The port city Essaouira is one of the most beautiful places in Morocco and not as far away from Marrakech as you might think. Day trips are offered by various travel agencies, but can also organize them on your own.
A visit to Essaouira is a must for every trip to Morocco. The Portuguese-influenced port city at the Atlantic Ocean stands out with its relaxed atmosphere and eye-charming maritime blue and white contrasts. Unlike lively and hectic Marrakech, Essaouira is a very laid-back town. There are neither motorcycles nor exhaust fumes, the vendors are more reserved, and you don’t have to be wary of faux guides. Since 2001 the entire medina of the city is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Famous photo motif: View from the Scala du Port to the medina of Essaouira
A view from the port to the city walls of Essaouira is one of the most popular photo motifs of Morocco, and can be found in numerous travel guides. Time seems to have stopped in the city, anyway. On a walk through the medina, you can easily feel taken back some hundred years. It’s therefore not surprising that the city served as filming location for the Fantasy TV Series “Game of Thrones”. Read more
Marrakech is a perfect base for day trips beyond the suqs of the medina. Experience the various Moroccan landscapes in the lush and fertile Ourika-Valley, the Portuguese-style coastal town of Essaouira, the Toubkal National Park or at the Ouzoud Waterfalls — Morocco presents itself in many different shapes and breathtaking beauty.
Daytrips and longer excursions can be booked via the many travel agencies and tour operators that you’ll find in Marrakech’s medina. However, if you are not in need of supplies and an off-road vehicle or 4×4 to go to the Sahara, a lot of daytrips can be organised without renting a car by simply using public transport.
Not even an hour from Marrakech, you will find Ourika Valley. This fertile valley is supplied with water by a river fed by springs in the High Atlas. A popular day trip destination is the little village of Setti Fatma, the last settlement that can be reached by car on this side of the mountains. From here, you can start little hikes in the Atlas — the short walk to the waterfalls of Setti Fatma is a classic.