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Flights to Essaouira

Essaouira-Mogador Airport is an airport that serves the city of Essaouira (formerly known as Mogador), in the Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz region in Morocco. It is served by three airlines, Royal Air Maroc (Paris-Orly), Ryanair (Marseille), and Transavia.com France (Paris-Orly), the last two only offering seasonal flights.

The airport has one runway designated 16/34 with an asphalt/bitumen surface and resides at an elevation of 384 feet (117 meters) above mean sea level.

Essaouira is a coastal city in Morocco. The city gives off a French town atmosphere, since Essaouira itself was designed by the same French architect who designed Brittany’s most famous port town, Saint-Malo. The interior, however, displays the makings of a usual Moroccan town, narrow alleyways, gusty coastal winds, damp air mixed with the smells of fish, spices, and thuya wood, women in white haiks (veils), sound of drums, and the singing Gnawa heard all around.

See Essaouira’s own UNESCO World Heritage Site, the well-preserved walled Medina. Built in the late 18th century, it is a great example of European military architecture in North Africa. It’s a picturesque location that allows a leisurely stroll. Surrounding the Medina are wave-lashed ramparts that offer a great overview of the labyrinth of streets. In fact, the opening scene of Orson Welles’ Othello was shot in this very place. For more amazingly stunning views, visit Skala du Port down by the harbor. It offers panoramic shots of the fishing port and the Île de Mogador. A fish auction takes place in the market hall, just outside the port gates. The locals spend most of their downtime at the beach. Because of the strong wind and current, it might not be easy to swim or lie down for a tan, but it is excellent for kitesurfing and windsurfing. Essaouira is considered as a watersports' paradise, especially in these areas: Essaouira Bay, Sidi Kaouki, Cape Sim, and Mouley Bouzertoune. Head south across the Ksob River, and you’ll see the ruins of the Borj el-Berod, an old fortress and pavilion that’s partially sand-covered. According to some stories, this place served as the original inspiration for the Jimi Hendrix classic, ‘Castles Made of Sand.’

Visit Hammam Lalla Mira, one of the oldest hammams in the city, which has a spectacular interior and offers argan oil massage. Riad Al-Baraka’s laidback atmosphere makes dining and drinking particularly enjoyable. They offer mainly Moroccan dishes, with some Middle Eastern and Jewish influences. The place’s décor is hip, and local bands perform during the weekends.

How to get around within Essaouira

Essaouira’s walled center, the Medina, is supposedly restricted to non-motorized vehicles, but mopeds are constantly seen in the area. There are occasional donkey carts as well. There’s a bus station located approximately 400 meters northeast of the Medina which is easily accessible on foot or by petit taxi, if you’re traveling at night. You can also rent a car via Wind Car to drive around or hire a bike from Résidence Hôtel Al-Arboussas or Résidence Shahrazed.

How to get there

Aside by air transit, there are other ways to get in. Grand taxis ply everywhere from Marrakech, which you can hire for yourself or with a group (shared grand taxis). Tourist transfer services are also offered and considered as a preferable option compared to shared taxis. Coaches run by Supratours originate from its offices, next door to Marrakech's new train station and terminate at their office in Essaouira, down the street from the beach. From Marrakech's bus station and the CTM Offices in the Gueliz, on Zerktouni Street, CTM runs a coach service that stops further than the Supratours office. From the bus station, you can take a direct bus to Essaouira, which might take 30 to 90 minutes longer than the bigger companies. The coach trip usually takes about three hours, including a 15-minute halfway stop. It is recommended that you book your tickets ahead of time, at least a day before, or preferably way before if you’re traveling during peak season to ensure a seat/s.   

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