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Things to Do in Essaouira

Earning its place in the guidebooks back in the 1960s, when iconic musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger, Frank Zappa and Cat Stevens descended on its shores, the tranquil beach town of Essaouira might be over its hippie heyday, but its laid-back vibe still entices a steady stream of backpackers and curious tourists.

Perched on the Atlantic coast between Casablanca and Agadir, the fishing port and beach town retains a distinctly European feel, with its bright blue and white architecture, bustling harbor and winding souks set within its still intact 18th century sea walls. Today, Essaouira’s high coastal winds make it a popular haunt for surfers, windsurfers and kitesurfers, but the town is also a lively arts hub, lined with art galleries, craft stalls, live music cafés and waterfront bars and restaurants. Time your visit for one of the town’s many annual festivals to see Essaouira at its most atmospheric - the Gnaoua World Music festival, held each June, is the highlight of the entertainment calendar.
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Essaouira Beach (Plage d'Essaouira)
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Lined with bars, restaurants, and surf shops, Essaouira Beach (Plage d'Essaouira) is a Moroccan hot spot for surfers, windsurfers, and kitesurfers, thanks to its steady, year-round winds. The town has a charming hippie atmosphere, and travelers who are not indulging in water sports enjoy horse, camel, or quad rides along the broad sandy beach.

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