A Travelers’ Guide to Essaouira | Mogador |
Essaouira is situated on the western coast of Morocco, and it is one of the most beautiful places in the entire country.
Facing the Atlantic Ocean towards the west and a variety of landforms on the east, the region is an important hub for trade, culture and more.
There are several important cities and towns along the western coast of Morocco.
Playing a major part in the country’s trade and commerce, as well as cultural development, they have been indispensable for the development of Morocco for a very long time.
Of them all, one of the most important is the town of Essaouira, located along the northern part of this vast coastal stretch.
Essaouira is a small coastal town located along the Atlantic coast of Morocco.
Situated in a fairly remote region of the country’s east coast.
Essaouira is a popular tourist destination, well known for its history, culture, traditions and last but not the least, its architectural styles.
The city was since ancient times known to have some of the best anchorages in the region and was thus used as a port for a very long time.
It, later on, came under the control of European colonists, who added to the culture and architecture of the region, much of which is evident even today.
In comparison to some of the other destinations in the region, Essaouira is a fairly small coastal town like no other.
It is a fairly liberal place, known for its peace, as well as its historical monuments, culture and more.
The answer to this question is both a yes and no.
Essaouira is well known popular tourist destinations along the western coast of the country.
Formerly known as Mogador, it is largely an economic hub for trade-related activities.
It is only in recent times that tourism has increased in the area.
Rich in history and culture, as well as a variety of different architectural designs.
This is one tourist destination in the city that you cannot miss out on.
It has also become a favorite hippy paradise ever since the late 1960s.
Furthermore, it should be added that Essaouira isn’t as big of a tourist destination, in comparison to some of the other cities in the region.
There is, however, a growing number of tourists frequenting the region.
The city of Essaouira is divided into several areas, the details of which are given below:
This is one of the most important places in all of Essaouira.
It is a vast plaza located in between the city’s port region and the medina.
Popular among families and tourists, who frequent it in the evening for relaxation.
Also, the venue for an important event, the Gnaoua Festival, which is held year after year.
The name of the place is French for ‘Place of the Resistance’ and is located close to the headquarters of the commune of Essaouira.
It is a plaza named after the struggle for Independence that took place in the country, to free itself from French colonial rule.
It is today an important plaza as well as the neighborhood, frequented by locals and tourists alike.
This is the port region of the city.
Located at the western fringe of the city, the port of Essaouira faces the Atlantic Ocean and was once a busy center for trade and commerce.
The first major port was founded in 1770 and served as an important trade link in the region until the trade shifted to other areas.
Although there isn’t much trade activity here, in comparison to other nearby ports, Essaouira does have an active fisheries industry.
Numerous boats can be seen anchored in the waters, many of which are painted in a distinct blue color.
In addition to this, there are many old buildings in the area, which date back to colonial times and beyond.
The medina, is in simple terms, a word used for an old area of the city, characterized by narrow lanes and streets.
The Medina of Essaouira is an excellent example of a walled city, built as a walled city during the 18th century.
In the medinas, one can find numerous sellers of traditional handicrafts and other goods, and also many residential areas.
A Mellah is in simple terms, a place where Jews lived.
They refer to the small Jewish settlements that existed before its inhabitants moved on to live elsewhere.
Essaouira has one Mellah located near to the coastal fringe of the city. It is in a fairly dilapidated condition and features numerous old buildings.
If you happen to visit the Mellah area, avoid entering the buildings. They are fairly unstable, and many have already collapsed.
For a very long time, Essaouira remained an important hub of trade and commerce.
With the growth of the tourism industry, there has been a growing nightlife across the city.
It is today famous for its numerous nightclubs, bars and more.
This began a very long time ago after the city started to be frequented by hippies, who used to congregate in this part of Morocco.
Among the many famous pastimes in the region are drinking along the beach, meeting new people and enjoying the local cuisine.
Moreover, the nightlife of this city is fairly calmer and less crowded than those in other parts of Morocco.
Meaning that it’s great if you are seeking fun without getting overwhelmed.
Being a colonial possession of France for a very long time, there is a distinct influence of French culture even in the nightlife scene.
Moreover, the people and the environment in and around the city are fairly laid back and have a liberal attitude.
Which makes the place great for an active nightlife.
If you happen to be visiting Essaouira, one of the most important things to know, is that the city is fairly liberalized and friendly to outsiders.
For those who are into history and architecture, this is a great city like no other, due to the many colonial buildings, plazas, walls and more.
Others who might want to visit the place include those seeking rest.
Although the city is fairly popular with tourist, it isn’t as frequent as other cities, making for an excellent tourist destination.
Concerning safety, the city is fairly safe for tourists.
As long as you follow reasonable precautions, you should do fine.
Also, many of the locals are to some extent fluent in English, which should be useful for foreigners.
The temperatures can be fairly warm to hot, depending on the time of year.
So it is advised to wear light-colored clothing while visiting the place.
Also, winters can be mild to a cold, so you will probably have to bring some thermal wear.
Last but not least, the place, being close to the Atlantic, tends to have strong rains from time to time.
so it’s a good idea to be prepared for this as well
Video By: Justin VAUDAUX
As a whole, the city of Essaouira is an excellent example of the country’s rich architecture and culture.
Add to that the beauty of the vast Atlantic Ocean, and you have a tourist destination that simply cannot be missed out on.
SO if you happen to be visiting the vast western coasts of the country.
Try to check out the city of Essaouira, Be sure, you will not be disappointed.
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