With its brilliant blue and white architecture, windswept beach and easy-going charm, Essaouira is a popular excursion for day-trippers from Marrakech. It’s also a great place to kick back and relax for a few days.
Probably the best-known coastal town of Morocco, Essaouira has been occupied over the centuries by the Carthaginians, Romans and Portuguese. Behind the 18th century sea walls are thuya wood workshops, artists’ enclaves and silent alleyways where cats sun themselves and veiled women emerge from studded doorways. The harbour is a photographer’s dream, with fishing nets laid out on the quayside, boats unloading their catches and the smell of freshly-grilled sardines and lobster in the air.
To the south of the old city is a vast bay with miles of sandy beach. However, be warned: Essaouira’s bracing wind – the Alizé – means that this is not always a great place for sunbathing. Surfing, riding and windsurfing are the pastimes of choice. Essaouira offers an excellent choice of places to stay, from five-star hotels along the beach to beautifully restored riads in the old town.
You also have the option of staying outside Essaouira. About 25 km south of the city lies Kaouki Beach, where you can stay in less expensive but truly fun and charming little hotels.
A wonderful way to stay in Essaouira when being in the heart of the city sounds too stressful..!
A 12-room 18th century riad located a few meters from the beach and sheltered by the medina walls
A camp located on a deserted beach from March until September. Ideal for surfing, fishing, parties and relaxing
A 14-room boutique hotel in the new town
The Lawrence of Morocco map displays the locations of the destinations and accommodation that we have selected and visited; for each item, hovering over or clicking the marker will display a short summary and photo of that place or hotel, and hotel pricing. Follow the links in the info box to the full page listing which has much more information.
Note that the online map offers both a satellite view (click satellite in the top right) and, for some locations, a street level view (Drag the person in the top left onto the map). These let you explore the country; and when you wish to explore in person, or if you have any questions about the places you see, give our staff a call, or request a quote. Our staff regularly visit the places and accommodation that we feature.
When you book a holiday with us we will provide full driving instructions for reaching your accommodation, where necessary; these can be used by yourself, or you could enjoy the luxury of a driver. Alternatively we will arrange private (car rather than coach) transfers for you; helicopter transfers are also possible for some destinations.
Your team did an excellent job.
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. It's only today I noticed that your email had wrongly reached my junk mail folder!
We had a wonderful holiday. Everything went smoothly from start to finish. Both Villa Maroc and Riad Camilia exceeded our expectations and were perfect places to stay both having very friendly, helpful staff ...
Freelance travel writer, Fiona Dunlop, travelled to Southern Morocco with Lawrence of Morocco in April 2013, writing for the Independent.
Thank you for taking time to look at this site. Our site is a culmination of my 30 years and my fathers 50 years of experience in Morocco. We really know Morocco and have had the pleasure of making many people's dream trips become reality over the years. It has been my privilege to be asked to manage holidays, weddings and productions for so many fantastic and discerning clients. We remain small and dedicated to providing excellent honest advice to enable you to sit back, relax and enjoy the fun bits without having to manage the unpredictability of this fascinating country.
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