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Essaouira in depth
Discover why seaside Essaouira is a premier Moroccan holiday destination
For centuries, civilisations have vied to rule the natural harbour of Essaouira. Romans made it a trading post, pirates dropped anchor, the Portuguese built a fortress and Britons, Jews and Moors mingled in the cosmopolitan markets. Now, you too can travel to this laidback, bohemian town and discover what makes it so delightful and addictive. These days, Essaouira is an artists' colony, perfect for gentle exploration by foot. Wander about the pokey streets, discovering original works. This is a beach getaway unlike any other, littered with the cries of gulls as fishermen haul in their catch and alive with the gentle magic of Morocco.
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Travel from bustling Marrakech to Essaouira, bound for the chilled shores of seaside Morocco. Sheltered by Mogador Island and dotted with riads, fishing boats and winding alleys, Essaouira's charm is undeniable. Whitewashed houses with bright blue shutters, art galleries and wood workshops - it's easy to understand why holidays to Essaouira are popular with both Moroccans and international visitors alike.
Jump on a bicycle and head off to explore the nearby village of Diabat, once a legendary hippy hangout. Back in Essaouira, continue on exploring this tranquil, charismatic town by wandering through the many quirky shops, cafes, narrow streets and along the harbour. In the evening, choose to head to the stone ramparts for views of the Atlantic Coast and be sure to indulge in some fresh seafood at a local restaurant or from the traditional outdoor griller's co-op.
On the morning of day three, hit the markets and galleries one last time to pick up bargains such as paintings, leather, woodwork, ceramics or handicrafts. Bid farewell to this charming seaside town and make tracks back to Marrakech. Dive back into the riot of colourful activity in the busy streets and spice-scented markets of this enigmatic city.
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