Best of Essaouira

Top itineraries and travel advice in and around Essaouira
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View of the Medina of Essaouira
Tips for Visiting Essaouira: Relax & Explore on Morocco's Atlantic Coast

Essaouira has been here almost as long as the sea that laps its coast. Here, ancient city walls stand defiant, their sandstone providing a contrasting backdrop to the vivid blues and whites of the harbor. Not quite a beach town, Essaouira is still Morocco's respite from the frenetic pace of Marrakesh. There's lots to see and do, so let's get started.

Medina entrance tower and old city walls in Essaouira, Morocco
Map of Exploring Marrakech, Atlas Hiking & the Coast - 5 Days
Exploring Marrakech, Atlas Hiking & the Coast - 5 Days

A perfect balance of culture, adventure, and relaxation, this quick 5-day itinerary features highlights of the imperial city of Marrakech, hiking in the foothills of the High Atlas mountains, and relaxing in the coastal town of Essaouira. You'll roam exotic souks in ancient medinas, share a meal with a local Berber family, and explore centuries-old seafront fortifications.

Palm trees line the fortified walls in Taroudant
Map of Marrakech, Atlas Mountains, and Essaouira - 9 Days
Marrakech, Atlas Mountains, and Essaouira - 9 Days

This relaxed itinerary takes you on an off-the-beaten-path exploration of Morocco's culture and landscapes. Explore the bustle and history of Marrakech, then travel through the Atlas Mountains. You'll go on an off-road adventure and will discover breathtaking scenery at Morocco's tallest waterfalls. Climb aboard a camel to trek out into the desert, where you'll camp for the night. Then discover Taroudant, a fortified town with great shopping and souks that are easier to navigate than those in bigger cities. You'll end your trip in Essaouira, a gorgeous seaside escape where you can relax and tuck into fresh local seafood. 

Inside the Al-Attarine Madrasa in Fes
Map of Moroccan Cities from Coast to Coast - 14 Days
Moroccan Cities from Coast to Coast - 14 Days

Discover Morocco's ancient and historic cities on this complete two-week itinerary. You'll cover three imperial cities, Marrakech, Fes, and Meknes, as well as less-traveled cities like Beni-Mellal, Moulay Idris, and Tetouan. You'll wander maze-like streets, participate in a cooking class, drive through the Atlas mountains, and explore ancient Roman ruins.

Jamaa el Fna Square in Marrakesh
Map of Marrakesh to Casablanca: Agafay Desert & Atlantic Coast - 6 Days
Marrakesh to Casablanca: Agafay Desert & Atlantic Coast - 6 Days

This tour is perfect for the traveler who's short on time and looking for a taste of Morocco and its hidden gems. You'll enjoy a guided tour of Marrakesh and watch its famed Jamaa El Fna Square come to life at dusk, then ride a camel through the stunning sand dunes of the Agafay Desert, where you'll spend the night in a traditional tent. As you make your way to Casablanca, you'll stop at an argan oil collective, enjoy fresh, delicious seafood on the coast, and visit the gorgeous Essaouira, all at a relaxed pace.

Jemaa el-Fnaa square and market place at dusk.
Explore Marrakech, the Atlas Mountains, and Essaouira - 6 Days

A perfect balance of culture, adventure, and relaxation, this 6-day itinerary features highlights of the imperial city of Marrakech, including hiking in the foothills of the High Atlas Mountains and relaxing in the coastal town of Essaouira. You'll roam exotic souks in ancient medinas, learn about traditional cuisine, and share a meal with a local Berber family. Explore centuries-old seafront fortifications and visit an argan tree cooperative where you can learn all about the oil extraction while watching the goats graze up in the branches.

Casablanca, Morocco
Map of Discover Morocco: Imperial Cities to the Atlas Mountains and the Coast- 11 Days
Discover Morocco: Imperial Cities to the Atlas Mountains and the Coast- 11 Days

This tour combines the bustle of vibrant imperial cities with tranquil rural retreats, starting and ending in the coastal city of Casablanca. Travel to the cities of Rabat, Fes, and Marrakech in search of buzzy medinas and souks, plus guided walking tours, delicious food tours, ancient sites, and lessons on traditional arts and crafts. Adopt a slower pace by visiting the Atlas Mountains, where you'll enjoy charming Berber villages, lunch with a local family, visits to almond and argan groves, and discover the Roman ruins in Volubilis.

