Three days in Essaouira give you time to experience the laid-back pace of life for which the city is known. Lose yourself in the souks, kitesurf on Morocco’s windiest beach, and discover local culture and cuisine. Here’s how to spend 72 hours in Essaouira.
Day 1: Souks, seafood, and sightseeing
The best way to get around Essaouira is on foot, and a walking tour offers insight into the city’s fascinating history and pop culture connections. Visit the old citadel at Scala du Port, then walk along the ramparts for a sweeping view of the coast.
Continue into the medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site lined with blue and white painted buildings. Stop by some art galleries, and shop for traditional handicrafts in the mazelike souks.
In the early evening, make your way to the port to watch as the colorful fishing boats return to shore with the day’s catch and crowds gather to purchase fresh seafood. Sample it for yourself at one of the restaurants around Moulay el Hassan square.
Day 2: Sun, sea, and kitesurfing
Blessed with strong sea winds, Essaouira is considered one of Morocco’s best spots for surfing and kitesurfing. So, book a morning surfing or kitesurfing class—you’ll find options to suit all levels.
In the afternoon, head out on an all-terrain vehicle excursion, horseback ride, or camel ride. Essaouira’s beaches, sand dunes, and coastal forests provide the perfect backdrop—some tours even include a picnic.
After an action-packed day, relax with a cold beer at one of the beachside bars, and watch the sun set over the ocean.
Day 3: Cultural immersion
Day-trip destinations from Essaouria include Marrakech and the beach resort of Agadir, and there are ample hiking opportunities in the surrounding countryside. Alternatively, use your final day to experience local life and immerse yourself in Moroccan culture.
Start with a visit to an argan oil collective and learn how Morocco’s world-famous oil is produced. Take a walk through the argan forests, see the workshops, and enjoy mint tea with members of the cooperative. Don’t forget to pick up some oil as a souvenir.
In the afternoon, join a cooking class and discover the secrets behind Moroccan dishes such as tagine and couscous. Shop for ingredients at the local market while learning about typical herbs and spices, then prepare a delicious dinner to share with your hosts.