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Enjoy an authentic taste of Morocco on holidays in Essaouira. This coastal town is a firm favourite with holidaymakers thanks to its long sandy beach, abundance of sunshine, fresh seafood, a laidback atmosphere and the opportunity to see Morocco in all its glorious colours.
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Essaouira is a great contrast to busy and bustling Marrakech, with its souks and markets, or to the resort of Agadir with its well-developed package holiday hotels.
Also known by the Portuguese name of Mogador, Essaouira won a reputation in the 1960s as a hippy hangout that attracted stars such as Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix.
These days, Essaouira holidays are less about rock and roll and more about lounging on the beach or poolside at your luxury boutique hotel or soaking up the intoxicating sights, sounds and smells of the markets and harbour. The sizzling freshness of grilled fish will waft in your nostrils as you tour the town and pick a spot for dinner.
And if Essaouira seems a little familiar, you should know that film directors use the destination to capture North Africa in their movies. Ridley Scott filmed parts of Kingdom of Heaven here.
During your own adventures in Essaouira, be sure to visit the old fortified town, the medina, which has been listed by Unesco thanks to its importance as an ancient city. There are a number of hotels within the medina, but many of the bigger high-end hotels are to be found outside of the walls.
There are hotels to cater for every taste and budget in Essaouira, including accommodation in a riad – a typical old Moroccan house.
Essaouira's long sandy beach draws visitors; look out across the water and see if you can spot the falcons that live on the islands of Île de Mogador, just a short distance from the Atlantic shoreline. You can see the birds with binoculars from the fishing harbour, too.
The art museum in Essaouira, housed in an old riad, is another pleasant way to spend some time.
Situated on the west coast of the nation, Essaouira is perfectly positioned to enjoy views of the sun setting over the Atlantic Ocean. It's also handy for reaching the vibrant and exciting city of Marrakech (also spelled Marrakesh) or for seeing the majesty of the Atlas Mountains.
To find holidays to exciting Essaouira, use the search tool on TravelSupermarket to discover more about reaching this exotic destination.
*ATOL (Air Travel Organiser's Licence) is a financial protection scheme for package holidays: It provides support to consumers in the event their holiday provider collapses. Booking with an ATOL holder ensures that you won't be left out of pocket and you won't be left stranded abroad. All package holidays compared using TravelSupermarket are protected by ATOL.
ABTA (Association of British Travel Agents) offers similar cover for packages booked with its members. However, while ATOL predominantly covers flight-based packages, ABTA covers non-flight based holidays (such as rail and cruise) and linked travel arrangements. If you are unsure whether or not your trip is covered by ABTA, check with your provider.
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