Venture to the Sahara Desert
Map of Fes to Casablanca: Sahara Desert & Atlantic Coast - 12 Days
Fes to Casablanca: Sahara Desert & Atlantic Coast - 12 Days

This 12-day tour of Morocco is filled with adventure, history, and culture. Begin in Fes, and learn about crafts and artisans. Then, trek into the Sahara Desert by camel, and experience the sand dunes and camping under the stars. Next is a trip to Ouarzazate to visit movie sets in "Moroccan Hollywood," followed by Marrakech, where the Jemaa el Fna is bursting with culture. End the trip with some coastal exploration in the town of Essaouira before departing from Casablanca.

Old fortifications in Essaouira
Map of Marrakech, Quick Desert Tour, Essaouira - 7 Days
Marrakech, Quick Desert Tour, Essaouira - 7 Days

Combine culture, desert adventures, and seaside relaxation with this 7-day trip from Marrakech. Wander Marrakech's medina, exploring its souks and fondouks. Cross the High Atlas mountains and explore Morocco's desert, filled with fortified kasbahs and old caravan routes. Relax in Essaouira as you enjoy fresh seafood and watch the sunset over the seaside ramparts.

Essaouira's ancient city walls along its harbor
Map of Marrakech, Quick Desert Tour & Essaouira - 8 Days
Marrakech, Quick Desert Tour & Essaouira - 8 Days

This 8-day itinerary starts in Marrakech and combines culture, adventure, and relaxation. Wander Marrakech's souks and fondouks, discover the ornate mosques and madrasas, and experience lively Jemaa el-Fna Square. Cross the High Atlas mountains and spend a few days exploring Morocco's desert, filled with fortified villages and old caravan routes through hidden oases, before ending your stay in the seaside town of Essaouira.

The verdant foothills of the High Atlas mountains
Exploring Around Marrakech, Hiking & the Coast - 8 Days

A perfect balance of culture, adventure, and relaxation, this 8-day itinerary features highlights of the imperial city of Marrakech, hiking in the foothills of the High Atlas mountains, and relaxing in the coastal town of Essaouira. You'll roam exotic souks in ancient medinas, learn about traditional cuisine and share a meal with a local Berber family, and explore centuries-old seafront fortifications.

Chefchaouen, Morocco
Map of Discover Morocco: Imperial Cities to the Atlas Mountains and the Coast - 13 Days
Discover Morocco: Imperial Cities to the Atlas Mountains and the Coast - 13 Days

From vibrant imperial cities to scenic rural countryside, this driving tour travels to the cities of Fes, Marrakech, Chefchaouen, and Casablanca to discover historic medinas and souks and delight in guided walking and food tours. Take an authentic cooking class, visit ancient sites, and experience a traditional Hammam where any stress will melt away. Trade bustling city life for the tranquility of the Atlas Mountains, where you'll enjoy Berber villages, lunch with a local family, and visits to Portuguese fortified cities and Roman ruins.

Marrackech, Morocco
Map of Discover Morocco: Imperial Cities to the Atlas Mountains and the Coast - 12 Days
Discover Morocco: Imperial Cities to the Atlas Mountains and the Coast - 12 Days

Combining vibrant imperial cities with scenic rural countryside, this round-trip tour travels to the cities of Rabat, Fes, Marrakech, and Casablanca in search of bustling medinas and souks, plus guided walking tours, delicious food tours, cooking classes, ancient sites, and lessons on traditional arts and crafts. Adopt a slower pace by visiting the Atlas Mountains, where you'll enjoy charming Berber villages, lunch with a local family, visits to almond and argan groves, and discover the Roman ruins in Volubilis. Wash away any stress with a visit to a traditional Hammam and a drive along the scenic coast, stopping in historic Portuguese fortified cities.

Enjoy the coast in Rabat, capital of Morocco
Map of Morocco Grand Tour from Rabat: Imperial Cities & Coastal Towns - 9 Days
Morocco Grand Tour from Rabat: Imperial Cities & Coastal Towns - 9 Days

Explore Morocco's grand cities and coastal towns with this 9-day itinerary starting in the capital of Rabat. Explore the Rif mountains and wander the blue streets of Chefchaouen. Immerse yourself in centuries of culture in Fes as you wander souks and visit local artisan workshops. Enjoy the evening spectacle at Jemaa el-Fna Square in bustling Marrakech before relaxing along the Atlantic coast in Essaouira.

Essaouira, Morocco
Map of Marrakech, Grand Tour of the Desert & Essaouira - 8 Days
Marrakech, Grand Tour of the Desert & Essaouira - 8 Days

A perfect combination of culture, adventure, and relaxation, this 8-day itinerary covers the imperial city of Marrakech and crosses the High Atlas mountains into the desert. Explore desert towns, camp in the Sahara, and relax in the coastal town of Essaouira.

