"Essaouira: Hippy Paradise & World Heritage Site" Essaouira by iwys

Essaouira Travel Guide: 508 reviews and 1,433 photos

Essaouira is one of the most laid back places in the world. No wonder that in the late 60s it rivalled Kathmandu as a hippy paradise. It was visited by Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, Cat Stevens, Leonard Cohen...you get the picture.

I really love this place and would seriously consider it as one of my Top 10 places in the world, ahead of Marrakech definitely.

The Medina of Essaouira is, as UNESCO describe it,"an exceptional example of an eighteenth century fortified town". It is consequently listed as a World Heritage Site. It is a colourful place, with golden beaches, whitewashed houses and blue fishing boats.

The Phoenecians stopped here as early as the 7th century BC and the Carthaginian navigator, Hanno established a trading post here in the 5th century BC. In 1506 the King of Portugal ordered the building of the first fortress to defend this startegically important harbour.

The city and fortifications we see today, was largely built during the 18th century by Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah, who brought in a French military engineer, Thodore Cornut, to construct a modern fortress, the walls and towers of which are still in perfect condition.

  • Last visit to Essaouira: Oct 2006
  • Intro Updated Apr 5, 2007
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Reviews (26)

Comments (3)

  • Jan 13, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    In '74, the Riad el Medina was the hippie hotel... buzzing all night long with people, foreigners and Moroccans both, and very cheap. The talk was all of Hendrix , word was that he'd stayed in the hotel that now bears his name.....in Diabet, 7k South.

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    Apr 1, 2007 at 10:46 PM

    An excellent page, with beautiful photos on this fascinating city! On my last visit, I did not see the Orson Welles Square! As an independent traveller, I ignored everything of Jimmy Hendrickx in Essaouira, haha!

  • freddie18's Profile Photo
    Mar 5, 2007 at 7:00 PM

    I always like Morocco. The more I am eager to visit the country when I came across your tips of Essaouira. No matter what, I will be in this country sooner than later. Thanks Ian.


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