It’s not the blue city (Chefchaouen), or the capital (Rabat), or well known for the way it comes to life at night (Marrakesh), it’s simply Essaouira; the calm, coastal city where Moroccans and visitors go to lose themselves and relax. If you’re not convinced yet, sit back and enjoy six more pictures that will make you want to plan a trip to visit Essaouira immediately.
Small shops are found throughout the compact and very walkable medina in Essaouira. One reason people love to visit? There’s very little hassle. Take your time, stop in shops, look around. It’s much different than in larger cities.
The bobbing blue boats in the harbor are a signature of the city. These boats are for small-scale fishermen. Some catch just to sell locally, while others have contracts with companies who take fish to various cities across Morocco.
The Portuguese bastions and ramparts were built when they briefly held the city (then known as Mogador) from 1506-1541 but their building projects are alive and well. You can watch the blue boats slip beneath the arches and the men fix the days nets with the stone background.
Blue doors everywhere! Wandering the streets will allow you to catch random scenes like this one. This cobalt blue is the most popular color but you will find every shade from pale baby blue to nearly purple and everything in between. On a warm summer day it looks like the ocean has splashed everywhere!
Like many Moroccan cities, Essaouira also had a mellah or Jewish quarter. At one time the Jewish population here was significant. It started with 10 families, invited by the king, who were known as skilled merchants. By the 19th century the population was over half Jewish. Even though the mellah existed, people of all faiths that lived in Essaouira lived side by side, it was not a requirement that some live one place and others elsewhere. Today the Jewish population is almost completely gone but if you wander these streets you may find doors that bear a star of David at the top as well as other historical Jewish sites like the Simon Attia synagogue and Jewish cemeteries.
Climb to the top of the ramparts or the skala before sunset because you won’t want to miss mother nature kiss goodnight to Essaouira. The ramparts close immediately after sunset and in winter months most of the city also closes up. In late spring and summer things stay open later into the evening.
To include Essaouira in your Moroccan adventure get in touch with us. We can help plan an itinerary that includes not only Essaouira but other unique stops along the way.