When you are ready to take a break from Marrakech there are many easy day trip options to head either to the mountains or the beach in this diverse country. Today, let’s take a trip to the Atlantic coast of Africa and visit Essaouira…

Port of Essaouira-Discover Marrakech Retreat/Maison 28

I always like to include a trip or two out of town during the weeks that I host Cultural/Creative Retreats in Marrakech and Essaouira is perfect because it features a completely different, laid back vibe and color palette (white and blue!) from the Red City.

Visit Essaouira-Discover Marrakech Retreat/Maison 28

Besides the picture ready scenery, fresh ocean air and breezes-there are experiences that you can have here that you just can’t find in Marrakech.

Fresh fish at the docks of Essaouira-Discover Marrakech Retreat/Maison 28

The port is filled with beautiful blue fishing boats that deliver the daily catch directly to the sellers on the dock, where you can choose your lunch and have it cooked fresh for you right there.

Peaceful Essaouira-Discover Marrakech Retreat/Maison 28

Then you can wander down the scenic, quiet streets. There are plenty of shops, galleries and restaurants to wander around in and the prices are quite good for local shopping…

Essaouira blue doors-Discover Marrakech Retreat/Maison 28

but you might just as well like to just stroll and savor the beauty of all the different shades of blue they’ve managed to find to paint the ancient doors.

Camel ride on the beach in Essaouira Morocco with Discover Marrakech with Melanie Royals in Morocco

The late afternoon is a perfect time to head over to nearby Ranch de Diabat, where you can rent Arabian Horses or camels (dromedaries, actually, as they only have ONE hump) for a scenic group beach ride.

Discover Marrakech Retreat with Melanie Royals/Maison 28-Camel ride on the beach in Essaouira Morocco

Laugh as your friends squeal as the camels drop to the ground so you can get off for an amazing photo-op and then enjoy a casual dinner at the beach or ranch. Can you see yourself in this picture? Sign up for the Discover Marrakech Retreat in November 2017 and you will!

History

Essaouira, dating from the 18th century, has played a major role over the centuries as an international trading seaport, linking Morocco and sub-Saharan Africa with Europe and the rest of the world.

The fortified town is also an example of a multicultural centre as proven by the coexistence since its foundation of diverse ethnic groups: Amazighs, Arabs, Africans, and Europeans as well as Muslim, Christian and Jewish faiths.

Today, this laid-back, whitewashed seaside town popular destination for tourists, contemporary artists, and windsurfers, as well as gnawa music lovers for the annual Gnawa Music Festival.