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"Morocco is a paradise on earth with beautiful climate, pristine beaches, magnificent landscapes, and immemorial heritage monuments."

 

Essaouira

Essaouira is the perfect escape from Marrakech on a hot day. On the Atlantic coast it is always a little cooler in summer and in winter a little milder. The trip is very easy to do by public bus.

Bus Supratours

Supratours offers a convenient connection from Marrakech to Essaouira. In Marrakech the station is next to the new railway station on Avenue Mohammed VI. The trip takes just under three hours, price 65 DH. In Essaouira, the Agency is located at Bab Marrakech. From there, the old town can be reached in a short walk, the luggage will be transported by hand cart.

Departure from Marrakech: 8:30, 09:00, 10:30, 14:30, 17:00, 19:00, departure from Essaouira: 6.00, 9.30, 11.45, 15.15, 18.30 h, Komfortbus 17:00 h (100 DH)

Bus CTM

In Marrakech the CTM buses start at the Gare Routière near Bab Doukkala at the edge of the old town. The Gare Routière Essaouira is about 800 m from the Bab Doukkala (Old Town) in the new town. These buses are pretty good, but there are also buses of smaller companies, there is a bus to Essaouira nearly every hour.

Taxis

Start of the collect taxis in Marrakech is at Bab Doukkala. A seat costs 80 DH, the taxis leave when they are complete. A taxi costs 600 DH individually for up to 5 people.

Strolls in Essaouira

Although the city on the Atlantic has no splendid palaces, it needs not to be afraid about comparing with her royal sister cities: like a Fata Morgana Essaouira stands on a long rock on the sea - a mixture of sunshine and light - between sky and water - blend in which the white-washed houses wreathed with the mist of the Atlantic surf, surrounded by high dunes. Of unique architectural beauty is especially the old town surrounded by ramparts, battlements and cannons with its restaurants, bustling streets and secluded squares. Not a typical Moroccan maze of streets, almost European-looking wide roads cut through the medina and they share the quarters on the various artisan trades. Before the medina spreads out the modern city along the long sandy beach.

Centre of the old town with many restaurants and hotels is the place Moulay el-Hassan. From there, the little street Rue Skala goes along the wall to the Skala de la Kasbah, a platform on the fortress wall with canons. From the northern bastions at the end you have a lovely view over the city and the sea, beating in rough surf on the rocks. Below the Skala are the workshops of the cabinet makers. From Thuja wood they produce carved wood furniture with inlays of lemon and ebony, mother of pearl and silver. Not infrequently, one sees here a painter at work, which then offer their works for sale.

From the square Moulay Hassan starts the Av. Allal Ben Abdallah, a principal axis of the medina. The most impressive street of the old town, the Avenue de l'Istiqlal, runs parallel to it. Ddifferently than typical old town streets Morocco it is broad and open and at regular intervals separated by triple-arched gates. The road changes its name several times and ends at Bab Doukkala, located in the vicinity of the bus station. Before the gate Bab Marrakech, still in the medina, is on the right side the Ensemble Artisanal, housed in a large Funduk, already the building is worth seeing. In a small back yard grows a wide-branched fig tree, supposedly from the training young people. The products can be purchased at fixed prices.

Not far from the port before the city wall is the small park Orson Welles. Orson Welles filmed in the early 1950s large parts of his film Othello in Essaouira, but with no great success. 40 years later his daughter dug out the movie again and showed a restored version at festivals around the world, now with greater success, and in Essaouira, the film in the presence of the then Crown Prince Mohammed was shown. The city then named this place after him.

It is worth visiting the fishing port, with its fortifications from the 18th C. Early mornings is held an auction of the catch. Before the port is a large parking lot, there begins a long series of small cottage-restaurants, each presenting their range of freshly caught seafood on large boards. There is a board with the official prices, which however are not very favourable. If you still want to eat in Essaouira reasonably, you should buy at the entrance of the hall fresh fish and then let him grill on the first stand for only 10 DH. Who proceeds so paid less than half! The actual port is outside of the walls and there are also the famous restaurants Le Coquillage and Chez Sam. Directly in front is the dock is an excursion boat offering cruises and fishing trips.