To arrive in Essaouira from Marrakesh, you can take a Supratours bus from Marrakesh TRAIN station. I stress train because if you end up taking the bus from the bus station, like I did, you will end up with a bus packed with locals, in a not so clean bus, for more than the 3 hours journey originally planned. If this is what you want to experience, nothing wrong with that. But I remember the journey being looong. No trains run between the two. cities. Check Supratours website for times.
I stayed at le Grand Large Hotel and I was really pleased with the cleanliness, service, comfort and all.
I had one of my best breakfast in Morocco there, on the terrace.
Don’t get fool by the name though, you will not have a view of the sea, but rather a good location in the medina.
Originally called Mogador, the city is located on the Atlantic coast and his famous for his beach, port and fish. It has a rich history due to its location.
IN 1506, the king of Portugal D. Manuel I, order to build a fortress named “Castel Real de Mogador”. The fortress received strong resistance from the local Berbers, and in 1510, fell under their pressure.
During the XVI century, Portugal, Spain, English, Netherland and France try in vain to conquer the city.
The present city was built during the XVIII on order from Mohammed III, sultan of Morocco, in order to increase exchange with Europe. He called a french architect to plan the project as well as others technicians. It took 12 years. The town received then his contemporary name, “Souira” meaning “the little fortress” “Es-Saouira”: “The beautifully designed”.
On the 16 August 1844, the French navy bombard and invade, for a short period of time, the town in what turns out to be an important battle of the first Franco-Morrocan war. The battle was called the “Battle of Mogador”. The bombardment lasted for 26 hours and demolished almost the entire city. The french army left Mogador on the 26 Septembre of the same year after an agreement signed in Tangier.
Soon after its creation until the XIX century, Essaouira became the first port of Morocco, with trade twice the amount of Rabat, the capital.
Much more relax than Marrakesh, I really liked this city.
You can walk around the medina much more peacefully than Marrakesh and the vibes of a city on a coast is to me, unbeatable. Musicians, street artists and shops blew my mind.
I stayed 2 days, 1 night. It is enough if you just want to visit and have a good look at the town. But if you want to do some water activities, you can, but you will need more time.
Few shots from my time there:
Next Stop: Casablanca