Essaouira is a little fishing village and way more calm than Marrakech. After four days in Marrakech it was wonderful to be in a more quiet place. The alleys of the Medina are pretty with little shops and restaurants. There’s also a beach and a harbour for fishing boats. We stayed at the Atlantic Hostel, which is 100% recommendable.
Initially I planned on staying only one night in Essaouira. Unfortunately, food poisoning got in the way of my plans and made me stay a night longer. I made a big mistake when I ordered a freshly squeezed orange juice in a restaurant. They added ice cubes and without thinking about it I just drank it. What everyone should know is that they use tap water for ice cubes. Tap water in the southern part of Morocco should definitely not be consumed. I had extreme pain in my stomach and I couldn’t eat anything for a while. I didn’t have any energy and just stayed in my bed wrapped into blankets. After two days it has gotten a little bit better already – at least in a way that I could leave the hostel for a while.
Happy to feel better we explored the Medina (=city centre), went to the beach and to the fish market, where we had amazing lunch. There are several restaurants along the coast – all of them quite pricey. We kept walking the whole way through the market until the end where the fishermen loaded their catch in trucks. There were no more tourists around. Only a crowd of locals trying to buy their fish and waiting for the fishing boats to arrive. Right next to that was a small hut with some plastic chairs and tables. We decided to have lunch there and ordered some shrimps and fish. The food was delicious, it came with bread and a drink and we only paid 5€ each.
Essaouira is a pretty town and a popular spot for surfing. The town has a very calm and relaxed vibe. It’s recommendable to visit it but I would say that two days are enough to see everything. My flatmate liked it so much that he stayed almost a week.
Even though my food poisoning still wasn’t completely healed I decided to leave Essaouira because I didn’t want to lose any more time. So I went back to Marrakech on my own and started a tour to the desert the next day.