Best Shared Day Trip To Essaouira From Marrakech

(1194 Reviews)

Marrakech to Essaouira Full Day Tour

Take a day trip to Essaouira from Marrakech to discover one of the hidden gems of the Atlantic coast. Essaouira or Mogador is famous for its Medina fortification and fishing port. The artsy and hippy atmosphere of Essaouira, the cool weather all year long, and the easy 2 hours and 30 minutes drive from Marrakech make Essaouira a very popular day trip. This excursion departs every day, and only one person is required per booking.

Day Trip to Essaouira from Marrakech - Highlights

  • Discover Essaouira's fishing port and its blue boats on a leisurely walk.
  • Step back in time at Skala Kasbah, a historic fortress from bygone battle days.
  • Enjoy a relaxing stroll through the easy-to-navigate lanes of the Medina.
  • Immerse yourself in creativity at Essaouira's art galleries within the Medina.
  • Indulge in a fresh seafood lunch at a charming café terrace in Essaouira.
  • Bask in the sun on Essaouira's expansive 6-kilometer sandy beach.

Shared Marrakech to Essaouira Day Tour Itinerary

  • Marrakech → Essaouira

    Your day trip to Essaouira from Marrakech will begin with driving along the Haouz plains. Once in Chichaoua village, located halfway, stop for a cup of coffee before you continue your journey. Upon approaching Essaouira, you will cross the Argan trees forest, where you will spot some goats climbing the trees. Stop and take some photos before you carry on to Essaouira.
    To watch how the Argan oil (also called the liquid gold or Moroccan oil) is extracted, you will visit a local ladies’ cooperative to learn how some fine cosmetic products are made locally out of the rich Argan oil.
    From here, we will carry on to Essaouira. Upon arrival, you will explore the beautiful city at leisure. Out of experience, Exploring Essaouira is easy on your own: Locals are very friendly, the Medina is pretty small (compared to other old towns in Morocco), and its streets are in order.
    You definitely do not need a guide for the tour of the city. You can easily explore the Medina on your own as its streets are aligned opposite each other, unlike every other maze-like Medina in Morocco. Should you insist on one, your driver will help you hire a local guide.
    First, you can visit the harbor with its fishing port and old Portuguese fortifications. You can still see medieval war cannons aligned in order and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Please continue to the Medina ( old city ) with its well-kept fortification dating to the 18th century. The major landmark of the Medina is La Scala, which was built against foreign attacks from the sea. You can continue to Bab Laalouj ( One of the main gates of Essaouira, then to the Mellah ( the old Jewish quarter.
    Various art shops, galleries, souvenir shops, and Thuya wood craft shops are aligned in order. Choose one of the local cafes for a delicious seafood lunch and head to Kasbah, famous for having served as a military bastion.
    If you are a beach lover, enjoy a walk along the sandy beach of Mogador and maybe watch locals playing beach ball. If you are brave enough, why not join a game for a few minutes. People from Essaouira are amicable!! If not, you can sunbathe while watching waterspouts, amateurs kitesurfing, or windsurfing.
    Late in the afternoon, drive back to Marrakech, and your full-day tour to Essaouira will end with a drop off at your hotel or the nearest car-accessible point to your riad.

Day Trip to Essaouira from Marrakech price

Price per person: Days of operation: Number of participants:
19 € Daily 17 Max

Included

  • Pick up from your hotel or the nearest car accessible point to your Riad in Marrakech.
  • A/C modern minibus (no more than 17 passengers) driven by an English/French speaking driver.
  • Drop off at your hotel or Marrakech city center.

Not included

  • Lunch & beverages.
  • Local guide in Essaouira.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the distance between Marrakech and Essaouira and how long does the drive take?

Covering a distance of 190 km (118 miles), the drive from Marrakech to Essaouira via R207 takes approximately 2 hours and 40 minutes, offering a scenic route to this coastal city.

What is special about Essaouira?

Essaouira is renowned for its vibrant charm, blending cultural experiences like the labyrinthine medina and the active fishing port with natural attractions such as its expansive windswept beach. The town is a hub of activity offering a variety of experiences, from surf lessons and Moroccan cooking classes to camel rides and quad biking adventures. This mix of cultural richness and adventure options, alongside its unique coastal atmosphere, makes Essaouira a special destination.

Do you stop to take pictures of goats climbing Argan trees on the way?

Yes, on the journey to Essaouira, there is an opportunity to stop and take pictures of the unique sight of goats climbing Argan trees. It’s important to be aware that the goat herders typically expect a tip for photographing this distinctive scene.

Do you visit an Argan oil cooperative on the way to Essaouira?

Yes, during the trip to Essaouira, there is a stop at a traditional Argan oil factory run by local women. Please note that while each cooperative has a showroom for their products, visitors are under no obligation to make a purchase.

How long do we spend in Essaouira?

The duration of the stay in Essaouira is typically from around noon until approximately 16:00 (4:00 PM), giving you several hours to explore and enjoy the town.

 

 

 

Can we swim in Essaouira?

