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Essaouira

2,660 bytes added, 10:55, 6 October 2012
Stay safe
==Get in==
* A whole grand taxi from Marrakech runs anywhere from about 450dh - 800dh1000dh, depending on your negotiating skills, where you are, the mood of the driver, etc. Alternatively, it is about 80dh per place if you wait and take a shared grand taxi (six passengers, leave when full).
* Supratours run coaches from their offices - immediately next door to Marrakech's new train station - to their office in Essaouira - just down the street from the beach and close to the medina entrance at Bab Marrakech. The 2009 2012 price is 65dh 70dh per person for standard bus or 100dh per person for the Comfort Plus bus, plus 5dh for each piece of stowed luggage.
* CTM also run a coach service from Marrakech's bus station (or the CTM Offices in the Gueliz, on Zerktouni street) for 80dh 75dh (2009 price, add 5dh per piece of stowed luggage).
* At the bus station it is likely that there will always be "a bus departing to Essaouira now". Unless you've time to kill and are not too bothered by hygiene, it's worth avoiding these other services as they will stop all the way to Essaouira, adding 1.5 h to the journey.
==Get around==
The walled centre of town, the Medina, does not allow motor is supposedly restricted to non-motorized vehicles to enter other , but this rule is widely ignored in the case of mopeds which are an increasing nuisance. Other than the ubiquitous mopedthat, but there are occasional horse drawn vehicles donkey carts to dodge. Smile and get out of the way.
==See==
Essaouira is a perfect example of a late 18th century fortified town, with the original canons still in place and where Orson Wells shot his Othello, "The Moor of Venice".
==Do==
* The '''beach''' dominates the Essaouirans' leisure time. Although the strong wind and currents makes relaxed tanning and swimming a little difficult at times, it is perfect for '''kitesurfing''' and '''windsurfing'''. With good winds for most days of the year, Essaouira is a watersports ' paradise. The best spots are reported to be Essaouira Bay, Sidi Kaouki, Cape Sim and Mouley Bouzertoune. Equipment can be hired from various hire centres on the beach front. However, this is not the ideal place to learn watersports, particularly kitesurfing. There tends to be a bit of a catch 22 - either its calm and you can't go out because there's no wind or its windy and you can't go out because there is a huge shore break. In addition the water can smell of sewage.
* '''World Music Festival''' in June : [http://www.festival-gnaoua.co.ma/]
*The nearby town of Diabat is at the other end of Essaouira's beach, and is allegedly where Jimi Hendrix once spent some time. Even if the stories aren't true, this long, windswept beach with its ruined fort is a fantastic walk. Diabat is an empty, concrete Berber village that is practically devoid of attractions except the Hendrix ruin and a Hendrix Cafe. It's best visted in the early morning via taxi and then return to Essouiara via a short and very romantic walk on the beach past the castle in the sand of Hendrix fame.
*<do name="Zouina-cheval" alt="" address="Village of Diabat" directions="Diabat is at 3 km of from the medina, accessible by taxi" phone="" url="http://www.zouina-cheval.com" hours="from 8AM to 8PM" price="from 170dh for 1h to 7150dh for a week" lat="" long="">Zouina-cheval organizes horse treks and horse rides in the surrounding of Essaouira. The rides are for everybody (beginners, good riders, children) but the treks are recommended to good riders as you spend long hours riding. If you want city breaks and experience the countryside as well as beaches, dunes and traditional village, those rides are for you. The monitor, Najib, is very qualified and very nice. Prices are correct and you don't have to negotiate.</do>
*<do name="Ecotourism…Walking tours" alt="" address="8 bis rue houmman el fatouaki Médina Essaouira " directions="" phone="06 18 13 24 80 " url="http://www.essaouira-randonnées.com" hours="half day" price="200 dh" lat="" long="">Discover the real Essaouira-Natural Essaouira…on foot
Guided Eco -friendly tours of the amazing countryside around Essaouira. You can discover the Argan Woods, the Thuya Forests, and the unimagined world of the Dunes… take mint tea in a berber village, and learn the secrets of a unique and irreplaceable ecosystem at your own pace.
