Essaouira and the Atlantic Coast

Excursions from Marrakech, Marrakech

An excursion to  the charming fortified town of Essaouira from Marrakech.

Essaouira has the remains of a l6th century Portuguese fort and a mid-eighteenth century Medina, constructed according to the principles of European military architecture yet in a Moroccan context and in perfect harmony with the precepts of Moroccan architecture and town-planning.

Essaouira has played a major role over the centuries as part of the old caravan route, linking Morocco with sub-Saharan Africa and as an international trading seaport linking Morocco with Europe and the rest of the world. The town is also an example of a multicultural centre demonstrated by the coexistence of Muslims, Jews and Christians.

We start our drive from Marrakech to the Atlantic coast, crossing the Argan tree forests where we will visit a womens' cooperative making the famous Moroccan argan oil from the fruit kernels.

We will enter the city through one of its historical gates and start exploring the traditional and colourful streets, food markets and artisan workshops.

We will stop at the Essaouira Museum, which bears the name of the founder of the city, King Sidi Mahemed Ben Abdellah. You will find an interesting display of artefacts such as archaeological finds from the islands of Mogador or Berber ethnic jewellery from the neighbouring tribes.

We will climb up to the Portuguese fortress, which in the l6th century was one of their navigational ports of call.

With our guide we will see some of the local art galleries and the cabinet making workshops.

We will stop to visit the fishing harbour and we may want to stop here for an optional lunch at one of the seafood stalls.

We'll take time for a stroll along the beach or back into town for some shopping before we leave to head back to Marrakesh.

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