Stepping back into the turn of the 60s and 70s, inspiring musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones to write some of their most iconic records, is what awaits those visiting the picturesque, humble and historic city of Essouira.
For a long time populated heavily by ‘take is at it comes’ hippies, this small costal bohemian mecca still possesses the highly English literate local population who were ‘there’ 40 years ago and as a result, able to speak the language so proficiently and psychedelically.
Standing at one end of the medina on the main street, you can see through to the opposite end making this medina easily navigable, however it is complete with the country wide narrow and winding derbs filled with Essouira specific Aladdin’s cave uniquities.
We buy our freshly caught Atlantic fish straight from the side of the incoming boats on the harbour then take the 30 second stroll to two bystading makeshift cafes, complete with barbeue, built into the harbor wall (pictured). We hand over our plastic bag filled with 30 dirhams of still wet sardines and take a seat amongst the large beached blue boats and basking cats. The crisped steaming fish arrives a few minutes later with a small plate of spicy tomato’s and a pot of warming absinth tea, all for 20 dirhams, then after saying grace (‘bizmilee’) we taste the wonderous delights of life in lazy Essouira.
Evening in Essouira is a hive of quality international restaurants, night market food shoppers and impromptu jams raining out from countless music envious shops. Commence your evening with a roof top drink aloft the classy blue and white Tarros Terrace or try the restaurant Elizir for a delightful culinary expeience among the very tasteful flea market décor and forever obliging waiting staff.
For a day trip from Marrakech Essouira is the perfect all year round stop (although sometimes a little windy in the winter months) and is so much more than the world acclaimed Gnawa music festival this year in its 16th appearance. Your Marrakech-riad will be able to help you with travel arrangements.