Price per person per day: half day is 200 DH and full day is 400 DH (including a traditional meal with moroccan family)
Transport is included from town to the departure point of each walkis included.
</do>
 
==Buy==
==Eat==
Although Essaouira is on the sea, fish are quite expensive. Fishermen sell their catch through the market hall and you can get have it cooked in at the small stands nearby. Prices are clearly marked per by weight on the large pricing board at the end of the fish market stalls, but this seems to make little difference to the chances of being hustled.Sample price: I payed 5 DH for pack of fresh sardins (10 one of them) in fish market. Carefully evaluate how much you are being charged. A cheaper option is to buy Harira (a spicy soup) for 2-5DH 5dh or sandwich (i.e. at Blue fasade for 10-20DH20dh, walking at the street from fish stands to the medina).
There are many reasonable restaurants and cafes on the main streets and squares.
Upscale restaurants worth a mention are Taros (2, rue de la Sqala Skala Tel: 044 47 64 07) which combines a French-Moroccan restaurant, a gallery and a terrace bar with live local music and "5" (rue Youssef el fassi) for its elegant ex-pat vibe.
* <eat name="La Triskalla" address="Rue Touahen (in the Medina)" phone="+212 (0) 24-47 63 71 price="between 20 and 60dh per meal" url="http://www.latriskalla.skyblog.com">Restaurant (excellent Vegetarian food and Fish), Creperie, Galerie. Cosy environment in an old Riad, friendly service. Free internet for customers (WiFi + PC available).</eat>
* <eat name="Patisserie Driss" address="" phone="" email="" fax="" hours="" price="" url="">close to the main square is a great place for cakes and snacks.</eat>
* <eat name="Fish Market" address="Essaouira local market" phone="" email="" fax="" hours="" price="buy the fish + 25dh for the baking" url="">If you are a fish enthusiast, you cannot miss the food in the market. Buy your fish (cheap, shirmps shrimps are 50dh/kilo, sardines 5dh/6, etc) take it to the small kitchen / restaurant and let them cook it for you. They add salad, olives and bread for 25dh. Really fun, cheap and good food! (The food here is NOT cheap - see cautionary tale above)</eat> * <eat name="La Decouverte" address="8 bis, rue Houmman el Fatouaki" phone="024 47 31 58" email="" fax="" hours="" price="mains 50dh - 80dh" url="http://www.essaouira-ladecouverte.com">If you are tired of tagines, disappointed by Italian-Moroccan pasta, give La Decouverte a try. A French couple cook in a Moroccan style but with a French twist. Nice atmosphere, good prices. Go for it</eat>
* <eat name="La decouverteLicorne" address="8 bis, 26 rue Houmman el Fatouakiscala" phone="024 47 31 5836 26" email="[email protected]" fax="024 47 59 71" hours="" price="mains 50dh - 80dh160dh" url="http://www.elalicorne-essaouira-ladecouverte.com">If you are tired of taginesA great place in Essaouira for a romantic dinner, disappointed by italian-moroccan pastaor between friends, give La Decouverte a try. A french couple cooks with moroccan ingredients, moroccan and for all of you who like recipes but to enjoy Moroccan dishes along with french handone of the country's finest wine. Nice atmosphere, correct prices. Go for it</eat>
* <eat name="La LicorneRiad El Baraka" address="26 113, rue scalaMohammed El-Qorry" phone=:"024 47 36 260524-473561" email="contactriadbaraka@lalicorneyahoo.com">Set in a former Jewish school, this hip place has several dining rooms and a bar set around a large courtyard in the shade of a huge fig tree. The food is mainly Moroccan with some Middle Eastern and Jewish influences, the decor cool, and there’s live music by local bands at weekends.</eat> * <eat name="La Cantina" alt="" address="66 Rue Boutouil" directions="GPS +31.51552°,-essaouira9.com76830°" faxphone="024 47 59 7145 15" url="" hours="" price="mains 160dh~70dh" urllat="" long="" direction="http://wwwGPS +31.elalicorne51552°,-essaouira9.76830°" email="" fax="">If you're fed up by tajines and couscous, this mexican food restaurant will be your oasis.com</eat> * <eat name="Shyadma's Vegan Food" address="20, Rue Laalouj - Place El Khayma" phone:"" email="">A great place Lovely vegan/vegetarian spot in Essaouira for the middle of Place El Khayma, a romantic diner, or between friendsless visited place with many restaurants. Shyadma's is tiny, but everything is made from seasonal vegetables and fruits from the nearby market. You will most likely have to wait 15-20 minutes for all of your grub, but it's well worth the wait. If you who like to enjoy call this Moroccan dishes along with one of the country's finest wineslow food, you will be very right.A refreshening delight for foodies, especially vegetarians and vegans!</eat>