Merzouga in the Sahara Desert in Morocco
Map of Southern Morocco Luxury Tour - 8 Days
Southern Morocco Luxury Tour - 8 Days

Exploring the highlights of Southern Morocco on this adventure-packed trip. Spend your first night in the Sahara, then visit the famed Ait Benhaddou and explore the dunes of Erg Lihoudi with a comfortable night in a luxury camp. Continue to Marrakech to visit ornate palaces, the serene Majorelle Gardens, and vibrant city markets. Finish your trip in the charming coastal city of Essaouira, where 18th-century artist studios and quiet coastal charm await.

Aït Benhaddou
Map of Moroccan Tour: Chefchaouen, Fes, Ouarzazate, Marrakech, & More - 12 Days
Moroccan Tour: Chefchaouen, Fes, Ouarzazate, Marrakech, & More - 12 Days

This 12-day Moroccan tour will take through major cities, like Fes and Marrakech, and over the Middle Atlas Mountains to Merzouga–where you’ll ride a camel through the sand dunes and camp in the Sahara Desert. While on the road, you’ll pass through Berber villages. You’ll also stop in the costal town of Essaouira, as well as Ouarzazate, the Hollywood of Morocco, before ending your travels in Casablanca.

Tizi n'Tichka pass over the Atlas mountain range
Map of Marrakech, Grand Tour of the Desert, Hiking & the Coast - 8 Days
Marrakech, Grand Tour of the Desert, Hiking & the Coast - 8 Days

Discover Morocco's diverse beauty with this 8-day itinerary. Begining and ending in the vibrant imperial city of Marrakech, you'll spend the night under the stars in a Bedouin-style tent, traipse through narrow alleyways in medieval kasbahs, hike the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, and wander the charming coastal city of Essaouira.

Discover the desert of Morocco
Map of Marrakech, Grand Desert Tour, Hiking & the Coast - 10 Days
Marrakech, Grand Desert Tour, Hiking & the Coast - 10 Days

Featuring a combination of culture, adventure, and relaxation, this 10-day itinerary will have you discover the imperial city of Marrakech, explore the Sahara and surrounding desert towns, hike the Atlas mountains, and relax along the coast. Enjoy traditional music around a desert campfire, spend a night with a local Berber family, and hike between small villages in the Atlas foothills. Finish the trip eating fresh seafood by the Atlantic in charming Essaouira.

Traditional wares await in the bustling souks
Map of Moroccan Cities & the Coast - 9 Days
Moroccan Cities & the Coast - 9 Days

Explore Morocco's imperial cities and Atlantic coast with this 9-day circuit from Casablanca. Start in northern Morocco between Rabat, Chefchaouen, and Fes. Continue further south to bustling Marrakech to explore the "red city" before wrapping up with a relaxing stop in Essaouira. Returning to Casablanca along the Atlantic coast.

Tizi n'Tichka Pass over the Atlas Mountains
Map of Southern Morocco: Marrakech, Sahara & the Atlas Mountains - 9 Days
Southern Morocco: Marrakech, Sahara & the Atlas Mountains - 9 Days

Enjoy culture, history, adventure, and relaxation on this nine-day Morocco tour. Explore Marrakech before venturing into the desert a few days exploring kasbahs, caravan routes, and the Saharan dunes. Cross up and over the High Atlas Mountains, hike between small villages, and spend a night with a local family.

Tizi n'Tichka pass over the Atlas mountain range
Map of Grand Morocco Tour: North to South - 10 Days
Grand Morocco Tour: North to South - 10 Days

This 10-day itinerary features a perfect mix of culture, history, adventure, and relaxation. Explore imperial cities, mountain villages, desert landscapes, and coastal ramparts. Begin in northern Morocco in Tangier and Chefchaouen before working your way south to Fes, through the Desert, over the Atlas Mountains to Marrakech and Essaouira.

ancient berber kasbah. near Ouarzazate city in Morocco.
Map of Morocco Grand Tour: Cities, Desert, & the Coast - 10 Days
Morocco Grand Tour: Cities, Desert, & the Coast - 10 Days

Enjoy this 10-day loop that begins and ends in Casablanca. Explore imperial cities and wander medieval medinas, follow old desert caravan routes and relax along the Atlantic coast. Learn to cook tagine, spend a night listening to traditional music by campfire, and go kitesurfing in the Atlantic.

Panoramic view over Fes
Map of Morocco Grand Tour: Cities, Desert & the Coast - 11 Days
Morocco Grand Tour: Cities, Desert & the Coast - 11 Days

Enjoy this 11-day trip from Casablanca to explore imperial cities, wander medieval medinas, follow old desert caravan routes, and relax along the Atlantic coast. Learn to cook tagine, spend a night listening to traditional music by a desert campfire, or go kitesurfing in the Atlantic.

