Excursion to Essaouira
Essaouira, built in the 18th century by Mohammed III, (who wanted to reorient his kingdom towards the Atlantic for increased trade with European powers, chose Mogador for its key location. One of its objectives was to establish a port in closest possible point to Marrakech.The other was to cut off Agadir’s trade in the south, which had favored the political rival, and the people of Agadir were forced to move to Essaouira).
Essaouira is a small seaside town of the most fascinating, it is also called St Malo Marocain, a small fishing port on the Atlantic, 170 km from Marrakech.
Essaouira or also the ancient Mogador, which extends over an almost narrow and low island is nestled inside the ramparts dividing the old city into several districts. Its typical Portuguese port, from the top of La Scala you will have a magnificent view while admiring the bronze cannons that were cast in Spain. It is distinguished by the delicacy of its craftsmanship: woodwork (Thuja) With very beautiful inlay of ebony lemon trees with copper and silver threads or mother-of-pearl, the craft specialty of argan wood. which is the unique tree of this region. As you approach Essaouira, the argan plantations welcome you. Stop at a women’s Argan oil manufacturing cooperative, to find out how the women in the cooperative enthusiastically work to obtain the oil from the argan nuts to make cosmetics or / and delicious food oil. Then continue to the city of Essaouira which has walls that divide the old city into several districts. It surprises with its small rectilinear streets, designed by a French. Visit of the medina of Essaouira which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an example of a fortified city from the end of the 18th century, transferred to North Africa by European settlers. The Medina of Essaouira is one of the best maintained medinas in Morocco with its maze of alleys to discover the facets of local craftsmanship: the marquetry on Thuja wood and the goldsmiths renowned for their silver jewelry. Its many craft shops and art galleries attract visitors from all over the world. The city is proud to have artists like Orson Welles and Jimi Hendrix among its biggest fans. Welles shot several scenes of his film Othello in Essaouira. If you visit in June, you will also join a large crowd that travels to Essaouira every year to attend the world famous Gnaoua music festival. When you arrive you have all day to explore the medina which is surrounded by medieval walls, with a castle standing at their southern end. Its whitewashed houses and blue shutters give it a magnificent look. Stroll through its fun narrow streets discovering ancient French and Portuguese architecture. Then continuation of the visit leaves the port and the Sqala (vestiges dating from the Portuguese colonization). After visiting the port with its bronze cannons, you can enjoy a free lunch or there are several options for free lunch; near the harbor there are tables set where you can choose your lunch from fish and seafood that has literally just been taken out of the water. Around 4:00 p.m., return to Marrakech.
End of the excursion to Essaouira