Morocco: finish a trip in beauty in Essaouira - The360 Travel

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  • Sunday, November 3, 2019

    Morocco: finish a trip in beauty in Essaouira

    Morocco: finish a trip in beauty in Essaouira

    With its fortifications, its long beach caressed by the trade winds, its peaceful medina and its lively fishing port, the sweet town of Essaouira, on the Atlantic coast, is the perfect place to end a trip to Morocco. Charming walks in a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


    A stamp of authenticity

    For some, the ramparts of Essaouira recall Saint-Malo or La Rochelle. No wonder, the plans of the landlocked city, the medina, are from a French architect. The small fortress extends to a place where still enthroned old cannons that testify to its historical importance. The walls partly face the sea, which adds to the character of the place bathed by waves and marine odors. Seagulls and gulls are also at the rendezvous. Like tourists, they gather during the day on the pier of fishing port buzzing with activities. Here, fishermen, vendors, restaurateurs, fishmongers and tourists are rubbing shoulders or jostling for original photos. And even if you have come a long way, you will discover on the numerous stalls a new fish or a strange crustacean. Also a novelty for the palate, since you can cook your purchase on site at the outdoor restaurant. Essaouira still retains its stamp of authenticity despite tourism.

    An inviting beach

    The beautiful Moroccan is primarily a golden beach that stretches for miles, a gentle profile shore that invites more to walking than swimming, the water of the Atlantic being rather cool even in summer. We come a lot from elsewhere for its strong summer winds appreciated by kitesurfing enthusiasts. Its fine sand without shell or almost makes the happiness of the football players, at least outside the big periods of tourist affluence. But they are not alone. Horses gallop on the edge of the water, while dromedaries calmly watch the waves break while waiting for a tourist to come and ask them for a walk or a photo. To discover a nature a little more wild, let yourself be attracted by the lagoon nearby. You will see many interesting birds, such as graceful white stilts with long red legs. In the waterfront, we sometimes see frolicking goats and sheep, or a dromedary that has been granted a moment of freedom.

    A quiet medina

    Each Moroccan medina has its particular charm. Fez is distinguished by its steep streets and amazing tanneries. In Marrakech, it is the excess. The influx is often so great that pedestrian traffic becomes stifling. The medina of Essaouira is small, calm, its streets are broad and welcoming. We take the time to chat with the merchants, to examine the stalls of fruits, nuts and vegetables, to visit art galleries and craftsmen. Visitors usually stay there for three days.

    A sweet freshness

    Essaouira is stormed during the summer by Moroccans. If you are looking for tranquility and a mild temperature, opt for September and October. Foreign tourists also enjoy the months of February to April. We were there in mid-February. The evenings were cool, the sun was abundant during the day, but a windbreak was needed, especially because of the winds.

    Goats and argan tree

    From your first steps in Morocco, you will be asked to buy argan oil. Made from the argan tree nuts, a thorny tree that is abundant in the south-west of the country, the oil is used in cooking or cosmetology. It has a delicate nutty taste and is often served for breakfast, mixed with honey. The argan tree is often associated with goats that climb the tree to eat the fruit. The scene obviously gives spectacular photos. You will also have the opportunity to attend along the road to Essaouira, even in the middle of winter. But then they are goats obviously trained for the pleasure of the tourists, and we will not fail to ask you for a tip to make a cliché.

    Recommendations

    Good affordable restaurants abound in Essaouira. This is also the case of riads, small accommodations with only a few rooms. An abundant breakfast is usually included with the bill. Two recommendations: the excellent Italian restaurant Silvestro, rue Laalouj, close to the fortress, and riad Chbanate, for comfort and warm welcome. We were offered to cook the strange and long-sleeved saberfish found at a fisherman's stall. A delight!

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