Essaouira in depth

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For centuries, civilisations have vied to rule the natural harbour of Essaouira. Romans made it a trading post, pirates dropped anchor, the Portuguese built a fortress and Britons, Jews and Moors mingled in the cosmopolitan markets. Now, you too can discover what makes this laidback, bohemian town so delightful and addictive - these days, it's an artists' colony perfect to wander and discover one-of-a-kind works. This is a beach getaway unlike any other, resonant with the cries of gulls as fishermen haul their catch and alive with the gentle magic of Morocco.

Itinerary

Day 1 Marrakech/Essaouira

Depart bustling Marrakech bound for the chilled vibe of seaside Essaouira. Sheltered by Mogador Island and dotted with riads, fishing boats and winding alleys, Essaouira's charm is undeniable. Within the stone ramparts, find whitewashed houses with bright blue shutters, art galleries and wood workshops.

Day 2 Essaouira

Head off on bicycle to explore the nearby village of Diabat, once a legendary hippy hangout. In the evening, choose to head to the ramparts for views of the coast and be sure to indulge in some fresh seafood at a local restaurant.

Day 3 Essaouira/Marrakech

There's a final chance to shop in the markets and galleries for paintings, leather, woodwork, ceramics or handicrafts before bidding this charming seaside town farewell. Journey back to the busy streets and crowded markets of Marrakech.

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