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Essaouira lies on the Atlantic coast west of Morocco and is one of the most picturesque towns in the country. Originally a Phoenician trading post, it prospered during the Roman era as citizens extracted the Tyrian purple color, beloved of Roman Emperors and kings, from a local shellfish.

The Sultan Sidi Mohammed had a captive Frenchman design the town and promoted trade, making Essaouira a cosmopolitan commercial center.

The fortifications that ring the city provided a haunting backdrop for Orson Wells’ Othello. Built by the Portuguese, these are intrinsic to the charm of Essaouira.

Highlights of Essaouira

Essaouira, MarrakeshOther attractions include the port, bringing in fresh fish each day, and the tremendous beach that stretches away to the south.

The easy-going nature of the town, the dramatic ramparts and the beach, with its excellent windsurfing, have combined to attract artists and hippies for years, creating a bohemian atmosphere quite different from the rest of the country.

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who's been there

Audley Travel Country Specialist Kerry-Ann

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Essaouira by contacting one of our Morocco specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Essaouira

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Essaouira, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Essaouira

Places & hotels on the map

    Places near Essaouira

    Our expert guides to exploring Essaouira

    Written by our specialists from their own experiences of visiting Essaouira, these guides will help you make the most of your time there. We share both our practical recommendations and the best ways to appreciate Essaouira at its best.

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    Accommodation choices for Essaouira

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Essaouira. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.