Essaouria (pronounced Ess-warra) is a 3 hour bus ride north of Agadir. The ride is beautiful, mostly rolling along a deserted coastline with impressive waves.
Essaouria means “small fortress”, referring to the walled part of the city that has been occupied since prehistoric times, but is mainly noted by Americans because it was a favorite chill-out spot of Jimi Hendrix. In truth, he came once for 11 days in 1969, but myth is much more fun than fact. There is even a Cafe Jimi Hendrix in Diabat, which is part of the mythology. (tip: Castles Made of Sand was released in 1967…)
I stayed at the Riad Inna, a comfortable and affordable spot inside the walled city. I needed a man to guide me there, and tipped him 10 dirhams. Here’s the location in the maze:
Essaouria is a good little town to wander around. The food is generally good, but I got pretty sick of mint tea. A glass of wine or a drink is uncommon, an off-license, the only one in town, can be found outside of Bab Doukkala on the Boulevard al Massira, to the right.
One of the best spots for a drink and sunset is Taros, overlooking the harbor and Place Moulay al Hassan
Here are a few shots from around town. People are generally nice, but it is a tourist destination, and although there is a bit of pressure, negotiations are easy, and pitches for “just come in for some tea!” are easy to decline.