My True Morocco – Two View Points in my Essaouira Experience – First time and the next time My heart was captured by Essaouira at the end of my first two weeks traveling in Morocco.

I am certainly not the first person to have been so taken with the town. Its’ history goes back to the 16th century as do many buildings in the Medina. The medina and ramparts bear a French imprint while the contemporary scene seems pure Moroccan. So, to me as a first-time visitor, it gives the impression of exotic and old, and at the same time familiar.



The beach stretching along Mohammed V provides a welcome reception. In the early morning, as we walk toward the fishing pier, we see a yoga group, and I briefly consider running down to join them. Essourians and tourists alike are fishing, running, playing football. Children were playing in the sand and shallow surf.

The Medina proved easy to navigate, as we could always judge where we were by checking the ramparts. Hanging out at the fishing pier was easily entertaining. The blue fishing boats, hard-working fisherman, displays of great seafood, and the never-ending entertainment of sea birds made for a special morning. An afternoon walk was spent checking out contemporary art galleries, and restaurants, and the view from the ramparts. In the late afternoon, a walk on the beach provided a surprise – the water was warm enough to swim! On my next trip to Essaouira I intend to:

  • Take more beach walks
  • Get into one of those beach yoga classes (get web site for Essaouira Yoga)
  • Check out the outstanding wall art (get at least one web site)
  • Ride a camel or horse on the beach
  • Have tea on the beach and watch the sunset over water turn the Medina gold
  • Buy fish at the port and have it grilled there.
  • Try more restaurants both in and out of the Medina

Have you been to Essaouira?  Tell me what you would do next time.

Ouarzazate has stood at the edge of the Sahara desert for hundreds of years. A city of palm trees, sandy streets and blocky, fort-like buildings, this is the Morocco seen in a hundred movies. The name Ouarzazate comes from the Amazigh for ‘quiet place’, and compared to many of its fellow Moroccan towns and cities, there is a certain calm to be found here. Inside its walls you’ll find new hotels and complexes, plus film studios which have made the most of their photogenic location. Outside the city is the reason most people come to Ouarzazate: the stunning Sahara. Take a trek out to the nearby villages and kasbahs, see the breathtaking Todra Gorge, and marvel at one of the world’s great natural wonders.

if you’re looking for one of Ouarzazate’s cultural festivals then May is definitely the time to visit the Door of the Desert.
The first festival to look out for is The Rose Festival. Just a short drive from Ouarzazate is Kalaat M’Gouna, the rose capital of Morocco. Miles and miles of rosebushes grow around this desert oasis, a wildly colourful sight that fills the air with a heady perfume. Rosewater is highly prized throughout the kingdom (it takes 3,000 kilos of petals to make just one litre) and people celebrate the harvest with dancing and singing through the night in the souk. Through a rain of rose petals a Rose Queen is elected to reign over the crop.
And like many places in Morocco, August is the month for Moussem – Ouarzazate celebrates Sidi Daoud with a pilgrimage, a special souk for craftsmen, and plenty of song and dance.
for more information click here