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Explore the Old City of Essaouira

Essaouira, Morocco


Added by Andreas Brokalakis

A wonderful city on the Atlantic Ocean

As ones approaches Essaouira from one of the main roads that connect it either with Marrakesh or Casablanca, it gives the impression of a modern european city. Leaving the car in side though and entering the fortified walls of the old city, this impression is put to rest and a magnificent morrocan medina unfolds.

In comparison with other medinas in the country, the location of the city by the ocean makes everything look lighter and brighter. The colors that dominate are mostly white and the alleys are wider letting more sun pass through. A photographer's paradise, as people are also more open too. Be prepared to walk a lot to discover all the hidden corners, markets, shops, cafes and little squares. Despite the growing tourism and the historic connection of the city with the rest of the world because of its port, the medina holds an indisputable oriental vibe that will never make you question the fact that it is located in Morocco.

Beyond the alleys of the medina, the fortifications protecting the city from invaders from the sea are also amazing. There are two main sea forts (they are called Scala or Sqala) with the one protecting the port (Sqala du Port) being the most impressive - and typically the most common photo you may have seen from the Essaouira. There you will also find a bursting with life port, full of wooden boats and fishermen and a great place to enjoy street food: grilled sardines straight from the ocean. As a note, the fact that this is the main fish market area as the boats unloads fresh fish captured in the ocean, makes it quite a ...smelly area. So prepare yourself accordingly!

From the port also starts a long sand beach. If you are into (wind) surfing, then this is one of the best places to be in Morocco. If not, you can surely enjoy your swim there or if you are more adventurous a camel or arabian stallion ride, a football game with locals and lots of other activities.

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