Once, the most important port in West Africa, Essaouira or the Windy City is still a thriving fishing port today, and probably the nicest and the most laid back seaside resort on Morocco’s Atlantic coast.
The vibrant and charming port is the perfect combination of Portuguese, French and Berber culture.
The market and the stores here have a more authentic, local feel with fewer tourists. Take a stroll through the Old Town and enjoy the sounds, sights, and smells. You can also do your shopping here, rather than Marrakesh. The atmosphere is more relaxed, people are friendlier and you don’t feel that pressure to buy something. In some of the shops, you can see the artisans crafting their wares, especially wood marquetry.
An afternoon on the ramparts is an absolute must. You can climb the tower for a great vantage point for seeing the city and the harbor or just spend an hour or so as the sun goes down and watch the ocean pounding away at the ramparts and the seagulls fighting with the cats over the fish guts thrown by the fishermen.
The well-preserved old port is also a UNESCO heritage and offers endless opportunities for taking hundreds of photos. If you go in the morning, you see the fishermen coming back in their blue boats, displaying their catches of fish and seafood.
You can’t see all these fresh fish and not want to eat some. Buy the fish and walk past the stalls to the end of the quay where there is a sitting area with a few local BBQ. They will grill the fish for you and that’s a real authentic Moroccan experience.