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After breakfast at your hotel, depart for Essaouira. The journey to this former Portuguese fishing village offers up only a few roadside towns and the occasional Berber village. In the ’60s and ’70s, Essaouira was a pitstop on the hippie trek from Marrakesh. Jimi Hendrix made the pilgrimage, as did Bob Marley and Cat Stevens. Essaouira was the inspiration for Hendrix’s song “Castles Made of Sand”. Visit this sea-side medieval town that boasts lovely white-washed and blue-shuttered houses, colonnades, thuya wood workshops, art galleries and mouthwatering seafood.Once called Mogador by European sailors and traders, Essaouria is known for its annual Gnaoua Music Festival that attracts 300,000+ people in June.
It also has an expansive beach for surfing called Plage de Safi. Take a stroll along the town’s sunlit pedestrian main square, Place Prince Moulay el Hassan and the Skala du Port, the fishing harbor, offers breathtaking views of the Portuguese ramparts. Explore the ramparts and the spice and jewelry souks of the medina. En route to Essaouira stop at an Argan Cooperative to see how women make Argan Oil, Nut Butter and cometics from the Argan nut. Option to continue directly to Essaouira or visit a local winery for a wine and cheese tasting. Enjoy the local wines produced in the region of Essaouira. The medina of Essaouira (formerly “Mogador”) is a UNESCO World Heritage listed city, as an example of a late-18th century fortified town. Have lunch at the fish-grill cafes, with wooden tables and benches laid out overlooking the sea that was once- in the 19th century- the only Moroccan port south of Tangier.