Essaouira Travel Guide, Morocco
Essaouria has started as a tribal settlement that saw this location as perfect for a port and indeed it was and still is an important port and a key city for the country’s trade commerce. Lots of foreigners tried to colonize the city but none succeeded to stay here for long.
Essaouria as you can see it today was built in the 18th century and developed as a fishing and touristic town. Tourists form all over the world come here to enjoy the beautiful beaches, visit the attractions and experience the lives of the people who live here and they are also pleased to visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site as Essaouira is one.
You can easily get here from Marrakech, it takes only about 3 hours or on water from Spain, or France.
Essaouris is a spicy combination of sand, beaches, ancient civilization, great crafts and more.
People live here as they used to hundreds of years ago modern aspects have little to do with this town. Everithing is very basic and coming from a very modern city you will feel like you landed in a movie set but everything is real. There are few shops on the streets that are located in a building most of the selling and buying is done on the ground or on some very basic stand.
Maybe they don't really see a point to having too many buildings as there rains pretty rarely so they don't have to worry about their merchandise getting wet. As you could guess the climate here is semi arid and people work hard to cultivate their land and get some crops that are essential for their survival. They produce almost all the goods they use and go to the market only for some spices and sugar, things like that.
The market in Essaouria spreads on a vast area and you can find there bout anything you need. This is also a place for selling animals. The berber tribes that have lived here for centuries are expert traders and farmers. Well you just have to take a look at this arid land and deduce that you have to be a tough person to survive in such conditions.
People even eat and prepare food sitting on the ground, when they eat they might use a small table which is not very high as they rarely use chairs.
Family life and unity between its members is very important and many families live next to each other and even if the houses are separate they help each other in the chores. Women cook around the house sand men work the land. Getting some crops out of the and depends on the seasonal rains and even their water supply depends on that. Water here is very expensive and definitely not wasted. They have wholes dug in the ground and they can store water there.
Rocks are used for building houses, actually all houses are made of stone.
A quite interesting fact to see in Essaouria are the tree climbing goats. They climb in a particular tree called Aragon tree to get a very nourishing fruit that has been discovered to have therapeutical properties. The oil they extract from the seeds is similar to the olive oil. The oil is extracted using traditional methods and so the properties are well kept. But it is hard work since to get a liter of oil you need 60 kg of fruit. The locals even use it for salads.
The food you’ll try here is delicious and it is fresh as there you won’t see many fridges around and with the heat nothing lasts for too long. The freshly prepared food and the special spices they use give the dishes an excellent taste.
Morocco is also the second greatest producer and exporter of olive oil after Greece, except that oil here is produced the traditional way, just as they did it a hundred years ago.
A visit to Essaouria is definitely a must especially if you come from USA or some very civilized European country as you will be able to experience something totally different, a land where nature rules.
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- Gates of Essaouira
travel tip by davidsbeenhere posted more then 30 days ago
Essaouria is a beach town in south east morocco. Every city in Morocco has a Medina, which means old town. The entire medina is surrounded by a wall and there are only 3 entry doors "GATES". These gates are the most amazing...