There are a lot of natural wonders to see in Morocco, from the blue city of Chefcaouen to the dunes of Erg Chebbi. Besides beautiful deserts, Morocco is also blessed with miles of coast overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, which can be appreciated in the port city of Essaouira. Situated about three hours away from Marrakech, this small city offers a charm that combines Morocco’s rich history and vibrant culture. From the bustle of its port to the historic walls of Skala de la Kasbah, discover all the charming things one can do when visiting Essaouira!

  • Address: 4 Rue Tetouan, Essaouira 44000, Morocco

What better way to explore a local culture than through art? Also known as Galerie la Kasbah, this art gallery is situated inside an 18th-century riad, featuring thousands of artworks from local (and international) artists. Explore different art styles from realism to calligraphy while admiring the architectural beauty of the property. However, its courtyard is the gallery’s highlight, an open-air space showcasing artwork amongst the sunlight and potted plants.

9 Take A L'Atelier Moroccan Cooking Workshop

  • Address: Rue Mohamed Ben Masoud, Essaouira 44000, Morocco

Moroccan cuisine is a melange of flavors and colors thanks to influences from various parts of the world. Now tourists can learn how to cook traditional Moroccan food thanks to L’Atelier. Starting at 59 USD, visitors can take a cooking class through L’Atelier, learning traditional dishes and cooking methods to create decadent pastries and hearty meals. Learn from local chefs as they walk visitors through making standard fares like harira, bissara, tchakchouka, ghoriba, and much more!

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8 Shop At The Medina Of Essaouira

The Medina of Essaouira (formerly known as Mogador) is the city’s fortified old town. The town is so well preserved from the 18th century that it’s considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Travelers who explore Medina can look at its Arabo-Muslim architecture, drawn from European influences. Serving as a former international trading seaport, the Medina of Essaouira is now chalked full of art galleries, cafes, and boutiques, perfect for visitors seeking souvenirs and local fare.

7 Relax At Plage D’Essaouira

Need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city? The Plage d’Essaouira is a famous beach for soaking up the Atlantic coast while partaking in watersports like surfing. While taking in some ocean views, visitors can grab a meal at a nearby restaurant or cafe. This beach makes for a perfect stop after a long shopping day at the nearby boutiques and medina.

6 Learn To Kitesurf

Travelers heading to beach destinations love taking surfing lessons to catch the world's biggest waves. However, kitesurfing--another adventurous water sport—is also a fun activity that can be done in Essaouira! Travelers heading to this Moroccan port city anytime between late March and September can enjoy a nice breeze at the beach, which is ideal for kitesurfing. In (or near) Essaouira, kitesurfing is best done in places like Essaouira Bay, Moulay, and the village of Sidi Kaouki. Additionally, there are plenty of kitesurfing schools just by Plage Essaouira.

5 Watch A Show At Dar Souiri

  • Address: Association Essaouira Mogador، 10, avenue du Caire, Dar Souiri.، Essaouira 44000, Morocco

This restored historic mansion serves as the Association Essaouira Mogador's headquarters and is also a venue for community events. From art exhibitions to concerts year-round, but also hosts language lessons and other classes. While catching a show or admiring local art, tourists can awe the architectural beauty of Dar Souiri.

4 Check Out Mogador Island

Also known as Îles Purpuraires (Purple Isles), this Moroccan island attracted Romans for its natural purple dyes found within the local mollusks. However, today, Mogador Island is not open to the public as its a protected wildlife sanctuary. However, visitors can still take a boat ride nearby the island to do some birdwatching. Specifically, the island is home to Eleonora Falcons and other flocking birds. Binoculars may also come in handy to peek at the island’s wildlife closely.

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3 Learn Some History At Bayt Dakira

  • Address: Rue Ziry Ibn Atiyah, Essaouira, Morocco

Also known as the House of Memory, Bayt Dakira serves as a museum for the Moroccan Jewish community. Regarded as a spiritual place, visitors can find Bayt Dakira in Essaouira’s Jewish quarter or ‘Mellah.’ The building hosts an array of ancient artifacts, texts, and photographs (some of which are rare) and serves as a symbolic reminder of religious harmony and coexistence. When entering the building, visitors will be greeted with the expression, “Shalom Aleykoum, Salam Lekoulam”!

2 Walk Around Essaouira Port

Situated nearby landmarks like the Castelo Real of Mogador, the Essaouira Ramparts, and the Burj El Barmil, the Essaouira Port was once a busy fish port. Today, tourists can walk around the port to get a glimpse of what life was like in the past, walking along the old city walls while taking in views of the city’s iconic blue boats. Then, take in views of the Atlantic coast while perusing the stalls to see what fishers caught for the day. There is a wide selection of seafood, from fish to shellfish, to appeal to the traveling foodie!

1 Go Horseback Riding!

Adventure-seeking tourists love adrenaline-inducing activities for their epic solo travels, from bungee jumping to skydiving. While horseback riding may not appeal to many adventurous tourists, it still makes for an enjoyable activity. When in Essaouira, visit a local ranch to do some horseback riding, whether along the beach or amongst the sandy dunes of Morocco. Exploring Morocco’s port city on horseback is one of the best ways to admire Essaouira!