"A clean city" Top 5 Page for this destination Essaouira by JLBG

Essaouira Travel Guide: 508 reviews and 1,433 photos

Essaouira is a 70,000 inhabitants fishing harbour, 150 km west to Marrakech. It is one of the "must see" in Morocco.
Carthagenian sailor Hannon anchored in its well sheltered mooring. Carthagenian used it for centuries as the last continental harbour on the way to the Green-cape islands and to the equator. The Romans took it in 146 BC and put Juba II, the king of Mauretania as their vassal to rule the town. He developped the production of salt fish and of purple. Noble Romans used extensively purple for their clothes and thus the production of purple was very important for them. Purple gave their name to the islands that protects the harbour : "Îles Purpuraires".

Later, the Portuguese took control of the place and called it Mogador. In 1764, Sultan Mohammed Ben Abdallah hired Théodore Cornut, a French architect that worked for the English in Gibraltar. He drew the plans and built up the harbour and the casbah as they are now. The name of Es-Saouira means "the well drawn" and refers to the very regular plan of the city.

To day, Essaouira is a very clean city. Everywhere, posters remind to keep it clean

The fort is one of the main features of the town but their is much to see in this windy and never too hot city.
As the Trade Winds blow in Essaouira, it is always windy. In Summer, while the temperature is often over 40°C in Marrakech (150 km), in Essaouira, it never goes over 25°C !

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Cool and clean
  • Cons:Cool and windy
  • In a nutshell:A must visit
  • Last visit to Essaouira: May 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (88)

Comments (26)

  • lynnehamman's Profile Photo
    Jan 27, 2009 at 3:53 PM

    Thanks for tips on Essaouira.We are planning a visit there soon.

  • tere1's Profile Photo
    Jun 5, 2008 at 4:38 AM

    Hi Jean Louis:). I was in Marrakech last weekend but wasn't able to make it to Esssaouira, which looks great!! Maybe another time.. Great page and photos! Teresa

  • Feb 29, 2008 at 4:48 AM

    Excellent picture! volopolo

  • ludogatto's Profile Photo
    Nov 1, 2007 at 2:31 PM

    I was in Essaouira in 2000 with the motorbike, I hope to come bak in the Windy city to do kite surf in Sidi Kauki again and for the gnawa music festival...I remember the taste of teh grilled sardins on the port

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Apr 25, 2007 at 8:52 AM

    Sorry that you were disappointed by Le Patio. In 2004, it was newly open and they cared for the customer. I suppose that 3 years later they feel they have enough customers and don’t care anymore! That is bad! Any other VTer gone to le Patio recently?

  • Apr 25, 2007 at 7:06 AM

    I disagree and am sorry i read your review because we wasted our money. The restaurant was awful; so dark you can't see your food, stinks of incense, the staff are more interested in gossiping than working and the food was dire.

  • sachara's Profile Photo
    Apr 3, 2007 at 2:10 PM

    I enjoyed my stay of three days in Essaouira last week. After our visit it's nice to have a look at your page again. Now I read it with other eyes. The ship building yard, fishing harbour and medina were interesting and lively places.

  • Pawtuxet's Profile Photo
    Jan 29, 2007 at 5:39 PM

    Fixing the Nets pic was just on front page of VT. Such rich and wonderful color. Why are we all so fascinated with fishermen and their work? Isn't it true?

  • Luchonda's Profile Photo
    Dec 21, 2006 at 3:52 AM

    Excellent page JL - have a nice X-mas and a good healty 2007 greetz from Belgium

  • suvanki's Profile Photo
    Apr 13, 2006 at 2:18 PM

    Hello, You inspired me to visit Essaouira, and I wasn't disappointed, I left wanting to return one day. I'm now booked for a visit and overnight stay in September. Thanks, and A Happy Easter to You. Sue X


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