Morocco is increasing in popularity among Westerns. Not all but many of us have gone to sunshine heavy destinations in Europe. Italy, Greece, Portugal, Spain and even in the south of France, we have enjoyed the hot baking sun and classic southern European food. Once you’ve been to such places a few times, you want to look further afield. Mind you, the basics of having a sunshine destination, relaxing atmosphere and great food are still the top priorities. So, it makes sense to look a little further south. Morocco is a sun bathed nation that sits right at the top of North Africa on the western side. One of the best coastal cities is Essaouira which is actually surrounded by 18th century walls. Much as you’d expect, the city is full of espresso cafes, restaurants serving classic Moroccan food, very nice seafood and plenty to do on the beaches.
Beyond the beach
The beach doesn’t have a unique name, it’s just Essaouira Beach but it’s got something that many seaside resorts don’t have. The water is warm enough to swim in but just rapid and volatile enough to also create waves. Explora Watersports is one of the businesses that offer surfing lessons to tourists and shows them how to ride the incoming waves. You’ll have an instructor by your side and health and safety are high priorities. Beginners can learn quickly using the assistance from the instructors and since there is a variation of waves, you won’t be thrown off so easily. They also have different watersports like windsurfing and sup. These are more advanced activities but for those that love a challenge, you shouldn’t fear them.
Exploring the citadel
The Essaouira Citadel both overlooks and dominated the Scala Harbor. Although made for an Islamic invading king, the structure was actually built by the Genoese from Italy. In the late part of the 18th century, the city began to be used as a port of sale by many European merchants. Thus in order to keep business flowing, a harbor was constructed which would allow ships to anchor and begin unloading what they brought to sell or trade. Although the castle isn’t large in height, it spans all around the city. The Islamic king wanted to protect the city from other forces that might be trying to forge an attack, so the walls were constructed using modern designs taken from European nations. Still standing strong, they create a classic merchant town forged in war atmosphere.
On the walls
Morocco is a fascinating place. It’s always been a somewhat unknown land for art but at the art gallery of Kasbah, you’ll be asking why? Classic paintings styles of Cubism and influences from Picasso and his African Period style are evident here. Many paintings of a hot and humid nature are on display as well as earthenware pots that have been handmade. Classic desert tribal paintings are also prevalent across the structure of the gallery itself.
Essaouira will remind you why Morocco is rising in popularity among those that seek a hot sunny seaside destination. The water is great, the food is brilliant and the history still has an impact on the city.