Essaouira in Morocco is one of the most atmospheric seaside cities you could visit. The salty Atlantic breezes wash over the harbour bringing a cool freshness to the warmth of the Moroccan sun.

City wall Essaouira.
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People walk along the wall getting ready to watch the sunset.

Essaouira is the perfect seaside escape in Morocco.

It’s an old place with fortified walls surrounding the medina (city) which bustles with life in its narrow alleys. However the markets here run at a much more relaxed pace than nearby Marrakech.

Sunset fishing boats Essaouira
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Fishing boats bring in the catch as the sun sets.

The harbour is the best area to look around and feels timeless with men repairing nets as the fish is sold on the quay. There are so many different types of fish available with good fishing grounds nearby.

Fishing Essaouira.
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Repairing nets.

Fishing Essaouira.
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There is so much fish for sale, and you can either buy some for yourself to bring back to your hotel/hostel to cook, or head to one of the cafes. It’s also very cheap to eat there.

Fish for sale Essaouira.
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Fish on sale.

Morocco is famed for its tagine dishes and Essaouira is the perfect place to try a fish one. From small sardines being cooked over a fire by the pier, to  lobster and large fish fillets in one of the restaurants.

Seriously if you like seafood and go to Morocco then you must pay a visit to this place!

Cooking fish Essaouira.
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Cooking up fish on a grill.

Fish tagine in Morocco
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This fish tagine is delicious and will only set you back around 3 US dollars.

Tagine cafe Essaouira
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Small and cheap street side cafes can be found.

The seaside tradition of heading out on small fishing boats is very much alive, but bigger boats are now used as well. You could watch for hours all the activity by the seaside. It’s a photographers dream taking photos as the sun sets there.

Fishing boats Essaouira.
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Smaller boats with larger one in the background.

Fishing boats Essaouira
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Fishing boat Essaouira.
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Boat brings in freshly caught fish with seabirds trailing in hope of getting some.

It’s not all about the fishing though, as men and boys jump into the sea too cool off from the heat. There is a huge beach as well which is good for kitesurfing or just relaxing away from the busy main areas.

Swimming Essaouira.
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Jumping of the pier.

Swimming Essaouira.
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Coming out from the sea feeling refreshed.

The fish on sale by the pier is generally bought by locals and a few tourists, while the rest goes to the fish market to be boxed up and shipped to other destinations.

Harbour Essaouira.
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In the city itself you can get lost wandering the maze of alleys. It’s a very artistic city with paintings being sold everywhere. It has a sort of bohemian vibe to the place.

There are so many cheap and ripe fruits to try. The oranges and dates are the best, with olives also in abundance. A handful of olives will set you back only $0.20, while a batch of several juicy oranges around the same.

Carpets on sale in Essaouira Morocco
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Carpets on sale down an alley.

Sunset Essaouira
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The evening light casts its glow on the outer walls.

Seabirds Essaouira
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Seabirds looking for fish scraps as the sun sets.

Essaouira
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So if you ever find yourself traveling to Morocco then make sure you have Essaouira on your list of places to visit. It’s one of the more relaxed cities with some of the best food.

Fishing boats Essaouira.
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