Mini Blue Beyond the Red City – Essaouira

Imagine yourself strolling through a maze of vibrant blue alleys, the salty breeze carrying the scent of fresh seafood and aromatic spices.

Essaouira, it is. A charming coastal town in Morocco where ancient ramparts meet bohemian vibes.

About 3 hours drive west of Marrakech, sadly, one-way car hire is not possible. Apart from that, three options for transport; bus, taxi, or private transfer.  There is no train line to Essaouira. To get bus, simply check the CTM website, Markoub (available on iOS as well). Also, you may check if there’s any Supratour bus available.

Alternatively, you can take a taxi, a very common and affordable way to commute. In Morocco, there are different types of taxis:

  • Small Taxi : urban taxis called ‘Petit taxi’.
  • Big Taxi : extra urban taxis called in french ‘Grand Taxi’
  • Shared : similar concept with Hong Kong’s 泥蜢的

From Marrakech bus station to Essaouira, price starts from 600DH/p, but once again, bargain is a way to make friends in Morocco. Feel free to play with your bargaining skills and enjoy your journey 😉

Worth reminding is, some unscrupulous taxi drivers may try to make a detour knowing that you are a foreigner, so it is recommended that you agree a fixed price in advance or ask the driver to use the meter (if it is a petit taxi).

P.S. Taxis are in different colors in each city, for instance, taxis in Tangier and Meknes are light blue whilst in Casablanca and Fes they are in Red! For some cities, you might even see pink taxis!

P.S. For other train journey, you may also check this ONCF website or download their “ONCF TRAFIC” applications.

Nestled along Morocco’s Atlantic coast, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Essaouira is a captivating blend of history, culture, and laid-back charm. Once a pirate haven and a coveted trading post, this charming town has proudly resisted the attempted invasions of Spain, France, England, and the Netherlands, leaving behind a rich tapestry of stories etched in its very walls.

As you wander through the labyrinthine streets of Essaouira’s medina, remnants of its glorious past come to life. Admire the 16th-century Spanish cannons that still line the coastline, silent sentinels of a bygone era. Explore the imposing Skala de la Kasbah, a fortress that once served as a lookout point and defensive stronghold. And don’t miss the Sqala du Port d’Essaouira, a prominent landmark that served as a backdrop for the popular HBO series “Game of Thrones.”

Beyond the Historic Charm

Beyond its rich history and cultural vibrancy, Essaouira offers a delightful escape for those seeking relaxation and adventure. Stroll along the pristine beaches, where the rhythmic lull of the waves provides a soothing soundtrack to your seaside escape. Or, simply find a cozy spot on the beach, soak up the sun’s warmth, and let the worries of the world melt away.

No visit to the coastal town of Essaouira would be complete without immersing yourself in the vibrant world of its fish market, the Halls aux Poissons. As you step into this open-air marketplace, a symphony of aromas greets you – the tang of the sea, the brininess of fresh catch, and perhaps a hint of something less savory. But for seafood enthusiasts, this is an olfactory heaven, a promise of culinary delights straight from the ocean’s bounty- For a mere 30 dirhams, you’ll receive a generous portion of crispy, golden fish, accompanied by fresh bread and tangy sauces. It’s a feast for the senses, a testament to the city’s freshness.

Salut Maroc

Here comes my personal favorite in Essaouira, an integration of a trendy hotel and stylish restaurant- Salut Maroc.

Essaouira is more than just a place; it’s an experience that lingers long after you’ve left its shores. It’s the whisper of history in the ancient ramparts, the rhythm of music in the bustling streets, and the tranquility of the sea breeze. If you are still thinking, don’t, just pack your bags, embrace the spirit of adventure, and prepare to discover the captivating charm of Essaouira.