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Hotels & Accommodation in Essaouira

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Essaouira Introduction

With a relaxed, bohemian vibe that has inspired many painters and musicians, Essaouira is a small town enclosed by giant stone walls. Down winding streets you'll see traditional Moroccan buildings with bright blue doors, and colourful market stalls that spill out onto the street. Set on a sandy stretch of beach that's popular with surfers, the town has a laid-back cafe culture and a wide selection of European-inspired restaurants.

Hotels in Essaouira

There are many 2 and 3-star hotels in Essaouira within the town's walls, which make a great base to explore. Often housed in converted riads, with traditional features such as tiled walls, many of these Essaouira hotels have Moroccan restaurants and bars, with extras such as free WiFi and free parking included. Guestrooms are clean and basic, with facilities such as refrigerators. Along the coast you'll find large luxury resorts with excellent Essaouira hotel rates. Featuring outdoor pools, full-service spas, restaurants and even nightclubs, these resorts have luxe rooms with bathrobes, minibars, pillow menus and rainfall showerheads.

Where to stay

Many luxury hotels in Essaouira are set along the coast on a long flat promenade lined with palm trees. This area is full of cosy cafes with plush sofas and seafood restaurants with outdoor terraces, serving Moroccan and French cuisine. Inside the town's walls, Essaouira has a compact centre, with shops and homes built down narrow alleyways. You'll spot many traditional blue Moroccan doors, plus rustic stone and mosaic features. You'll come across town squares full of cafes with pavement tables and cheap Essaouira hotels that are popular with backpackers.

Things to see

Just outside the walls of the town, Essaouira Beach has a rather rocky landscape, but as you wander further from civilisation you'll find long stretches of golden sand with clear, slightly choppy, seas. Popular with locals, there are often kids flying kites or running in and out the water as tourists ride camels up and down the beach. The chaotic atmosphere of the Medina of Essaouira gives you a taste of local life. Market stalls are set up under large stone archways, heaving with colourful rugs, clothes and handbags. Stop at one of the aromatic spice shops with their huge jars of exotic flavourings, or enjoy sticky baklava and super-sweet mint tea from one of the little stalls. Skala du Port is an imposing fortress on the harbour, where you can watch rustic little fishing boats bring in huge nets of fish. Dating back to the 18th century, the original bronze cannons still keep watch over the town and you can peek through the battlements to enjoy views over the port and sea.

How to get to Essaouira

Essaouira-Mogador Airport has a small number of flights from the UK and Europe, and is just a 20-minute drive from the town. There are plenty of taxis available, and an airport bus that runs every couple of hours. Marrakesh Menara Airport has a wider choice of flights and is about 2.5 hours away from Essaouira, with car hire available at the airport. Another option is to take a bus or taxi to Marrakesh's ONCF railway station, then a Supratours coach to Essaouira, which takes about 4 hours.