This beautiful city called Essaouira but also known by the old name of Mogadur, Mogador in Portuguese and Spanish, is a port city in Morocco, located on the western Atlantic coast, north of Cape Sim.
Due to the large influx of tourists, mainly French, the city has become a cosmopolitan summer resort and one of the main tourist destinations in the area.
This means that during the summer, which is the busiest time, strolling through its beautiful medina can be a bit overwhelming.
One of the most striking points of Essaouira is its European layout in the form of a grid and its urban areas surrounded by ancient bastions, as designed in the late eighteenth century.
Although it is becoming a very touristy city, those who prefer a town away from the stress of bargaining and pushing and shoving of the big cities, on their trip to Morocco will opt for Essaouira.
Tourism here is booming as an exceptional seaside resort and for its nature reserve on Mogador Island, as well as for its medina declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
This beautiful city that seems to be lost in time is particularly quiet and pleasant. The mild climate and its blond sandy coastline make Essaouira one of the best beaches in Morocco for many.
Therefore, this is a must if we are making a route through southern Morocco. In addition, thanks to the trade winds, it is known as ‘the city of wind’. In it we will not be surprised to see a multitude of windsurfers who come from all over the world.
An example of the cultural exchange that took place in this city can also be found in the life of some local characters, such as the famous singer Abderrahim Souiri. His story is paradigmatic with respect to the integrating spirit of the city.
He was born into a Muslim family in the Jewish quarter, the Melah, and his wonderful call to prayer as muezzin earned him the admiration of the neighbors. The members of the Jewish-Andalusian orchestra would wake up to hear him in awe, and invited him to join their ensemble, which of course he accepted.
Today he is one of the star singers of Morocco, and his reputation is international.
And so, between festival and festival, and waiting for that tourism, the basis of its economy, passers-by sip life in the cafes of the main square immersed in the warm winter sun, the smell of the Atlantic and the sandstone that draw the profile of the city.
The attraction of Essaouira does not end at the beach, the port and the medina; it extends to its surroundings: between the sandy beaches of the coast, the forests of thuja somewhat battered by excessive logging, and the vast expanses of argan, whose famous fruits live numerous women’s cooperatives, certainly a place not to be missed.
Essaouira is also known internationally for its Gnaoua and World Music Festival, which is held annually in June and attracts thousands of visitors.
I think it goes without saying that Essaouira and the surrounding area offer an interesting range of services for tourists, water sport enthusiasts and culture lovers alike. It is also a great combination with a trip to Marrakech.