Essaouira Holidays: Why Take a Walk on the Wild Side?
Essaouira is an ancient Moroccan city which has become a popular tourist destination in recent years. Many believe that the entire region has been inhabited since prehistoric times and this is primarily due to the fact that it has always been an important port in terms of trade with nearby cultures. Another benefit associated with this location is that unlike other cities within Morocco, it offers direct access to the Atlantic Ocean. Not only is it a famous beach resort, but its location within the relative centre of the coastline makes it a perfect excursion in terms of day trips with a vehicle. Let’s now take a closer look at some of the main attractions associated with Essaouira as well as when you should visit.
The Main Sights Within Essaouira
We should first mention that the old centre of this town was fortified against invaders and unlike other locations within North Africa, the ruins have remained largely intact. This is the primary reason why a location known as The Medina of Essaouira has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The only thing to keep in mind is that unlike other portions of the city as a whole, there are only a handful of modern hotels located within Medina. It is therefore a good idea to seek accommodations elsewhere before visiting this portion of Essaouira.
As mentioned previously, Essaouira has always enjoyed prominence as a coastal port. Much of its history involves maritime activities and the sheer scale of the fish markets here cannot be taken lightly. There are many of these markets found close to the city and visiting these locations is an excellent way to appreciate fishing techniques that have been passed down for countless generations. If you are in the mood for fresh fish, be sure to to check out locations such as Xiphias Gladius.
The administration of Essaouira is well aware that tourism plays an important role in terms of revenue generation. This is the main reason why an ancient local festival has been transformed into an open-air yearly gathering known simply as the “Funfair”. It is now on display constantly and there are numerous stalls which will enable you to purchase souvenirs as well as impressive hand-made tapestries.
In terms of markets, there is perhaps not better way to interact with the locals than to visit the world-renowned Essaouira Book Market. Not only is this an excellent option if you are a fan of literature, but you could very well stumble across a text that is quite undervalued in terms of its price within Europe or the United Kingdom. This market is open throughout the year although the exact hours will vary.
What to Keep in Mind
Much like other North African countries and cities, Essaouira observes Muslim traditions. Please keep this in mind, as shops tend to be closed during certain portions of the day. This city can become quite hot in the height of the summer, so it could be a better idea to schedule a holiday in the early spring or the late autumn. You will enjoy moderate temperatures and the chances of rain are slim.