Travelers going from Marrakech to the coastal town of Essaouira have several transport options for the 118-mile (191 km) journey, ranging from 2-4 hours in duration. There are no trains or planes to Essaouira, so your options are a private driver, shared shuttle, or by rental car. Which you choose will depend on how much control you'd like to have over your departure time and over the journey itself, versus the convenience of having someone else take care of the transportation.
By Taxi or Private Driver
Duration: 2-2.5 hours
The simplest way to get to Essaouira from Marrakech is to hire a private driver or a taxi. Drivers can customize your route as you please, so if you want to control if and when your driver takes a break, and control your departure time, this may be the option for you.
One of the benefits of hiring a driver is that you may ask them to stop along the way at various points of interest. For example, travelers in June and July may get lucky and see the famous Argan goats: goats who love the fruit produced by Argan trees so much they actually climb up the trees to eat them! If you'd like to stop and take a photo of the goats, a driver should be able to accommodate.
Taxi drivers in Marrakech are famous for charging higher fees upfront to travelers, so only those who feel comfortable negotiating with a potential driver or have a hotel concierge to do this work for them should select this option.
By Shared Shuttle
Duration: 3-4 hours
Another option to transfer between Marrakech and Essaouira is by private shuttle. Several private shuttle companies provide air-conditioned services between the two locations. Expect to pay less for a shuttle than hiring a driver or renting a car.
Beyond the comfort the shuttle provides, another benefit to taking a private shuttle is that drivers are known to make stops at points of interest. Drivers also make a point to stop for a restroom break halfway through the journey.
By Rental Car
Duration: 2-2.5 hours
A rental car is perhaps the least convenient way to get to Essaouira. The reason is simple: Having a car in Essaouira is neither necessary nor particularly desirable, as the town is very walkable. Car rental drivers will need to take precious time in Essaouira figuring out where to leave their rental car, and should not plan on finding free parking.
Benefits of renting a car include complete autonomy over the drive and the departure time, and the convenience of managing your own transport. Between the two locations the terrain is relatively easy to traverse, but driving out of Marrakech itself is not for the faint of heart.