An easy onde day trip from Marrakesh is Essaouira (former Portuguese town of Mogador). We chose to buy the tour at the Riad itself (230dh per person) – the alternative would be a taxi, which would only compensate if we were four, or bus, which was more or less the same price, since we would still have to take a taxi to the station.
We left Jemaa el Fna square shortly after 8:30 am and on the way we passed by the famous goat tree – whose owners made a point of charging us money for the photographs (1-2dh) and that they were not there on the way back – and an aragn oil factory – whose prices are ten times higher than in the city. With all these stops we arrived in Essaouira around noon.
We started by the port. The fishermen had just arrived with very fresh fish and we were trying to guess the various species. What struck me most were the giant whelks and discover that the animal that inhabits them has a kind of lid to close inside! On the horizon the Purpurian islands and the last blue boats returning with the fish.
We entered the city wall, to find a white city, so similar to many cities in Algarve. An Algarvean town with Moroccan rugs, women wearing hijabs and many spices. We got lost in the streets and the walls, until we got hungry and look for the fish market, in the same souk, where we can buy what we want to eat and then pay 10dh per person in the small restaurants around to get the fish grilled.
The return was scheduled for 4:00 p.m., which means we were only four hours in this city. In my opinion it is enough to get an overview of Essaouira, but not if we want to spend some time on any terrace or visit some museum. The return had no stops (except the one for a coffee and toilets in between, as we also had in the way over), so it took a little less than 3 hours to Marrakech.
If you choose to stay in Essaouira, we found a charming hotel with a wonderful decoration, Salut Maroc. It left us with a great desire to return!