==Drink==
Mint tea is available for about 6DH 6dh all over the town, or for free if you are invited in by any carpet salesman who will assure you you are entering "just for a look." Some of the hotels have licensed bars, but it's hard to beat the terrace bar of the '''Taros''' (2 Rue de la SqalaSkala) for its view over the lively Place Moulay el Hassan and the harbour.The "Alcohol shop"An off-license, the only one in town, can be found outside of Bab Doukkala on a larger market street the Boulevard al Massira, to the right. Just inside this gate is the "black market" for alcohol on religious holidays and at night. Just ask the boys selling loose cigarettes! Locals can be seen to quite openly, if discreetly, to roll joints and smoke hashish outside cafes in the harbour and the people are generally very relaxed. It is highly illegal though so it's and not recommended if unless you're not feeling very safe about it!
==Sleep==
If arriving by bus, local women will surround you as you exit offering discount Riads or accommodation in their homes for as little as 150dnr (can be negotiated down to 75), though you will not get a view of the ocean for this. There are many hotel options available so feel free to bypass them. You can always return to the bus station and they will still be there.
 
* <sleep name="Dar 91" alt="" address="91 rue Chbanat" directions="Essaouira Medina" phone="" email="[email protected]" fax="" url="http://www.moroccoholidayhome.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="">Dar 91 is a private and self-contained house with its own roof terraces, in the picturesque, walled old town of Essaouira. Here you can sit back and watch everyday Moroccan life unfold. Located in an area of the medina relatively untouched by tourism, the house is a chilled-out and authentic ‘home from home’, which we let out as a whole, rather than ‘by the room’ </sleep>
 
* <sleep name="Dar Lazuli" alt="[email protected]" address="7 Moussa ben Noussaire" directions="Essaouira Medina, 2 mins from beach" phone="" url="http://www.darlazuli.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="£60 per night" lat="" long="">200 year old riad.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Dar Leila" alt="" address="Essaouira Medina" directions="" phone="(44) 1962 771476" email="[email protected]" fax="" url="http://www.darleila.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="From £500 per week">Dar Leila is a fully restored, staffed riad sleeping up to 10 in the heart of the medina. It has 5 beds, 3 baths and a fabulous secluded roof terrace. Breakfast included, other meals available. Minimum 2 people </sleep>
* <sleep name="Riad LunetoileDar Zahira" alt="" address="191, Rue Sidi Mohamed Ben AbdellahMedina Essaouira" directions="Essaouira Medina" phone="(212) 661 880 340" url="http://www.lunetoileriaddarzahira.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="from 35€, see website or call for special offers" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="">Riad Lunetoile is a 200 year-old family home, well-situated Located right in the centre of the ancient, walled, Medina lively and bustling heart of Essaouira, with Dar Zahira is a beautiful terrace giving a breath-taking view relaxed retreat hidden in one of the Atlantic ocean, the bay, Diabet in the distance, as well as medina's narrow alleys. The small riad is built around a lovely panoramic view of the rooftops, courtyard and streets, sleeps a maximum of the Medina6 persons. The house can be rented as a whole. Breakfast is served every morning.Wi-Fi internet available</sleep>
