Essaouria is a fun-filled and relaxing day trip from Marrakech. The journey to this former Portuguese fishing village offers up only a few roadside towns and the occasional Berber village. In the ’60s and ’70s, Essaouira was a pitstop on the hippie trek from Marrakesh. Jimi Hendrix made the pilgrimage, as did Bob Marley and Cat Stevens. Essaouira was the inspiration for Hendrix’s song “Castles Made of Sand”.
Your Hotel in Marrakech
Your Hotel in Marrakech
Please arrive by 08:45 AM for a prompt departure at 09:00 AM
Approximately 7:00 PM
.Hotel pickup and drop-off service
.Transport by an air-conditioned vehicle
.Tips and gratuities
.Lunch and drinks
.Entrance fees (optional)
.Local guide fees (optional)
.Anything not mentioned in the program
The Itinerary Of One Day Trip To Essaouira
► The journey to this former Portuguese fishing village offers up only a few roadside towns and the occasional Berber village. In the ’60s and ’70s, Essaouira was a pitstop on the hippie trek from Marrakesh. Jimi Hendrix made the pilgrimage, as did Bob Marley and Cat Stevens. Essaouira was the inspiration for Hendrix’s song “Castles Made of Sand”.
► Visit this sea-side medieval town that boasts lovely white-washed and blue-shutteredhouses, colonnades, thuya wood workshops, art galleries and mouthwatering seafood.
► Once called Mogador by European sailors and traders, Essaouria is known for its annual Gnaoua Music Festival that attracts 300,000+ people in June. It also has an expansive beach for surfing called Plage de Safi.
► Take a stroll along the town’s sunlit pedestrian main square, Place Prince Moulay el Hassan and the Skala du Port, the fishing harbor, offers breathtaking views of the Portuguese ramparts. Explore the ramparts and the spice and jewelry souks of the medina.
► En route to Essaouira stop at an Argan Cooperative to see how women make Argan Oil, Nut Butter and cometics from the Argan nut. Option to continue directly to Essaouira or visit a local winery for a wine and cheese tasting. Enjoy the local wines produced in the region of Essaouira.
► The medina of Essaouira (formerly “Mogador”) is a UNESCO World Heritage listed city, as an example of a late-18th century fortified town.
► Have lunch at the fish-grill cafes, with wooden tables and benches laid out overlooking the sea that was once- in the 19th century- the only Moroccan port south of Tangier.
► After lunch visit Orson Welles’ Square and memorial, designed by Samir Mustapha, one of the towns artists, which pays homage to Orson Welles filming of Othello in Essouaria. Essaouira’s history is a reminder of the times when Spain, Portugal and England fought to maintain control over its coasts. It has a typical Portuguese harbor that is a stunning example of Moorish and Portuguese architecture.
► For a side-excursion within Essaouira Morocco consider a visit at Ranch de Diabat, located in the small village Diabat. Ranch de Diabat arranges tours of high quality with quads on the beach, camels or horses – and it can be for 2 hours or it can be for several days.
► Weather permitting, consider extending your stay to try kayaking, kite surfing, wind surfing, or just regular surfing. Essaouira is the wind capital of Africa and the world.
OPTION: ESSAOUIRA JEWISH HERITAGE TOUR
Tour Essaouira’s Jewish Heritage Sites:
Jewish Essaouira – The Synagogue, Cemetery & Mellah Essaouira’s total population is 70,000 with fewer than 25 Jews. The Jewish community dates from around 1700.
Visit the Essaouira Jewish Synagogue & Mellah:
Jacky Kadoch is the president of Essaouira’s Jewish community. Rabbi Chaim Pinto, the synagogue of the revered Pinto is located in Essaouira’s medina within the Jewish Mellah. The building is an active synagogue, used when pilgrims or Jewish tour groups visit the city.
Tour the Essaouira Jewish Cemetery:
Essaouira was founded in 1765. The oldest tombs date from 1776. Contrary to Jewish tradition and Mosaic Law, the tombs are sculptured with very marked human forms. The marble, granite, and sandstone memorial markers are rough stones or boulders, flat, shaped stones, finely smoothed and inscribed stones, and mausoleums. Some have traces of painting on their surfaces. Inscriptions are in Hebrew and French. The local Jewish community owns the site. The sea is adjacent to the cemetery.
Tour Essaouira’s Jewish Mellah:
Essaouira’s mellah covers over 10 percent of the town, but Jews constituted almost 40 percent of the population in the late 1880’s. Jewish stars on the doors to the mellah show the degree to which Jews were accepted in Essaouira, to the point that some of the richer Jews did not even live in the mellah. Commemorative plaques indicate the buildings in which synagogues were located.