Essaouira, formerly Mogador, is the perfect day-trip from Marrakech. A place where sea and sand meet a city rich in history and culture. Discover its colorful Medina, take a stroll on the beach or the old port, enjoy one of its many restaurants, Essaouira will charm you.
Originating in prehistorical times, the city and its port have been visited by successive waves of settlers; Phoenicians, Cathargians and Romans during antiquity, Portuguese and French colonials during modern times. The ancient port city of Mogador has evolved from a meeting place for traders, sailors and pirates to attract artists from around the world. The city’s unique decor and atmospherics were used by many film directors including Orson Welles. In the late sixties, Essaouira became a destination of choice for hippies, creating a scene that left its mark to this day. Famous musicians seeking inspiration such as Jimi Hendrix and Cat Stevens also found their way to Essaouira.
The city hasn’t lost its legendary charm and the medina or old town is now part of the UNESCO World Heritage program. The medina is the perfect place to do some shopping and bring back genuine handcrafted souvenirs. Many painters make Essaouira their home, enjoying the vivid mix of sunshine, ocean and history which is reflected in their works. Music also holds a special place in the city’s cultural scene culminating in the Gnaoua World Music Festival held every June which attracts several hundred spectators during its duration.
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