The Medina of Essaouira is a UNESCO World Heritage Listed city, as an example of a late 18th century fortified town, as transferred to North Africa.
The Medina Wall
The fishing harbour, suffering from the competition of Agadir and Safi remains rather small, although the catches (sardines, conger eels) are surprisingly abundant due to the coastal upwelling generated by the powerful trade winds and the Canaries Current.
The Fishing Harbour
Tourism is of growing importance, supporting boutique hotels established in traditional Moroccan riads, within the old town's ramparts. There are a number of modern purpose-built hotels, running along the beach. The medina is home to many small arts and crafts businesses, notably cabinet making and 'thuya' wood-carving (using roots of the Tetraclinis tree), both of which have been practised in Essaouira for centuries.
Essaouira is also renowned for its windsurfing, with the powerful trade wind blowing almost constantly onto the protected, almost waveless, bay. Several world-class clubs rent top-notch material on a weekly basis.
Parasols tend to be used on the beach more as a protection against the wind and the blowing sand. Camel excursions are available on the beach and into the desert band in the interior.
Festivals & Events
The Almond Tree Festival, Tafraoute
The Almond Tree Festival, Tafraoute, Morocco is an annual event that takes place in the month of February. The tiny village of Tafraoute is known as the “almond capital” of Morocco and the Almond Tree Festival is a celebration of the gregarious blooming of the hundreds of almond trees that dot the landscape of Tafraoute.
The Ashura Festival
The Ashura Festival, Morocco is the most important of the Shia Muslim Festivals. It takes place on the tenth day of the holy Muslim month of Muharram and is observed in remembrance of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein at Karbala, approximately thirteen centuries back. Prophet Imam laid down his life in pursuit of the position of Caliph.
The Asilah Arts Festival
The Asilah Arts Festival, Morocco is an annual cultural extravaganza that takes place in the first two weeks of the month of August. Both studio and performing artists from all over the world, painters, musicians and dancers gather at the Asilah Arts Festival imparting the setting with color, exuberance and dynamism.
The Celebration of the Throne
The Celebration of the Throne is an annual event observed on July 30 and marks the accession of King Mohammad VI to the throne. It is also the most important of the Morocco Festivals & events.
The Essaouira Music Festival
The Essaouira Music Festival, Morocco is also known as the Essaouira Gnaoua and World Music Festival. This is a grand musical extravaganza that celebrates the mysticism and spirituality of Gnaoua music along with its numerous offshoots like the Haitian Voodoo and the Brazilian Candomble.
The Fez Sacred Music Festival
Indian classical music, Judaic sacred music, Sufi devotional songs, Spanish gypsy songs: this is the eclectic entourage at the Fez Sacred Music Festival, Morocco, which is held every year from 1st to 10th June at Fez, the spiritual capital of Morocco.
The Goulimine Camel Fair
Goulimine is a little town at the edge of the Western Sahara. This is the site of several camel fairs all throughout the year. There is a Goulimine Camel Fair every Saturday, besides a huge annual Goulimine Camel Fair held in the month of June. The yearly Goulimine Camel Fair, Morocco, one of the most famous of the Morocco fairs, attracts caravan dwellers and tribes like the Tuaregs, the Rguibat and the Fulanis from far flung areas in the Sahara like Niger and Chad.
The Rose Festival
The Rose Festival takes place here annually in the month of May, wherein rose farmers from far and wide assemble to celebrate the year’s crops and drink to a “rosy” year of bumper crops. The Rose Festival is one of the most popular of the Morocco Festivals & events and is an occasion for you to also soak in the breathtaking natural beauty of the region
The Date Festival
The Date Festival, Morocco is one of the most popular of the various Morocco Festivals & events and is held in the month of October in the northern town of Erfoud. It is a three-day long Festival.