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Essaouira Food & Culture

  • 4 hr

Itinerary Details

Dig deeper into the food and culture of this enchanting city than most tourists get to. Essaouira is a little more off the beaten path than other destinations in Morocco and while it might be small, it’s full to the brim with hidden gems just waiting to be explored. The seaside medina is home to local fishermen hauling in their daily catch as well as family bakeries churning out their famous pastries, and on this Essaouira tour you’ll get to experience all of this and more!

After meeting your local guide under the clock tower just inside the medina walls, you’ll begin your Essaouira city tour with a stop at the oldest pastry shop in the city. Having been in business since 1928, there couldn’t be a more perfect place to get a taste of traditional Essaouira pastries. As Essaouira was once home to a large Jewish Moroccan community, the pastries here are made from time-honoured, family recipes you won't find elsewhere in Morocco.

After this, you’ll climb up onto the ramparts of the city to an old watchtower where you’ll get an impressive 360 degree view of Essaouira, its port, and the ocean. The entrance to this heritage site is often overlooked and difficult to find, meaning most visitors never find their way up to this iconic viewpoint! Seeing the city from above will set the scene nicely for the rest of your Essaouira tour, and your local guide will point out landmarks to give you a lay of the land.

Next, you’ll head deep into the medina, the centre of all the action in Essaouira. Here you’ll meet a local artist in his studio and check out some of his pieces. Although artists and artisans are scattered all over the medina, it’s common to find salesmen, rather than the artists themselves, selling artwork and handicrafts. Here you’ll get to discover Moroccan artwork right from the very source.

After you’ve got your artistic fix for the day, we’ll continue along to the bustling, atmospheric fish market for a savoury lunch of grilled fish. An integral part of life on the coast, the fish market is full of locals buying, grilling, and eating the catch of the day. Produce here comes right from the sea, so you can definitely expect the freshest and most sustainable seafood to choose from. We'll pick out our fresh fish to be grilled and park ourselves next to the locals seated at wood benches and tables. Succulent sardines are the town specialty but if they're not available, your local guide will help you select another excellent fresh option.

Finally, you’ll mosey just outside the medina to try a typical Moroccan dessert, and then finish up at a herbalist's shop to wash everything down with an aromatic Moroccan Royal Tea, a proprietary blend mixed right on the spot. The herbalist carries everything from henna to gum arabic, and items necessary for traditional witchcraft and herbal remedies. The neighbourhood locals pop in frequently to request a variety of items, making it an interesting spot for people-watching.

Once this tour ends, your local guide will be happy to give you some more recommendations for things to see in Essaouira, or assist you in finding your way back to your accommodation.