Yes, swimming is possible on the beaches of Essaouira. However, it’s important to note that the area is often windy for most of the year. Despite this, Essaouira can sometimes offer surprisingly warm and sunny weather, even in winter. It’s recommended to bring your bathing suit and towel, so you’re prepared to enjoy a swim if the conditions are favorable.

Are seafood restaurants in Essaouira safe?

Seafood restaurants in Essaouira’s port offer a quintessential experience for visitors, but it’s important to choose wisely. While the port is filled with picturesque, small blue wooden boats and offers numerous photo opportunities, caution is advised when buying fish directly from the market for nearby grills to prepare. There have been issues with rip-offs, not-so-fresh fish, and poor preparation. A safer and potentially more satisfying option is to order seafood off the menu at a restaurant, where chefs are more likely to use fresh ingredients and have the expertise in cooking them. If you’re keen on trying “fresh” fish, sardines are a safe bet as they are the most abundant catch in the area and commonly consumed by locals

Is Essaouira worth visiting?

Essaouira is widely considered worth visiting for its unique blend of cultural, historical, and natural attractions. This picturesque coastal town is known for its relaxed atmosphere, contrasting sharply with the hustle and bustle of larger cities like Marrakech. Key highlights include its historic medina, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the bustling fishing harbor, beautiful beaches ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing due to the consistent wind, and a vibrant arts scene. Additionally, Essaouira’s culinary offerings, especially fresh seafood, add to its appeal. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, adventure, or simply relaxing by the sea, Essaouira offers a diverse range of experiences making it a worthwhile destination.

What does Mogador mean?

Mogador” is the former name for the city of Essaouira in Morocco. The name is believed to be derived from the Phoenician word “Migdol,” meaning a “small fortress,” which aptly describes the city’s fortified structure. Over the centuries, Essaouira has been influenced by various cultures including the Phoenicians, Romans, and Portuguese, each leaving their mark on the city’s architecture and culture. The name “Mogador” was used during these historical periods and up until the mid-20th century when the city reverted to its current name, Essaouira. The name Mogador encapsulates a rich historical legacy, reflecting the city’s long-standing role as a significant port and cultural center in Morocco.

Is there a train from Marrakech to Essaouira?

No, there is no direct train service between Marrakech and Essaouira. The primary modes of transport between these two cities are by bus, private car, or a rented vehicle. The journey by road covers approximately 190 kilometers and takes around 2 to 3 hours, depending on traffic and the mode of transportation. For those looking to travel by public transport, buses frequently run between Marrakech and Essaouira, offering an affordable and comfortable option. Alternatively, hiring a taxi or joining an organized tour can provide more direct and flexible travel arrangements.

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1194 Reviews
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Olivia Johnson

Couple Traveller

This was definitely a great deal, providing good value for the money spent. It was really cool to visit the location where they filmed Game of Thrones. Some of the streets there reminded me of Santorini, with those charming white and blue buildings. What stood out to me were the markets in their old town area. Unlike other places, these markets had a relaxed vibe. You could actually take your time to explore without constantly being approached or bothered. The tickets, priced at 19 Euros per person, were definitely worth it for the experience.

August 30, 2023

Amelia Johnson

Couple Traveller

Wonderful journey! Although one day is clearly insufficient in this lovely coastal resort-city, the journey will not disappoint. Following a visit to an all-women cooperative where we learnt how Argan oil is created. Before arriving to ESSAOUIRA, the driver pulled over to the side of the road to show us the goats on the Argan tree from which the oil is produced. Once there, we hired a local guide (recommended by our driver) expert He took us on a tour of the harbor and the medina. (Walled City, in Arabic) leaving us with little time to go shopping! The city is a jewel, the merchants are considerably less pushy, and the product is much cheaper than in Marrakech; this is the spot to get your mementos. At the end, we realized there was no need to hire a local guide in Essaouira, we could have explored it our own at our pace.

August 30, 2023

Sophia Martinez

Couple Traveller

This was the trip we had been looking forward to. It was essentially self-contained, with three or four stops. The first and last stops were at huge convenience shops with restrooms. The second stop was at the goat-climbing trees. The last trip was at an Argan oil cooperative, where they demonstrated how they manufacture argon oil and convert it into various items for sale. Then you’re dropped off at Essaouira, where you have around 4 hours to stroll about and explore. I thoroughly loved this trip and thought it was adequately described as a driver to get you from point A to point B and back. Not much else to say. I believe it was worthwhile.

August 30, 2023

Mateo Lopez

Couple Traveller

We had an amazing day in Essaouira. Even though the drive was quite long, the stops during the journey helped break it up, so it didn’t feel as tiring. The bus we traveled in was comfortable and had air conditioning, which was really important considering the hot Moroccan weather. Essaouira itself was lovely, and our tour guide knew a lot, which added to the experience. I liked that we had some free time to explore on our own. All in all, it was a fantastic experience.

August 28, 2023

Ji-eun Kim

Solo Traveller

It was a wonderful and rejuvenating day trip from Marrakech to Essaouira. This place holds a special kind of magic. If you can, I highly recommend staying for at least two days to fully savor the charms of the town.

August 25, 2023
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