Essaouira Tourism: Sights and Attractions
Essaouira is a great place to walk around and explore. The stone ramparts and turrets, the tranquil and immense windswept beach and the perfectly preserved maze-like Medina have made Essaouira the most popular town in the Atlantic coast.
Inside the town walls, you will discover the famous laid-back atmosphere of Essaouira with its whitewashed houses, tranquil squares and artisans in tiny workshops. There is also a growing expat influence in the Medina with many Europeans investing in properties here.
The beautiful, fortified harbour is a hive of activity with local wooden boats being built or repaired, nets led out on the quayside and sizzling seafood on outdoor grills.
The beach here is famous for its strong coastal wind that has made Essaouira Morocco’s top windsurfing destination.
Skala de la Ville
A great place to start exploring the delights of Essaouira is its beautiful stone ramparts by the harbor.
North along Place Prince Moulay al Hassan is the impressive sea bastion built along the cliffs known as Skala de la Ville. Lined atop of the sea bastion is a collection of nineteenth-century European cannons and to the end is a circular walkway with great views across the Medina, the Mellah quarters and the sea.
Essaouira is famed for its high-quality and unique wood-carving workshops. To sample the great variety of carved woods, head down to Rue de Skala to see artisans painstakingly produce amazing marquetry work in the various marquetry and wood-carving workshops built into the ramparts.
Goods range from little containers and boxes to magnificent chests and intricately carved tables. To gauge quality and prices, we suggest you visit the emporium at Afalkay Art at Place Prince Moulay Al Hassan.
The port area of Essaouira is always bustling with life with traditional wooden fishing boats being built and repaired and the fishing fleet bringing their catch of the day.
For a fantastic picturesque view over the port, climb the sea bastions by the harbour, known as Skala du Port. Here, you can also see the Ile du Mogador, the walled Medina and capture the colourful, laid-back image of Essaouira. Skala du Port is open daily to the public from 8:30 – Noon & 14:30 – 18:00, admission is 10dh.
A must-see and experience in Essaouira are the open-air grill restaurants that crowd the harbour. Fresh sardines and fish are caught and grilled in front of you in a décor of wooden benches and tables overlooking the sea.