Souks (markets) within the Medina walls, there’s plenty of activities and sights to discover in Essaouira.
When is the best time for traveling to Essaouira?
The best time to visit Essaouira is from mid-April to late May and then again from early September to late October. During these times, the temperatures are mild and pleasant, with daily averages ranging between 64°F (18°C) and 86°F (30°C). The months of June through August can be quite hot, with some days reaching up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Visiting during the winter is also possible, though you should expect cooler temperatures, with highs generally in the low 70s (high teens Celsius). Rainfall year round tends to be light overall.
Which area is best to stay in Essaouira?
The best area to stay in Essaouira is the Medina. The Medina is the old city, located within the ancient city walls built by Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah in 1764. This area offers a variety of accommodation options, from luxury riads (traditional Moroccan guesthouses) to more affordable hostels and bed & breakfasts. Additionally, this area is home to many great restaurants and souvenir shops, allowing you to experience all that Essaouira has to offer without ever having to leave the comfort of your hotel or riad.
Which are the most popular attractions in Essaouira?
Some of the most popular attractions in Essaouira include:
1. The Medina: This UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to many historical monuments, including an 18th-century citadel and a 16th century fortress. It also includes a variety of shops and restaurants within its narrow alleys.
2. Skala de la Ville: This hilltop fortress was built by Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah in 1764 and provides stunning views of the city below.
3. La Sqala du Port: Located on the seafront, this historic bastion offers excellent panoramic views of Essaouira’s harbor and coast. Here you can watch as fishermen offload their catch from the day’s fishing trip.
4. Place Moulay el Hassan: This large public square is a great place to observe local life, with many cafés and restaurants surrounding it.
5. Essaouira Beach: This long stretch of beach is popular among both locals and tourists alike, offering a variety of water sports activities such as surfing, kitesurfing, and windsurfing.
6. Sidi Kaouki: Located just south of Essaouira this small village is home to some beautiful beaches with dramatic rock formations.
Which food places should I try in Essaouira?
Some of the best places to eat food in Essaouira include:
1. Café Hawzi: This restaurant offers a wide range of traditional Moroccan dishes, with a focus on seafood.
2. Les Mains du Chef: One of the most popular restaurants in Essaouira, offering an extensive menu featuring both international and local fare.
3. Dar Afram: Located just outside the Medina walls, this restaurant serves up some delicious tagine dishes using fresh ingredients.
4. La Cantina de Leila: An Italian bistro serving classic pizzas and pasta dishes as well as other Mediterranean cuisine.
5. Chez Samy et Houria : A great spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this eatery serves up a wide variety of traditional Moroccan dishes.
6. The Beach House: Located on the beachfront, this restaurant serves an array of seafood dishes as well as other international fare.
7. Elizir Restaurant: This restaurant offers some of the best Italian food both inside and outside of Essaouira, with fresh pasta dishes, wood-fired pizzas, and delicious desserts.
What are some good shopping areas in Essaouira?
Essaouira is home to many wonderful shops and markets, offering a variety of local artisans’ goods including jewelry, pottery, carpets, and souvenirs. Below are some of the best places to do shopping in Essaouira:
1. The Medina: This ancient walled city offers plenty of souks (traditional Moroccan markets) where you can purchase locally made items such as jewelry, ceramics, and spices.
2. La Sqala du Port: Here you’ll find plenty of souvenir shops selling everything from handmade leather goods to traditional Berber clothing.
3. Place Moulay el Hassan: This public square features many great cafés and artisanal stores.
4. La Casbah : This club is located within the Medina walls and features both indoor and outdoor areas for dancing, drinks, and socializing.
What are the best places to enjoy nightlife in Essaouira?
Essaouira has a vibrant and lively nightlife scene, offering plenty of options for those looking to go out and have a good time. Below are some of the best places in town for nightlife activities:
1. Café La Paix: This popular bar is located within the Medina walls and serves up delicious cocktails as well as live music performances.
2. Le Saloon Bar: Located just outside the Medina walls, this bar offers a vibrant atmosphere with DJs spinning all sorts of music genres.
3. The Beach House: Here you’ll find great views of the ocean while sipping on delicious cocktails or beer.
4. Riad Pacha Nightclub : This popular nightclub is located at the south end of Essaouira and offers a great selection of music genres such as hip-hop, techno, house, and more.
5. The Imperial: This restaurant and bar is located in the center of town and serves up traditional Moroccan dishes along with live music performances.
What are the nearby day trips to take from Essaouira?
There are a number of great day trips near Essaouira that offer visitors the chance to explore some of the area’s most stunning sights. Below are some of the best day trips from Essaouira:
1. Imouzzer du Kandar : Take a trip to this small mountain village located about an hour outside of town for some lovely views of the stunning landscape.
2. Sidi Kaouki Beach : Located about 20 minutes south of Essaouira, this beach is known for its beautiful white sand and crystal clear waters.
3. The Valley of Paradise : This lush valley lies just east of Essaouira and features several waterfalls, lakes, and hiking trails.
4. Chichaoua : This charming city is home to some great markets and plenty of places to explore traditional Moroccan culture.