Go to Essaouira coastal city!

Essaouira in the Atlantic Coast is located just 260km away from Marrakech. Essaouira is one of best Morocco’s holidays destinations located not far from the Red City of Marrakech. A day trip from Marrakech to Essaouira is quite possible and you are able to enjoy Moroccan sea coast in one day.

Essaouira Morocco
Photo of the ramparts and Atlantic Ocean in Essaouira historical city, Morocco

On this page I will give you necessary Essaouira travel information. Where to go, transportation, also riad essaouira, bus schedules, day excursions departing from Marrakech and much more. I hope this page about Essaouira is somehow useful for you to prepare your vacations in Essaouira – Moroccan Atlantic coast.

You can rent a car in Marrakech or take an organized tour to Essaouira departing from Marrakech. On this page I will give you detailed information about Essaouira, how to get there, where to stay, what to see, photo gallery and several other interesting facts that will make it easy to prepare your next travel in Morocco.

Photo of street musicians in Essaouira old city
Photo of street musicians in Essaouira old city. These men usually play Berber music from the Souss region.

Map of Essaouira and Marrakech
You can navigate this map and zoom in and out.

Essaouira is the ancient city of Mogador on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. For centuries it was occupied by many invaders. In 1506, the King of Portugal built a fortress called “Castelo Real de Mogador”. The Medina of Essaouira formerly Mogador is a protected site included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. It is an excellent example Portuguese fortified architecture of the 16th century until the 18th century built in North Africa.

Photo inside the old Medina of Essaouira
Photo inside the old Medina of Essaouira

Essaouira is one of my favorite destinations in Morocco included on my Top 10 best Moroccan destinations. This city has a great atmosphere, relaxed and beautiful architecture and extremely photogenic. The small streets inside the walls, the fish markets and the port are some of the places not to be missed. There is a very busy nightlife with some cafes, lots of restaurants and a lively central square.

Photo of camels on the beach in Essaouira
Photo of camels on the beach in Essaouira. You can notice Essaouira old walls and the old city on the other side of the ocean waves. All around Essaouira you have plenty of beaches to enjoy the Atlantic Coast. Due to some wind and strong waves, Essaouira is the perfect place for wind surf and kite surf.

Essaouira is the ideal place to stay at least 2 or 3 days, with some excursions outside the city and the nearby beaches during this time. This is a fantastic region for water sports: Surfing, Kite-Surfing and Body-Board.

Photo of the entrance to Essaouira souks in the old medina in center town
Photo of the entrance to Essaouira souks in the old Medina in center town

Monuments in Essaouira – Essaouira Sightseeing

Basically Essaouira points of interest are two: the old city and the beaches. So, the majority of Essaouira sightseeing places are located inside the old city, inside the walls surrounding Essaouira. Essaouira beaches tend to be better if you go away from the city a couple of kms walking or taking a taxi.

Map of Essaouira, Essaouira street map
You can navigate this map and zoom in and out.

Don’t miss in Essaouira

  • The Medina and Souqs (markets)
  • Ramparts and The Port
  • Beaches
  • Gnaoua World Music festival (June)

Movie Othello from director Orson Welles

Othello movie from American filmmaker Orson Welles has many parts filmed in Essaouira and El Jadida in the Atlantic coast of Morocco. Both selected cities by Orson Welles were cities built by the Portuguese back in the 16th century. The Portuguese presence in Moroccan coast is very strong and many cities are quite well preserved with the ancient Portuguese architecture from the 16th century.

Photo of the old Skala of Essaouira and the fishing port
Photo of the old Skala of Essaouira and the fishing port

Othello is a drama movie filmed in 1952 based on a Shakespeare play performed by Mercury Productions Inc. and Les Films Marceau, distributed by United Artists in 1955. It was directed and produced by Orson Welles who also represented the film as an actor. The movie was filmed in El Jadida and Essaouira in Morocco, and Venice, in Tuscany and Rome in the Scaler Studios.

Movie Othello from Orson Welles

In the little movie above, when a man is placed in a cell tower of the fortress wall in Essaouira.

Travel by Bus and shared Taxi from Marrakech to Essaouira

It’s quite easy to travel from Marrakech to Essaouira by bus or grand taxi (shared taxi). I advise you to choose Supratours bus company as other private companies are not that reliable, they take too much time and not that safe.

