5 good reasons to go to Essaouira
To see / do
Culture and history
Nicknamed “la Bien dessinée” (the well-designed), the city's medina is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Evidence of its structured design can be seen in the medina’s streets, which were planned in a grid-like fashion. During your visit, you’ll see the Ben Youssef Mosque, the Clock Tower and pretty little streets of blue and white houses. It exudes 18th and 19th-century charm.
Walk along the city walls
Essaouira is surrounded by city walls and is often compared to Saint-Malo in France. Its walls recall the fortifications designed by French engineer, Vauban. Believe it or not, it was actually one of Vauban’s pupils who designed the walls in Essaouira! Climb to the top of the fortifications to enjoy an exceptional sea view. As you walk along the walls, you’ll see a few of the canons still remaining.
An atmospheric port
A vital trade hub in the 18th century, today, the port of Essaouira is the country's third largest sardine fishing port. When you visit Essaouira, you have to see the old port protected by the city walls. Soak up the lively atmosphere as the fisherman return with the day’s catch on little blue fishing boats. At the port, you can actually buy fish directly from the fishermen.
Driss, the best pâtisserie in Essaouira
This cake shop is an absolute must for foodies! Driss pâtisserie is reputed to be the best in the city, and has become renowned throughout the country. Gaze longingly at the window display, or head inside to buy a few cakes. It’s best to visit early on in the day before the shelves start to clear!
Penetrate the lair of the souks
Wander through the city’s fascinating souks, meet craftsmen and buy souvenirs from some of the stalls. These Moroccan markets will awaken all your senses, as they sell everything from dazzling fabrics to freshly caught fish. Stroll through the spice souk before browsing the stalls of wooden masterpieces. The souks of Essaouira are a real delight!
Mrouzia, a tajine from Essaouira
There’s no fish in this local dish, it’s made with lamb! Mrouzia is an explosion of flavours! This local tajine is flavoured with ginger, tumeric, ras el hanout spice mix, cinnamon, saffron, honey, onions and more. The finishing touch comes from a sprinkling of almonds and raisins.
Massapans, Moroccan sweet treats
Massapans are to die for! These little marzipan tartlets are really popular in Safi and Essaouira. So, if you love marzipan, you’ll adore these little pastries. Massapans are actually mini-tartlets filled with marzipan that’s been flavoured with orange blossom. Perfect with a cup of mint tea!
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