Essaouira in Photos

Essaouira has the vibe of a Mediterranean coastal town, except probably a bit cooler since it rests on the Atlantic Ocean. The walled blue and white medina rests partially on a cliff, offering lovely views from the ramparts and the port. To the south of the old city sits the beach, where families and children frolic midday and, in the late afternoon, boys and young men play soccer on the hard-packed sand. The strong winds also make for a (kite)surfer's paradise. Walking north from the beach along the wall, you eventually come to the port - a chaotic, lively and stinky ecosystem of fisherman, seagulls and cats.

There are no specific sights to see here - nothing to wake up early, stand in line, buy tickets for and plan your day around; rather, it's the sort of place you come to for aimless strolling, beachside lounging, and sipping beers on a rooftop terrace overlooking the ocean. This is my kind of Morocco, and I'm glad I saved it for last.

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If you go...

1. Eat fresh fish in the shacks by the port. Negotiate the price before you sit down. They'll try to get you to pay 100d per person at first, but both times I negotiated down to 65-70 dirhams - and that included ample fish for everyone, plus salad, bread and drinks.

2. Get juiced. Ginger serves wholesome juices, salads and sandwiches. The staff is multilingual and the place has wifi. On the way from the main square to the ramparts if you follow the wall.

3. Do a mini pub crawl. The cafe closest to the port on the main square (it's just to the left of the bank) has 25cl beer for 20 dirhams. (Not great, coming from 2.50€ pints in Paris, but probably one of the better deals you'll find in Morocco). You can only drink on the upstairs terrace - which is fine, because the views are great. Afterwards head over to Taros (on the other side of the bank) for more expensive drinks but a better ambiance. They even have thick woven ponchos for when the cold settles in after dark.

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