* <sleep name="Dar 91Hotel Orson Welles" alt="" address="91 rue Chbanat al akaba n°19 borj 1 Essaouira" directions="Essaouira Medina" phone="" email="[email protected]" fax="" url="http://www.moroccoholidayhomehotelorsonwelles.com" checkin="noon" checkout="noon" price="400 Drh for double room with breakfast" email="[email protected]" lat="" long="">Dar 91 is a private Good hotel and self-contained house good price with its own roof terraces, in free parking facing the picturesque, walled old town of Essaouirahotel. Here you can sit back and watch everyday Moroccan life unfold The hotel is near to beach 4 minutes walking. Located in an area of the medina relatively untouched by tourism, the house is a chilled-out and authentic ‘home from home’, which we let out as a whole, rather than ‘by the room’</sleep>
* <sleep name="Dar LazuliRiad de la Mer" alt="[email protected]" address="7 Moussa ben Noussaire-9 Rue Khalid Ben Oualid, Kasbah" directions="Essaouira Medina, 2 mins from beach" phone="+442087880701" url="http://www.darlazuliriaddelamer.co.comuk" checkin="" checkout="" price="£60 per night£47.50" lat="" long="">200 year old Very large 18th century riad, retaining original features and character.Stunning views of the ocean, centrally located just off the main square, 5 minutes from the beach. Sleeps 10. Think Villa Maroc, but smaller (and cheaper!)</sleep>
* <sleep name="Hotel SmaraRiad des Deux Rives" alt="" address="26 Rue de la SkalaMedina of Essaouira" phone="044-472334+33664098991" email="[email protected]" url="http://www.riadessaouira.fr/" price="Double: €60, suite: €90">Is one A Riad of the cheapest (and therefore most popular) hotels XVIII th century in town, so you may need to book ahead during peak season. The spartan roof terrace has nice views over the cannons used in the opening sequence of Orson Welles ''Othello''. Singles / doubles with shared bath start from Dh 47 / Dh 96. ''CAUTION'' The hotel is very cheap and popular with lovely views from the terrace; but unless you want to experience cold showers and non-flush toilets..Essaouira. I'd consider paying a bit more and staying somewhere else! </sleep>
* <sleep name="Riad des Deux RivesLunetoile" alt="" address="Medina of Essaouira191, Rue Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah" phonedirections="+33664098991Essaouira Medina" emailphone="[email protected](212) 661 880 340" url="http://www.riadessaouiralunetoileriad.fr/com" checkin="" checkout="" price="Double: €60from €35, suite: €90see website or call for special offers" lat="" long="" email="[email protected]" fax="">A Riad Lunetoile is a 200 year-old family home, well-situated in the centre of the XVIII th century ancient, walled, Medina of Essaouira, with a beautiful terrace giving a breath-taking view of the Atlantic ocean, the bay, Diabet in Essaouirathe distance, as well as a lovely panoramic view of the rooftops, and streets, of the Medina.</sleep>
* <sleep name="Riad Malaika" alt="" address="17 Rue Zayanne" phone="+044.473861" email="[email protected]" url="" price="">Provides an authentic Riad stay. This former Moroccan home has been beautifully restored and converted and is in the center of town. The staff is extremely hospitable and courteous. It has a beautiful terrace rooftop perfect for private lounging. Rooms are charming and run from 500dh to 1000dh, including breakfast (discounts available in the low season and for longer stays).</sleep>
 
* <sleep name="Hotel Smara" alt="" address="26 Rue de la Skala" phone="044-472334" email="" url="" price="">Is one of the cheapest (and therefore most popular) hotels in town, so you may need to book ahead during peak season. The spartan roof terrace has nice views over the cannons used in the opening sequence of Orson Welles ''Othello''. Singles / doubles with shared bath start from Dh 47 / Dh 96. ''CAUTION'' The hotel is very cheap and popular with lovely views from the terrace; but unless you want to experience cold showers and non-flush toilets... I'd consider paying a bit more and staying somewhere else! </sleep>
