Leave the ramparts, white washed blue shuttered buildings and the fish stalls behind and take a stroll along the endless golden sand. Sample the delights the cake sellers proffer while watching the sun set on the wild Atlantic Ocean. Rest on a log near the dunes and drift into your own magical world as camels, Arabian horses and kite surfers fade to silhouettes against the sinking sun. Round off your day with a traditional hammam in the medina and prepare for a new dawn.
Essaouira Beach, Morocco, Africa.
We sailed there and berthed in the fishing port, but most people travel by bus or hire car.
Google map: bit.ly/vfTQll
Essaouira beach offers an amazing bohemian mix of experiences. Kick back and soak up the sun, or go surfing. Watch young Moroccan men play football and head-to-toe clad ladies supervise their children playing in the waves. Or ride by camel the length of the beach and gaze out at the ruined fort in the ocean that (allegedly) inspired Jimi Hendrix's 'Castles In The Sand'. When the sun gets too much head up into the (UNESCO heritage) town. Stop for fresh grilled fish by the harbour and then into the souks for mint tea and shopping, or walk the fortress ramparts and stop at the wood-carvers' workshops for aromatic Thuya wood items. Nowhere else on this planet offers such a unique beach experience.
Google map: bit.ly/sfYDBN
Spending a few impromptu September days in this relatively remote surf spot has to be one of my most memorable travel experiences.
Precariously strapping two surfboards to the roof of a taxi, driving some distance south of Essaouira and asking the driver to pick us up in a couple of days (and he showed up on time!) was a true adventure.
The surf was choppy with strong undercurrents, but we had the beach and dunes literally to ourselves. Keep a keen eye out for each other if you attempt this because there are no lifeguards!
We stayed on the "campsite" - a patch of stony ground with trees for cover and a tap. Sidi Kauki doesn't have much by way of facilities, but eating delicious tagine in a hut by the beach was a simple pleasure.
20km south of Essaouira
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