Essaouira - Marrakech
175 km (approx.)
2 hours and a half without counting the stops
See previous day: First day (Marrakech - Ait Ben Hadu)
The Draa Valley and the Desert Gate
The dunes of Erg Chegaga
From the desert to Taliouine
Visit to Taroudant and arrival in Essaouira
A large number of films have been filmed in Essaouira. The beauty and good conservation of its labyrinthine medina, the port, the rocky coast and its frenetic activity make Essaouira a destination by itself on the Atlantic coast of Morocco.
We enter through the main door inside the medina in search of a hostel. Essaouira is a tourist place but without the great offer that most popular places like Marrakech propose. So we did not expect to find a good hostel in the price-quality comparison we used to enjoy in recent days.
Getting into the medina with the backpacks on at sunset or, even at any time of the day in the Maghreb, is like catching a whistle, raising my arms and shouting: “I'm looking for someone to help me find a hostel in exchange for commission ! ”
Of course, a few came. However, we escaped the siege that, personally, seemed to me inferior to what I expected. So we started the search for ourselves. After seeing a couple of hostels that did not convince us, we asked some tourists who turned out to be Poles where they were staying and how much they paid. They convinced us with a quad for 200 dinars and towards the Des Amis hostel We headed. The establishment turned out to be simple but enough to sleep and spend the rest on a good meal.
In the morning we visit the beautiful medina, declared by the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which hides Essaouira and the small workshops that are threatened behind the most tourist streets. We get carried away by the market and its smells. We walk through the mellah and watch the waves break against the rocks from the top of the walls. We were accompanied by thousands of seagulls and the white and blue contrast of the houses and the thousands of boats in the port.
Essaouria is a good alternative to Marrakech to spend a few days in Morocco. Around the city opens a wide range of excursions among nature or simply a varied list of beaches with fine sand to visit. Also, the waves in front of this coastal area are well known among surf lovers and any other water sport.
Two centuries later, we follow in the footsteps of the famous explorer and adventurer Ali Bey through the streets of Essaouria.
Through the impressive Navy Gate we enter the port of the city where the most dynamic area is crowded with the usual hustle and bustle of nets, fishermen, auctions and the market.
The great wall surrounds the old town and if you approach in its western part you will find the Skala of the Kasbah, a kind of platform where you can walk admiring the waves of the sea. This place was already discovered during the forties of the last century when the director Orson Wells decided to adapt the play Othello from Shakespeare to the cinema.
Among some of the shops that we frequent in Essaouria, I recognize that it was a success to find the Driss coffee-pastry shop right at the beginning of the most commercial street in the city. An old, authentic place with great coffee and pastries.
Once we absorbed what Essaouira could give us in about four hours, we continued the march by car to our final destination: Marrakech.
They fined us. On the last drive, They not only fined us once but twice.
The first time a speed control made us stop. It turns out that the maximum allowed in that area was 60 km / h and we had passed 70. We tried to discuss but we knew we were not going to get anything with it. Even if we insisted we knew we would piss the police off more and it could still be worse. He showed us the fine (400 dinars) but the man arranged it for 200 and without papers. As if the guy would avoid declaring it to his superiors ... A little surprising practice that surely happens in a good list of countries in the world.