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Gnaoua Music Festival

Gnaoua Music Festival, Essaouira June 2015


If interested in the fesiival book your accommodation early in 2015 (2014 details below, 2014 prices noted are basic accommodation which gets booked first).


2014 Prices from £161 pp (4 nights Accommodation & Transfers excluding flights*)

Immerse yourself in traditional African music for 4 days at the Gnaoua Music festival in the coastal town of Essaouira and, if you want to extend your trip, choose to relax in the High Atlas or explore the vibrant city of Marrakech for a few days. 

The Festival

The annual music festival in Essaouira, now in its 17th year, has become a fixture on the world music festival calendar. Focusing on the traditional Gnaoua (Gnawa) music, it also includes jazz, pop, rock, and contemporary world music by musicians from all over the world.

The origins of Gnaoua music lie in sub-Saharan Africa but it has evolved to include a mix of Berber, African and African Islamic spiritual religious songs and rhythms, and combines ritual poetry with traditional music and acrobatic dancing. 

The festival is based around Essaouira, the picturesque Atlantic coastal town, with 2 main stages hosting free access concerts and a few “intimate” venues hosting artists for which tickets must be purchased (up to around £15 per ticket).  Over the 4 days of the long weekend, there are more than a dozen free concerts in Place Moulay Hassan, another half dozen in the second free concert venue and many more in the intimate venues. 

Whilst the running order for 2014 has yet to be announced, that from 2012 gives a great indication of the scale of the festival:

Time to Book your Trip

The festival attracts great interest, so good accommodation is at a premium and needs to be booked well in advance.

Essaouira is only three hours' drive from Marrakech and its international airport, and about four hours from the beautiful High Atlas Mountains, which means your time at the festival can easily be topped or tailed with a stay in either of these excellent locations.

Itinerary Summary

Thurs Flight to Marrakech and transfer from the airport to Essaouira (2.5 hrs).
Thurs - Mon Four nights stay at Riad Chakir Mogador in Essaouira including breakfast
Mon Transfer to Marrakech Airport and return flight


Pricing: *Based on 2 persons sharing (B&B), staying at Riad Chakir, Essaouira (alternative accommodation can be arranged), includes return transfers fo Essaouira from Marrakech but excludes flights.

Extend Your Stay - Extra nights from £35 per person on B&B (sharing a twin or double room) can be arranged in either Essaouira or Marrakech.