Destination

Essaouira Holidays

Traditional boats, atmospheric fishing ports, Essaouira is Moroccos coastal serenity

Essaouira has been a muse to many. This unassuming town on Morocco’s Atlantic coast is where Orson Welles shot his version of Othello in the 1950s, it’s where Ridley Scott filmed Kingdom of Heaven over a decade ago, and – more recently still – it provided a suitably enchanting backdrop for scenes in season three of Game of Thrones. The town’s enduring appeal can be traced back to its melting-pot mixture of Arab, African, and European influences. Chic hotels sit alongside traditional riads, boutique gift shops next to sprawling souks, and carefully-curated art galleries by kerbside craft stalls.

It all centres around a bohemian blue-and-white medina that’s strikingly gift-wrapped in huge stone fortifications. Small wonder then, while its name translates to little picture, Essaouira is no stranger to the big screen. Of course, any windsurfer worth their salt will already be familiar with Essaouira. The same year-round Atlantic trade winds, or vents alizés, that have successfully shielded the city from mass tourism, also provide the perfect conditions for anyone brandishing a board, a boat, or a kite. 

Destination Highlights
  • Discover many art galleries, boutique shops and vibrant cafes
  • Known as the 'wind city of Africa', Essaouira is an ideal spot for keen windsurfers
  • Explore Essaouira's bustling medina and its colourful stalls
Essential Information
  • Time Zone GMT +2 hours
  • Currency Moroccan dirham (MAD)
  • Visa Information British citizens aren’t required to obtain a visa to travel to Morocco
  • Language Arabic, but English is widely spoken
  • Flight Time Approx. three hours and 30 minutes
  • Health Information No special vaccines are required or recommended for travel to Morocco

Top Tips from our Experts

Valerie

Destination Specialist

"For those looking for a slightly more laid-back shopping experience, be sure to visit Essaouira's medina. It is certainly less chaotic compared to the Djemaa el-Fna square in Marrakech."

You might also like these

We think you might also like to take a look at these destinations. If you'd like some advice, our Destination Specialists will be able to find something that is right for you.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Oman

Muscat

Muscat
Amman Citadel

Middle East

Jordan

Jordan

Middle East

Oman

Oman

Qatar

Doha

Doha