Le Jardin Secret - Marrakech, Morocco
Luxury Morocco Tour: Imperial Cities, Sahara Desert, & Atlantic Coast - 15 Days

Travel in style and the best of what Morocco offers on this epic two-week trip around the country. Enjoy luxurious touches, excursions, and amenities throughout your adventure: think wine tasting, glamping in the Sahara, and a hot air balloon ride over Marrakech. You'll also stay in unique accommodations like luxury riads and your very own kasbah. 

Essaouira's Skala de Kasbah and old fishing port
Map of Grand Morocco Tour: North to South - 12 Days
Grand Morocco Tour: North to South - 12 Days

Discover imperial cities and desert adventures with this 12-day circuit from Tangier in the north to Essaouira in the south.  Experience culture and history of  Meknes, Fes, and Marrakech as you navigate narrow and winding streets in ancient medinas, shop artisanal wares in animated souks, and admire the intricate tile work of historic mosques. Explore the desert as you ride a camel over shifting sands in the Sahara, delve into mud-brick fortressed cities, and cross the high rocky peaks of the Atlas mountains.

Jemme el-Fna Square comes alive at night in Marrakech
Map of Morocco Grand Tour: Casablanca to the Atlantic Coast - 14 Days
Morocco Grand Tour: Casablanca to the Atlantic Coast - 14 Days

Follow this two-week moderately-paced circuit around Morocco for unique cultural experiences, desert adventures, and coastal relaxation. Tour the north starting in modern Casablanca and Rabat before heading to the Chefchaouen in the Rif Mountains. Get lost in the culture capital of Fes and its medieval medina, follow caravan routes through desert oases, wind through souks and secret gardens in Marrakech and relax along the Atlantic coast enjoying fresh seafood in Essaouira.

Moroccan Tour
Map of Moroccan Tour: Atlantic Coast, Imperial Cities, & Sahara Desert - 13 Days
Moroccan Tour: Atlantic Coast, Imperial Cities, & Sahara Desert - 13 Days

On this 13-day trip plan, explore all aspects of Morocco–the coastal city of Essaouria, the imperial city of Few, and the Merzouga area of the Sahara Desert. Beginning and ending in Marrakech, stroll the bustling square of Jemma El Fna, then visit Hassan Mosque II in Casablanca, with one of the tallest towers in the world. Hike in the scenic Rif Mountains and get lost in the blue-hued city of Chefchaouen. Enjoy delicious Moroccan cuisine and culture along the way.

Camels in the Sahara Desert
Map of Morocco's Imperial Cities & the Sahara Desert - 13 Days
Morocco's Imperial Cities & the Sahara Desert - 13 Days

Immerse yourself in Moroccan history and culture, and adventure in nature, the mountains, and the famed Sahara Desert on this 13-day trip. Begin and end your journey in Casablanca, where you can explore the world-renowned Hassan II Mosque. Venture into the spiritual capital of Fez and explore its different quarters. A journey into the Erg Chebbi Dunes is a trip highlight, as is Marrakesh and its bustling square. The trip concludes with coastal views and tours of Essaouira and its heritage.

Panoramic view over Fes
Map of Morocco Grand Tour: Cities, Mountains, and Desert - 14 Days
Morocco Grand Tour: Cities, Mountains, and Desert - 14 Days

Enjoy culture, history, adventure and relaxation on this 2-week Morocco grand tour. Explore the imperial cities of Rabat, Meknes, Fes, and Casablanca. Venture into the desert a few days exploring kasbahs, caravan routes, and the Saharan dunes. Cross up and over the high atlas mountains and spend a couple days hiking between small villages, spending the night with a local family. End your trip by relaxing in Essaouira before continuing along the coast back to Casablanca.

Old city of Essaouira on the coast
Map of Luxury Grand Tour of Morocco - 14 Days
Luxury Grand Tour of Morocco - 14 Days

This two-week itinerary checks off Morocco's top urban and natural landmarks. See medieval architecture in the capital of Rabat, walk the blue streets of Chefchaouen, and tour 9th-century Al Quaraouiyine University in Fes. Continue to the Sahara for a night of glamping, visit the desert citadel of Ait Benhaddou, and explore colorful Marrakech markets and ornate palaces before ending in the quiet coastal city of Essaouira.

Other popular travel destinations in Morocco
Marrakech · Fes · Moroccan Desert · Casablanca · Chefchaouen · Rabat · Atlas Mountains · Tangier · Erg Chegaga Desert