A Guide to the Best and Worst of Essaouira, Morocco
Morocco is a beautiful country with many things to explore and discover. One of the most popular places to visit is Essaouira, a coastal city located on the northwest coast of Morocco. Known for its beautiful beaches, stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, and vibrant culture, Essaouira is a great destination for those looking for a unique experience.
Here is a guide to the best and worst of Essaouira. From the must-see attractions to the places you should avoid, this guide will help you make the most out of your trip to this stunning city.
1. La Skala de la Kasbah
La Skala de la Kasbah is one of the most popular attractions in Essaouira. Located at the entrance to the old medina, this fortification was built in the late 18th century by Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah as a defense against the Portuguese who were occupying the town at the time. Today, La Skala de la Kasbah offers visitors a glimpse into the past and stunning views of the city below.
2. Place Moulay el Hassan
Place Moulay el Hassan is a large public square in the heart of Essaouira. It is one of the most popular places to visit in the city and is a great spot to take in the local culture. Here, visitors can find street performers, food stalls, and vendors selling traditional crafts and other souvenirs.
3. Beach of Essaouira
No visit to Essaouira is complete without a trip to the beach. The beach of Essaouira is a stunning stretch of white sand and crystal clear waters that offer the perfect backdrop for a relaxing day in the sun. Visitors can also take part in various watersports such as windsurfing, kitesurfing, and fishing.
4. Essaouira Ramparts
The Essaouira Ramparts are a series of walls and towers that surround the city. These ancient fortifications were built in the 16th century and offer visitors a glimpse into the city’s rich history. The ramparts are a great place to explore and take in the stunning views of the ocean.
5. Medina of Essaouira
The Medina of Essaouira is a bustling maze of alleyways and souks that are full of life. Here, visitors can explore the winding streets and soak in the vibrant atmosphere of the city. There are also many shops and restaurants where visitors can purchase souvenirs and sample traditional Moroccan cuisine.
Places to Avoid in Essaouira
1. Port of Essaouira: The port of Essaouira is a busy area that can be dangerous for tourists. The area is known for its high crime rate and it is best to avoid it if possible.
2. Souks: The souks in Essaouira can be overwhelming for visitors. The area is often crowded and it can be difficult to find your way around. It is also important to be aware of pickpockets in the area.
3. Henna Artists: Henna artists are a common sight in Essaouira, but it is important to be aware of the risks associated with getting a henna tattoo. Many of these tattoos contain harmful chemicals that can cause skin irritation and infections.
4. Beggars: Beggars are common in Essaouira and it is important to be aware of their presence. It is best to avoid giving money to beggars as this can encourage more people to beg and create an unsafe environment.
5. Taxi Drivers: Taxi drivers in Essaouira can be aggressive and it is important to be aware of their presence. It is best to only take taxis from reputable companies and always agree on a price before getting in the car.