Essaouira is a city located on the Atlantic shores and actually comes under the economic region of Marrakech Tensift Al Haouz. The city is also famous by its Portuguese name – Mogadore or Mogador since the 16th century. The name itself meant the walls that refer to the fortress walls that were present from the old centuries and were build enclosing the city. The city of Essaouira has always been the city of ancient world. You will find a lot of ancient collection in many places of this city. The Rabat Archaeological Museum and the Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah Museum are the famous museums with huge collection of ancient artifacts. The city also has a UNESCO World Heritage Site- Medina which is a fortified town that belongs to the 18th century. The city is not full of attractions but has some really amazing places to visit.
Medina, the main attraction of Essaouira, came into the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage in the year 2001. The place is very well maintained and well preserved from the late 18th century. Medina symbolises the European military architecture in the whole region of North Africa. The place with its mellow atmosphere, colourful shops in the narrow winding streets, old wooden doors and whitewashed houses is a wonderful place to hangout. On its boundaries the wave-lashed as well as dramatic ramparts are the things to talk about. The beautiful view of the rampant was also captured in the Orson Welles’ Orthello as a panoramic shot. The easiest of all places is Skala de la Ville to access the ramparts. Skala de la Ville is a very impressive sea bastion situated along the cliffs. The amazing views of the sunset and the sea are also a treat to the eyes of the visitors from these cliffs.
Famous activities in Essaouira are the water sports on the sandy and wide beach of Essaouira. The water sports of windsurfing, kitesurfing, football, swimming and sunbathing are the famous ongoing activities that happen in Essaouira. People should also take a walk along the beautiful Ksob River. The remains of the Borj el Berod, which was an old pavilion and fortress half covered in sand, can be found along this river. Take a walk on the sands of Cap Sim and visit the village of Diabat, and you will have a great experience.
The most favourite place of food lovers of Essaouira is Riad Al Baraka which is a restaurant cum cafe. The cafe offers lunch and dinner only and is located in the 113 street Rue Mohammed el Qory. The cafe is designed in a former Jewish school style. The whole place has many dining rooms as well as bars with a large courtyard. The main food is Moroccan with a glimpse of Jewish and Middle Eastern food. People can also enjoy the live music of some the local bands that perform in this restaurant cum cafe.
Another happening place in Essaouira is Ile de Mogador which is full of interesting structures. Ile de Mogador is actually a pair of two islands along with some tiny islets. All these together are known by the names- the Purple Isles or the famed iles Purpuraires of antiquity. People visit the Essaouira beach with their own binoculars to get a clear view of the uninhabited islands of Eleanora’s falcons. People can even arrange a personal boat for their whole journey on the island and can even take their boat outside the breeding season. But a permit is necessary for that. People can issue that permit from the post office. With a permit in hand people are free to travel in the small fishing boats also.
Almost all kinds of ancient artefacts of the city of Essaouira are on display in the Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdullah Museum. This museum is a refurbished one in an old raid. Small but interesting things are in display in this glorious museum. People can witness the perfect collection of weapons, musical instruments, carpets belonging to different regions, many costumes and some jewellery also. A separate section is given to the symbols and signs of the local craft people. A small collection of beautiful and creative photographs of Essaouira is also there. Some of the Phoenician and Roman objects that can be found in the bay are also on display. Thus, the whole museum actually depicts the ancient era of Essaouira.
One of the best places to visit in Essaouira is the Skala du Port. Skala has some cannons and many picturesque views in store for its visitors. There is a curtain of seagulls between your eyes and the walled medina. The port is very much lively with lots of activities going on a regular basis. A plenty of ferry boats are there with their nets being repaired regularly. Even the traditional boats are made in an open area where people can watch it. Almost every boat builder there supplies fishing boats on the whole Moroccan coasts. The design of these boats is very much famous in France. The fishing auctions take place on the outside area of the port gates. While concluding we can say that the city of Essaouira is not a bold one but a sweet one. And for all the nature and history lovers, a visit to this cute city is recommended.