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Saturday, 24 October 2015 12:00 AM

A Day On Holiday In Essaouira

Essaouira is a beautiful and interesting Moroccan town on the Atlantic coast. It is a comfortable drive due west from Marrakech but now also has direct flights from the UK making it a great holiday destination.

So what is it like there and what might I expect in a typical day?

The Day Starts Relaxed

As for virtually any day on holiday in Morocco, a day in Essaouira starts in a relaxing style. In a riad (a typical Moroccan family house converted into a boutique hotel and favoured by us at Naturally Morocco), I wake to the gentle noises of early morning.

Earlier I heard the call to prayer in my semi-conscious state, which ensured I remembered that I was on holiday, and now I hear the hushed noises of staff preparing my breakfast in the courtyard below.

So I wake to the Moroccan décor and flower scents of my riad before a typical breakfast on the roof terrace, now splendid in the early sunshine of the day. Breakfast is the typical excellent spread – fresh coffee and orange juice, Moroccan flat breads and pancakes with jam and honey, a little fruit and yogurt – more than enough to keep me going.

I Choose The Beach

Today I have chosen to try something new. On my late afternoon wandering along the beach yesterday I had talked to a number of staff at various beach huts selling watersports and kite surfing had taken my attention.

Unfortunately it is virtually a flat calm today so I head back to the beach boys for a chat and they entice me into a beginners surfing session. I hire the board for the morning and, after a very short introduction I head into the Atlantic and a clean 2 foot swell just perfect for me. They had offered tuition but I didn’t fancy that today.

A couple of hours later, glad I had plenty of high factor sun cream on, and I am exhausted and ready to retire. A quick flat bread sandwich off a vendor in the medina and its siesta time.

An Afternoon Exploring

Essaouira is a medina town set by a fishing port with ramparts overlooking the ocean. It is a typical medina town and has everyday life going on, especially inland away from the more touristy western side, and is pleasant to wander around and have a cup of mint tea in a café.

Also there are hidden gems, a secret indulgence of mine, little pastry shops selling nit and honey drenched treats that are just ideal to keep you going between meals. The touristy shops hidden away down the side streets are interesting if you are in need of presents, and they tend to be sleepy affairs compared to the huge souks or Marrakech, but they are not for me today as I just want to soak up the culture.

An Evening On Holiday

I head out for an early evening wander around the fishing port, which is ridiculously photogenic as the sun goes down, and the main square and end up having a beer on a roof top of the main bar – a tad pricey but worth it for the views.

Then I head back to my riad where I have pre-ordered a meal that morning. The riad has suggested several interesting restaurants around town, but tonight I feel lazy and take a simple and excellent choice of staying in.

And another day goes by, and so to bed.

An excellent suggestion by Naturally Morocco.