Published: August 20th 2012August 20th 2012
is a city in the western Maroccan economic region of Marrakech-Tensift-Al Haouz, on the Atlantic coast. Since the 16th century, the city has also been known by its Portuguese name of Mogador
or Mogadore. The Berber name means the wall
, a reference to the fortress walls that originally enclosed the city.
The Medina of Essaouira is a UNESCO World Heritage Listed city, as an example of a late 18th century fortified town, as transferred to North Africa.
The Medina is home to many small arts and crafts businesses, notably cabinet making and 'thuya' wood-carving (using roots of the Tetraclinis tree), both of which have been practised in Essaouira for centuries.
The fishing harbour, suffering from the competition of Agadir and Safi remains rather small, although the catches are surprisingly abundant due to the coastal upwelling generated by the powerful trade winds and the Cannaries Current. Essaouira remains one of the major fishing harbours of Morocco.
Essaouira is also renowned for its kitesurfing and windsurfing, with the powerful trade wind blowing almost constantly onto the protected, almost waveless, bay. Several world-class clubs rent top-notch material on a weekly basis. Parasols tend to be used on the beach
as a protection against the wind and the blowing sand. Camel excursions are available on the beach and into the desert band in the interior.
There are more photos below