Essaouira Things to Do Tips by matcrazy1 Top 5 Page for this destination
Essaouira Things to Do: 197 reviews and 413 photos
MEDINA AND MINARET
There are a few Muslim mosques in the medina. The city skyline is dominated by tall, always square in shape, minarets (in Turkey they are round). Nowadays, loudspeakers on a top replaced alive muezzines and call Muslims to prayer five times a day.
I packed long trousers to my city backpack to put them on as I wanted to visit at least one mosque. But they all are closed for non-Muslim visitors :-(.
PLACE PRINCE MOULAY HASSAN
I started my walk around Essaouira early in the morning and at first... I felt a bit strange as I didn't see any foreign visitors. When I thought that I was the only one, I got to large, rectangular, white square called Place Prince Moulay Hassan where surprisingly I met quite numerous foreign visitors sitting in a few restaurants/bars and eating breakfast.
The renovated recently square looked more European than the rest, more neglected, part of the city. It reminded me Andalusian white towns in southern Spain. The square is a place to eat, sleep (2 hotels there) and watch mainly visitors.
CITY WALL AND GATE
My main activity was strolling around the medina of Essaouira and discovering its hidden, charming, little corners. I surely got lost a few times but... it was OK, and Essaouira is not that large not to find right way in a few minutes. Just don't forget where you parked your car :-).
The arabic city is surrounded by tall red walls and include many smaller in height, but still thick, walls inside as well. There are many both small and more impressive, large gates.
SKALA DE LA VILLE
The fortifications called Skala de la Ville are located on the northern end of the ramparts. They look quite nice but not impressive I could say and for sure much better from a little farer distance. Never mind, the views of the Atlantic Ocean are amazing from that place. Add a few small local souvenir shops and restaurants/bars put down the Skala.
THE CLIFFS AND THE ATLANTIC OCEAN
Location of Essaouira was very wise in times when protection was a matter of survival. Look at the cliffs around the ramparts to understand what I mean. Nowadays you can enjoy interesting views over the cliffs and the Atlantic Ocean.
What are the ramparts in Essaouira? A large wall built round a town to protect it? Yes, but they are placed between the city and the Atlantic Ocean on a cliff coast as well.
So it's double attraction: the ramparts themselves and the amazing views over the ocean and the cliffs. And it was the most lively area of a city during day, I think. I could watch people there: both natives - mainly youths during lunch break (haha, some most brave of them were jumping to the ocean from the ramparts) and some (but not very many in October) tour groups. Charming narrow street running parallel to the ramparts is a must see.
This square, a bit neglected, clock tower looked at first very old and stood by main street of the old town and together with city walls and the sun was my good orientation point.
Essaouira was founded over 3000 years ago as a Phoenician trading post. But unfortunatelly there are no remainings of that old time. The city exisitng now is much younger. The ramparts were designed by French architects over 200 years ago.
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