Essaouira: 4 must-see attractions
What to see in Essaouira?
The Medina, Essaouira
The Medina of Essaouira is best discovered just by wandering around in its picturesque alleys, in particular, the one called "La Scala de la Kasbah", a small alley that leads you to the very heart of the city. Looking to discover local craftsmanship? Head for the Souk, where fruit, vegetables and spices literally load down the stalls. But the uniqueness of Essaouira resides in the expertise of woodworkers (especially for the construction of wooden boats), and above all in the production of Argan oil, whose tree only grows in this region of Morocco! Finally, Essaouira is also renowned for... its Art galleries. The city and its peaceful atmosphere have been and are still definitely an inspiration to so many artists.
Built in the 18th century, the port of Essaouira was once one of the most important trading ports in Morocco. The harbour is now closer to a Sardine port, but it still remains an essential stopover to discover and understand the history of the city, which relies on fishing. In the morning, the return of the boats and the fish auction are a real spectacle not to be missed. The quays and the coastline also deserve a look at. The first quay is used as a shipyard for the construction of the Thuya wooden boats and uses the traditional techniques, and the second allows you to appreciate a lovely view of the Trawlers' masts, and the blue ocean that stretches as far as the eye can see.
The imposing ramparts surrounding the old Mogador Medina were built in the 18th century to protect the city from foreign invasions. Surrounded by four large gateways to the North, West, East and South, you can walk along this huge stone wall, where you can see the cannons still facing the sea. In the evening, it’s the ideal place to admire the sunset with a nice view of the harbour. For your interest, the ramparts of Essaouira were built by the French architect Théodore Cornut, a pupil of the famous Vauban.
The souk of Essaouira
Like many Moroccan cities, the Essaouira Souk is an experience of local culture, the best place to meet the city's inhabitants and do your shopping at the same time. Divided into Several distinct parts, the Souk has a fish market, a spice square, a flea market also called La Joutia, an auction house, and finally a jewellers' market where you can buy lovely gold or silver jewellery. Not to mention objects from Moroccan crafts such as carpets and leather goods.