An entire grand taxi from Marrakech to Essaouira costs 460 Moroccan Dirhams (about 46 Euros). Alternatively, it’s about 80dh (8 Euros) per sit if you wait and take a shared grand taxi with total of six passengers and leaving Marrakech bus terminal when full.

Supratours run 3 hours trip buses from the bus terminal next door to Marrakech’s train station to their office in Essaouira on the street at Bab Marrakech. The price is 70dh (7 Euros) per person plus 5 dh per luggage.

CTM buses also take 3 hours trip from Essaouira – Marrakech and the ticket costs 70 Dirhams. Coach / bus schedules for CTM Essaouira to Marrakech are: 12:30, 17:00 and from Marrakech to Essaouira are: 8:00, 12:30.

Photo of CTM bus leaving Essaouira bus terminal
Photo of CTM bus leaving Essaouira bus terminal

Riad in Essaouira, Essaouira Riad

Photo of the patio of Villa Garance - riad Essaouira Morocco
Photo of the patio of Villa Garance – riad Essaouira Morocco

If you’re looking for a fine place to stay during your travel to Essaouira I advise you the excellent Riad Villa Garance, located inside the old Medina of Essaouira and near all the most important sightseeing point in the old town. This Essaouira riad is located on No 10, Rue Eddakhil street in the old districts. I stayed in this riad in Essaouira back in 2010 during 3 days along with my wife and we loved the ambiance and amazing facilities inside a beautiful traditional Essaouira house. This beautiful riad in Essaouira has ten spacious rooms are arranged around the patio to welcome two or four guests in great comfort.They also have windows opening on to a quiet and bright street.

Photo of a room inside Riad Villa Garance in Essaouira
Photo of a room inside Riad Villa Garance in Essaouira. I stayed in this beautiful room during 3 days.

Villa Garance – Riad Essaouira Morocco

  • Address: 10, Rue Eddakhil, Essaouira – Morocco
  • Phones: +212 (0) 524.473.995 / +212 (0) 677.541.563
  • E-mail: villa.garance@gmail.com
  • Website / Bookings: Riad Essaouira www.essaouira-garance.com

Essaouira Day Excursion with Ideal Tours company

If you don’t have much time to travel to Essaouira and you wish to have a travel company organizing your trip to Essaouira, I advise you to contact Ideal Tours company which have a nice office located in Marrakech Gueliz district in the new part of the city. Ideal Tours provides several tours in Morocco, desert trips with Camel Trekking and also some 1 day excursions departing from Marrakech.

Photo of camel trekking in Essaouira beach
Photo of camel trekking in Essaouira beach

Essaouira Tour Description
Visit to the Port and its ramparts of Essaouira, the old Medina and “Scala”. In the Port you will eat fresh fish in a local Essaouira restaurant. You will have the chance of making a camel trekking ride on the beach (not included). The ambiance on this old city is fascinating as you will walk yourself in the ancient Portuguese streets of the Old Medina of Essaouira also known as Mogador. Return to Marrakesh in the evening.

Photo of inside Essaouira old town, the ancient city of Essaouira
Photo of inside Essaouira old town, the ancient city of Essaouira

Prices of 1 day Tour to Essaouira
Ideal Tours organizes private tours, so you and your family / friend will not share transportation with other groups. You pay the excursion for private transportation, fuel and driver included.

  • 2 people = 60 Euros per person
  • 3 people = 45 Euros per person
  • 4 people = 35 Euros per person
  • 5 people = 30 Euros per person
  • 6 people = 30 Euros per person

Ideal Tours Marrakech

Photo of Ideal Tours Office waiting room in Marrakech
Photo of Ideal Tours Office waiting room in Marrakech

  • 4X4 – Minibus – Bus – Marrakech & Ouarzazate
  • IDEAL TOURS MARRAKECH OFFICE
  • Angle Av Mohamed 5 / R Imam Ali
  • Res. Generosa 2 – Ap.3, PB 2623
  • Gueliz, Marrakech 40000 Morocco
  • Phone: +212.524.430.306
  • Fax: +212.524.430.305
  • Manager (Mr. Addi): +212.661.602.848
  • GSM: +212.661.469.825
  • Website: Tours Morocco

Other related posts: