Getting from Marrakech to Essaouira
Marrakech to Essaouira
From Marrakech you have several ways to travel to Essaouira.
With one day in Essaouira, you have enough to see all of the sights and have some time to enjoy the town. But I think it’s much more fun to spend some extra time here. After all, the relaxed atmosphere is a relief after busy Marrakech!
Shuttle from Marrakech to Essaouira (and back)
For $28 (£22 or €25), I arranged a quick go and return transportation from Marrakech to this cozy beach town.
In the morning you are picked up early, but that’s fine. Because this way you can enjoy an extra long day in Essaouira. And believe me… Once you’re there you’re reluctant to go back to Marrakech!
On our way, our driver also made a remarkable stopover where we saw a tree filled with goats! A very strange sight, but nevertheless worth a few pictures.
The owners of these strange animals lie stretched out under the shady trees, while the white goats enjoy the delicious leaves of the argan nut from up high. It’s a real treat for them!
Once you arrive in Essaouira (around 10 o’clock in the morning) you will have more than enough time to explore everything. Around 4:30 pm you are expected at a pick-up point just outside the city, and by seven o’clock in the evening you again walk among the many people on the busy Djemaa El-Fna square.
Marrakech to Essaouira by bus
A much cheaper way to travel to Essaouira is by public transport, especially the CTM buses.
From the gare routière in Marrakech there are two CTM buses that leave to Essaouira daily. One at nine o’clock in the morning, and one at 12:30 pm.
On average, a single ride takes three to four hours.
To return to Marrakech, the bus hours are a little less appealing… Again, there are two departures: one at 12:30 pm and one at 4 pm.
A single ticket costs 70 dirham per person, approximately 7 euros or 8 dollars.
Marrakech to Essaouira with taxi
If you prefer a little more freedom, you can also arrange your day excursion with a grand taxi (old mercedes taxis who drive long distances).
In just over two hours, you can commute from Marrakech to Essaouira, but if you do this you have to make sure you are an expert in negotiating and haggling…
The taxi drivers start with prices of about 1000 dirhams (= € 100 / $115), but normally you can get a decent reduction. My friends took the taxi from Essaouira to Marrakech for 600 dirham, but they had to negotiate for a very long time!
Remember, you can also share the taxi with other people. There’s six people that can fit in a taxi, but with four it’s a lot more comfortable.
So… to summarise:
|Price||$28 / £22 / €25 (go and return)||$16 / £12 / €14 (go and return)||$130 to $230 / £110 to £180 / €120 to €200 (go and return)|
|Time (single)||2,5 hours||3,5 to 4 hours||2 to 2,5 hours|
Things to do in Essaouira
Whether you are taking the taxi, the CTM bus or an excursion to Essaouira, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!
I would like to list some of my favorite things to do in Essaouira, together with some pictures I’ve made while visiting.
Gosh… Now that I look at the pictures again, I start to miss this beach town even more!
See the colorful boats at the port
Just outside of the medina of Essaouira lies a small harbor. There is something to be enjoyed at any time of the day!
Dozens of blue boats are almost permanently docked, while slightly further down the daily fish market can be smelled from afar.
Definitely peek around at this market a little bit because you will find fish that you haven’t even seen in the zoo!
The medina of Essaouira
Essaouira’s medina is a very interesting area to walk around in. The walled city is cozy and cute!
From large squares, you walk into narrow streets filled with street musicians, fine shops and cute restaurants.
You can easily walk around here for a few hours, as there are always some new things to be noticed. Behind the high walls of the medina you might even hear the sea!
The traditional souk
In the middle of the medina lies a very traditional Moroccan souk. The car-free street is characterized by dozens of vendors who sell all kinds of products. Fruit, vegetables, spices, but also a lot of meat and fish!
Be sure to peep into some of the narrow side streets, as there are often more covered markets to be explored.
Eat delicious fish
In the souk or near Essaouira’s main square you can eat delicious fresh fish. And for almost no money!
You first choose what you would like to tru, and then the owner will prepare it for you. The different restaurants seem to almost fight for having you sit down at their tables, but once you’re seated you are spoiled as a king.
For a giant crab, two small lobsters, two sea urchins, a lot of prawns and a few more fish we didn’t even pay €10 ($11) per person for two people. And that price included a soda too!
Go relaxing on the beach
Did you visit all of Essaouira? Then it’s time for some relaxing!
The beach is a few hundred meters away from the various city gates of Essaouira. Make yourself comfortable on the sandy surface, or get active and splash into the water to master some kind of water sports activity.
Do you want to make your friends even more jealous? Then head to one of the many camels on the beach. For only a few dirhams you can pose with them as much as you’d like!
5x staying overnight in Essaouira
If you prefer to stay a little longer than just one day, then you’ll find a lot of great accommodation options in Essaouira as well. Below I list five geat riads and hotels in Essaouira.
Young people will be happy to stay in this colorful, characterful riad in Essaouira. A French artist took care of the design of the accommodation and that resulted in a relaxed, informal atmosphere. One of the rooms even has a solarium and a private terrace: real luxury at very low prices. You can dine in the owner’s popular restaurant or relax on the sea-view terrace while enjoying a tasty cocktail.
This traditional Moroccan base is located in the old medina, just a ten-minute walk from the harbor. It is the perfect location for a romantic vacation with two. So make sure to take a walk along the beautiful beach of Essaouira that extends to where Bob Marley had a house. Or… You can explore the bustling and busy souk where you can taste some of the local herbs and spices. The room rates for a night in Dar Adul start from €42.
Casa Lila & Spa
Lovers of the song ‘Purple Rain’ may already be fond of this specific color, but after spending the night at Casa Lila & Spa, purple may also convince other visitors. The charming and authentic home has romantic rooms and suites with checkerboard floors, authentic furniture and Moroccan art. You will undoubtedly become completely relaxed here thanks to the many amenities that the accommodation has to offer. Enjoy the spa facilities, such as the hammam and massages, or soak up the sun on the roof terrace.
Located in the heart of the old town, this is a great place to discover Essaouira. There is a lot to experience in the area. For example, you can take a walk through the lively medina, where you can admire many traditional artworks and offices. If you want some more action, you can go windsurfing or kite surfing or perhaps you can just go to the beach to try out a camel ride.
A night at Casa Lila & Spa costs around €67 for a double room.
The lucky ones who have the opportunity to get a room at this hidden boutique hotel in Essaouira await a blissful rest. The sun-drenched patio and the large, bright rooms with a seating area at the entrance make this a top choice for travelers who want a little more luxury at an affordable price. Local artists work in the quiet, refined interior and the owners do their utmost best to make your stay as pleasant as possible.
Riad Emotion is located in the old center, less than a five minute walk from the beach, so you can make the most of your holiday by the sea. If you like a day of sunbathing, you can ask the hotel to make you a picnic. The owners, Philippe and Gisèle, also organize fishing trips for sea lovers, an activity that you should definitely have experienced. This riad is perhaps a bit more expensive than other properties, but the service here extends far beyond what you would expect. The average price per night in a double room here is €92.
Les Jardins de Villa Maroc
If you are traveling from Marrakech to Essaouira with the whole family, you might have to consider staying at Les Jardins de Villa Maroc. It is a charming rural property that is ideal for families and groups. This hotel offers suites and studios surrounded by green surroundings in the city. In terms of entertainment, you will certainly not be bored here either. After all, there are two outdoor swimming pools, Moroccan cooking workshops and a hammam that you can make use of.
The hotel is located in the east of Essaouira and is just outside the lively downtown of the popular beach town. Nevertheless, the medina and its colorful souks can be reached with a short drive. If you have not rented a car, you can also use the accommodation’s shuttle service. The sights are maybe located a bit further away, but Les Jardins is so beautiful and peaceful that this is no downside at all. An overnight stay in this traditional B&B is €103 for two people.
Salut Maroc! is a pleasant, funky hotel in Essaouira in a prime location in the medina. The quirky rooftop terrace offers a sublime sea view, while the eclectic interior is an homage to the tradition of Moroccan hand-carved tiles with colorful, geometric patterns and jazzy furniture. This original accommodation also offers many wellness facilities, including beauty treatments and body scrubs. You can also go to the hairdresser if you feel in need of a new and fresh haircut.
Thanks to its location in the old town center of the coastal town, the property is close to many sights and great restaurants. Wander around the lively fish market or get lost in the maze of traditional souks. Visit the impressive city walls and the many historic buildings before relax a bit on the beach. In this accommodation you can already spend the night from €131 in a double room.
Package deals to Morocco
Are you looking for a trip that will blow your mind? Then you should consider visiting Morocco! All of your senses will go in overdrive.
Check out these package deals:
Spain, Portugal & Morocco
Morocco Expedition â€“ Walking with Berber Nomads
South Morocco Discovery
Best of Morocco
Morocco: Women's Expedition
Excursions in/to Essaouira
Sometimes you don’t feel like planning everything yourself, and sometimes it’s not even worth the time and effort. Several tour agencies in Morocco offer very cheap tours to Essaouira.
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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.