The popular holiday resort town of Essaouira dates from the 18th
century and is easily reached by bus from Marrakech. The town is
encircled by a fortified wall, and faces the sea, featuring a
beautiful stretch of beach, some pretty whitewashed houses,
boat-builders workshops and art galleries.
What makes Essaouira popular is the laid-back holiday
atmosphere, and its characteristic wind that makes it a perfect
place for wind and kite surfing, though sunbathing and swimming
difficult. It is also famed for its woodcarving tradition,
particularly with the local fragrant Thuya wood.
Popular activities in Essaouira include horseback riding on the
beach, visits to the Argan Woods and Thuya Forests, and excursions
to nearby Diabat, which draws tourists on the strength of Jimi
Hendrix's presence there many years ago. The harbour is a hive of
activity, with stalls and open air seafood restaurants and is
particularly busy during the daily (except Sundays) fish auction