Five days of Essaouira was for me just one big miracle bag. I have to say I was extremely curious before I went, as I’ve just heard great things about this town. However, I never expected this kind of intensity of impressions.
This vibrant town is definitely Moroccan, but with a European flair – it was designed by a Frenchman. A long history of colonization with the Portuguese in particular being responsible for the construction of the massive stone walls that still surround the Medina, has resulted in Essaouira being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Walking through the narrow alleyways of the Medina (the ancient quarter) makes you feel, you’ve travelled back in time. The aroma of spices and thuya wood mixed with the smells of fish guts and damp sea air, the sound of drums from the gorgeous souvenir shops, the hustle and bustle on the market… The Medina is full of color and character! Some even say this is the most picture perfect and quaint Medina in Morocco! And the best of all, no cars are around.
The variety of amazingly colorful sights has attracted artists from all over the world, thus Essaouira has become very modern. You find beautiful art galleries, cafés and bars all over the town. Also music is one of the biggest draw throughout the year and there is always a bar or two with live music every night. In the 1960’s rock stars such as Jimmy Hendrix and Cat Steven started visiting Essaouira, and because of the presence of such celebrities, this town became a destination for young people and artists who left an important mark on the cultural tourism.
So, what about the Kitesurf conditions? Did you know, Essaouira’s nickname is wind city? It’s supposedly the windiest place in Morocco. And we had wind, every day! And amazing beautiful waves, perfect for beginners as well as pros with a kiteboard or a normal surfboard.
The beach is wide and long and sandy, great for the morning run before the wind gets to strong. At the main spot you can walk like 100-150 meters into the sea before it gets deep, and between the waves the water was perfectly flat, which makes for good freeride and freestyle conditions as well. This is definitely the city for water sport lovers.
So what makes Essaouira so captivating in the end? The people, the atmosphere, the culture, the colors and sights, the roughness of nature… and I can go on forever. In the end, the mix of all this just makes you feel happy, excited and relaxed at the same time.