Essaouira officially has around 320 days of sunshine per year making it an ideal year-round outdoor destination. This free-spirited coastal town is like nowhere else in Morocco. Visitors will encounter both bikinis and boards on the beach but also an exciting, UNESCO World Heritage Site, cosmopolitan medina. Essaouira, remains relatively undiscovered with direct flights only from around five destinations, including twice weekly from London.
There are many reasons to head outdoors and get active in Essaouira including:
The Beach - Kite Surfing
Ocean Vagabond on the beach in Essaouira, is one of the coolest and most affordable places to dine whilst watching the waves. The laid-back terrace is the perfect backdrop after a day learning to kite surf. Ocean Vagabond offer several kite surf options including group, couple and private lessons. The winds that blow on Essaouira bay provide the ideal atmosphere for beginners.
The Countryside - Eco Tours
Nature may not be the first thing that springs to mind when planning a visit to Essaouira. But, Essaouira is home to the famous Argan trees found across forests just inland from the Atlantic coast. The Argan is a true symbol of the region surrounding Essaouira. Southwest Morocco produces this highly prized oil which is extracted from nuts and these have been used across the world in beauty products and spa treatments. How about finding out about the origins of the Argan tree and exploring the Moroccan countryside? Jardin des Douars can organise guided tours with an expert.
The Medina - Walking
The best place to find examples of Essaouira’s heritage is in the Medina. It is one of Morocco’s nine UNESCO World Heritage sites and if visitors step through one of the many gates in the old walls they’ll be transported back in time. Seek out the imposing kasbah with its nineteen bronze cannons, take in the ornate carvings on the doors and walls of every street, see the synagogues and church or visit the souk; it’s the best place for visitors to learn all about Essaouira’s heritage. Fans of ‘Game of Thrones’ the television drama, may recognise the labyrinth of streets. Combined with traditional craftsmen and women creating authentic Moroccan pieces on sale in many stalls and shops, guests will also experience many contemporary new restaurants, shops and art galleries.
Other active experiences in Essaouira include camel rides, horse riding, quad biking and cookery classes. Jardin des Douars can help plan all of these activities including shuttle transfers from the hotel.
Set within a stunning botanical garden overlooking the Ksob River, the independently owned Le Jardin des Douars is Essaouira’s leading hotel. The ‘boutique’ hotel offers luxurious yet affordable accommodation nestled in the heart of the Essaouira hills only 12 minutes by shuttle to the medina. There are 19 bedrooms and 6 suites in total and 6 luxury villas with their own heated swimming pools.
The hotel's facilities include two outdoor heated pools, three dining areas including a large open plan restaurant, a ‘couples’ dining room and alfresco dining on the terrace. Other facilities include a hammam and spa where treatments are offered using Argan oils.
Experience Essaouira throughout the year with several outdoor activities.
B&B priced from around £115 per room, per night or £500 per villa, per night.
Travel Information: Ryanair fly between London Stansted and Essaouira twice per week on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Essaouira airport is located 15 minutes from Le Jardin des Douars and a shuttle service is available. Marrakech is about three hours away by coach.