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How to Spend 1 Day in Essaouira

How to Spend 1 Day in Essaouira

Whether you’re there on a day trip from Marrakech or enjoying a stopover along Morocco’s south coast, one day in Essaouira is just enough time to take in the highlights. Explore the UNESCO-listed medina, browse the souks, and take a camel ride along the beach. Here’s how to make the most of 24 hours in this port city.

Morning: The medina

A walking tour is the ideal way to discover Essaouira’s medina, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the heart of the historic city. Start with a visit to the old citadel, the Scala du Port—climb up to the ramparts for sweeping views of the coast. Continue into the medina, where the mazelike streets, palm-shaded plazas, and blue and white painted buildings make for impressive photos. Then, stop by the lively Moulay el Hassan square to enjoy a glass of Moroccan mint tea or a seafood lunch.

Afternoon: From the souks to the port

Essaouira’s souks stretch from the center of the medina all the way up to the northern gate of Bab Doukkala. Part of the charm is getting lost in the labyrinthine lanes, so give yourself plenty of time to wander around the tiny shops, markets, and workshops. This is the place to pick up traditional souvenirs, such as colorful handicrafts, exotic spices, and Moroccan argan oil. For a more personalized experience, shop with a private guide who can help you haggle for the best prices. 

In the late afternoon, head over to the port to watch as the fishing boats return to shore with the day’s haul—it’s a memorable sight, so don’t forget your camera. 

Night: Sunset sightseeing

A camel ride is a quintessential experience for visitors to Morocco. Set out on a scenic sunset ride along beaches, forest trails, and dunes, savoring the views along the coast. 

Afterward, return to Essaouira Beach for a drink at one of the beachfront bars. Or, attend a performance of traditional Gnaoua music and dance. Essaouira is an important center of the art form, and hosts the annual Gnaoua World Music Festival.

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7 Tours and Activities | All Essaouira Tours

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Essaouira Day Trip from Marrakech

Essaouira Day Trip from Marrakech

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415
Spend a day in the seaside community of Essaouira on a full-day trip from Marrakech, and discover an atmospheric medina, colorful bazaars, and a center that bustles with open-air cafes and seafood restaurants. Pre-booking a ride to Essaouira is a hassle-free way of making the trip, with all transport by climate-controlled minivan, plus a short guided tour of the area before exploring independently. This trip includes pickup and drop-off at centrally-located hotels in Marrakech.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$28.28
From
$28.28
Taking safety measures

3 hours ride on camel at sunset

3 hours ride on camel at sunset

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207
I join my clients at the meeting point of their choice, to drop them near hiking trails, A briefing is organized before each ride to prepare them better. A chick and a djellaba will be provided to protect them from the wind or the sand stirred by the legs of the dromedaries, several information about this faithful companion of the Man since the night of time, will be revealed to them throughout the course which will last three hours. A picnic break is planned after 1 hour to refuel, and savor this beautiful moment, on the menu: (a Royal Tea + homemade bread + argan oil + homemade cakes) .Recover the walk between wild beaches, forests, dunes and historical ruins. Back to attend a most wonderful show: a sun hanging on the doors of the sunset between sky and sea.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$55.33
From
$55.33

Experience Essaouira: Food and Art Walking Tour of the Medina and Ramparts

Experience Essaouira: Food and Art Walking Tour of the Medina and Ramparts

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31
Experience Essaouira’s most distinctive food and art on a 3-hour walking tour of the medina’s rich history and vibrant culture. Sample traditional sweets at the city’s oldest pastry shop and stroll the fortifications with a local guide; follow the winding lanes of a neighborhood souk to artists’ studios and workshops. Dine alongside locals as you enjoy freshly-caught fish from the Essaouira Bay, savor a sweet dessert then learn local remedies in a herbalist’s shop over a traditional glass of Moroccan tea.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$50.41
From
$50.41
Taking safety measures

Horse Ride on the Beach in Essaouira

Horse Ride on the Beach in Essaouira

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66
Ride a horse across Essaouira’s beaches, dunes, and forest on this tour. Select a horse that’s suited to your riding experience — beginners start with a basic riding lesson — then walk, canter, or gallop across the smooth sand; clamber up steep seaside dunes to sweeping views, and wind through the shade of Essaouira’s arid forests.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$34.68
From
$34.68

Private Day Tour to Essaouira from Marrakech

Private Day Tour to Essaouira from Marrakech

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9
Relish the coastal charm of Essaouira, one of the most enchanting cities on the Atlantic Coast, on a private full-day tour from Marrakech with a professional guide. Travel past fertile farmland, bounteous valleys and UNESCO-listed Argan trees before arriving at Essaouira and embarking on a guided walking tour of the bustling Medina. Learn about the rich cultural mixture that has influenced the city’s architecture, and admire throngs of quaint whitewashed houses and enticing seafood restaurants. Enjoy some relaxed free time on Essaouira’s blissful beach before returning to Marrakech in the evening.
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  • 7 to 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$90.00
From
$90.00
Taking safety measures

Experience Morocco: Essaouira Gnawa Music and Dance Performances

Experience Morocco: Essaouira Gnawa Music and Dance Performances

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4
Immerse yourself in Essaouira’s Gnawa tradition on a 3-hour music tour to local homes and thriving haunts. Experience the city’s distinctive African rhythms as you slip into a sacred Gnawa temple, watch an intimate dance performance and study the dancers’ traditional costumes. Meet a Gnawa master for a private demonstration, learn how guembri instruments are made, then take in Essaouira’s vibrant music scene at a local venue, where young musicians blend their musical heritage with Latin beats and Western sounds in the heart of the old city.
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  • 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$78.69
From
$78.69
Taking safety measures

Private Tour: Essaouira Gourmet Day Trip from Marrakech

Private Tour: Essaouira Gourmet Day Trip from Marrakech

Explore Essaouira and discover Morocco’s rich cuisine on a private, full-day gourmet trip from Marrakech. Watch workers harvest pure argan oil at a local cooperative then navigate the narrow lanes of the city’s UNESCO-recognized medina. Browse vivid displays of pottery, jewelry and finely carved wood; enjoy a traditional lunch of regional specialties. Walk seaside ramparts to Essaouira’s historic harbor, watch fishermen bring in the daily catch then leave the city walls for the lushly terraced Val d’Argan, and sample a few of the region’s classic wines before returning to Marrakech.
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  • 10 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$27.87
From
$27.87