* <sleep name="Sofitel Thalassa Mogador" alt="" address="" phone="47 23 34" email="" url="" price="">Right on the beach, it will be happy to indulge your every whim, for a hefty price. Singles / doubles start at Dh 1400 / Dh 1850 during low season but can rocket up to Dh 1890 / Dh 2430 during the peak new year period. Luxury suites are also available and there's a Sofitel-branded health spa next door for those in urgent need of a hydrotherapy session and facial.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Riad Bab Essaouira" alt="" address="35 biss, bd my Abd errahmane Eddakhil " directions="5 mn walk from the big square Moulay Hassan" phone="00212661439221" url="http://riad-bab-essaouira.com/" checkin="8H00" checkout="12H00" price="85 euro" lat="" long="">Boutique Riad Bab Essaouira with a great location peacefull and easy ,5 mn walk from the big square Moulay Hassan and the sea.4 ensuites accommodations with in a design riad with black african vibes.2 roof terraces with a fantastic ocean view at 360.dinner on site on request and concierge service.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Hotel Argana" alt="Hotel Argana" address="Bab Doukkala" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="60" lat="" long="">60 DH 1 person, 100 DH 2 persons. Hot shower 5 DH. Rooms are clean. Toilets outside. Not for honeymooney travelers, but rather for people who just need clean and (quite) quiet place to sleep. Nice grandma-lady at the reception :)</sleep>
*<sleep name="Hotel Bab Doukkala" alt="Hotel Bab Doukkala" address="Bab Doukkala" directions="" phone="" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="negotiable" lat="" long="">Cheap and quiet hotel in the center. Prices are negotiable - no plain tariffs. I payed 80 DH for one night in room with bathroom outside and no window :-). It gets a little colder (february) in the night in there - ocean is close.</sleep>
*<sleep name="Riad Nakhla" alt="" address="12, Rue d'Agadir Essaouira" directions="main street in the medina" phone="[email protected]" url="" checkin="" checkout="" price="250" lat="" long="">internet is fast. shower pressure is low but it's hot. nearby lots of food and shops</sleep>
*<sleep name="Dar Zahira" alt="" address="Medina Essaouira" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.darzahira.com" checkin="" checkout="" price="" lat="" long="">Located right in the lively and bustling heart of Essaouira, Dar Zahira is a relaxed retreat hidden in one of the medina's narrow alleys. The small riad is built around a courtyard and sleeps a maximum of 6 persons. The house can be rented as a whole. Breakfast is served every morning. WIFI internet available</sleep>
*<sleep name="Riad de la Mer" alt="" address="7-9 Rue Khalid Ben Oualid, Kasbah" directions="" phone="+442087880701" url="http://www.riaddelamer.co.uk" checkin="" checkout="" price="£47.50" lat="" long="">Very large 18th century riad, retaining original features and character. Stunning views of the ocean, centrally located just off the main square, 5 minutes from the beach. Sleeps 10. Think Villa Maroc, but smaller (and cheaper!)</sleep> *<sleep name="Hotel Orson Welles" alt="" address="rue al akaba n°19 borj 1 Essaouira" directions="" phone="" url="http://www.hotelorsonwelles.com" checkin="noon" checkout="noon" price="400 Drh for double room with breakfast" email="[email protected]" lat="" long="">Good hotel and good price with free parking facing the hotel. The hotel is near to beach 4 minutes walking.</sleep>*<sleep name="Riad Bab Essaouira" alt="best boutique riad in essaouira" address="35 biss bd my Abd errahmane Eddakhil" directions="5 mn from the big square and ocean" phone="00212661439921" url="http://www.riad-bab-essaouira.com/" checkin="08" checkout="13" price="225" lat="" long="">Essaouira Best Guest House-Riad Bab Essaouira Intimate boutique riad fusion of design&black africa'art Member of the "Coolest Riads" as riad dar najat&riad bab Marrakech Fantastic location five mn from the main square&ocean(one meter from Riad Dar el Bacha,oldest riad in Essaouira) Three ensuites accommodations with flat tv&2 roof terraces&2 american kitchen full equiped&wifi in all the boutique riad On http://www.riad-bab-essaouira.com00212331439221Mail [email protected]</sleep>  ==Stay Safesafe==
Avoid the space cake dealers and do not let them fool you into thinking that it is ok for tourists to use small amounts of cannabis.
Beware of motor bikes speeding around the old town. The area is supposed to be pedestrian-only, but the motor bikes ignore the rules.
==Get out==
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