What the press say ...
'With fine food and lots of bargains, the charming Moroccan port of Essaouira is ideal for a warm getaway. Essaouira is tailor-made for relaxing, eating shopping and soaking up the atmosphere...'
'There's a special magic about Essaouira, and it isn't just the fairy-tale ramparts or the blue-shuttered, whitewashed houses, nor even the charming little fishing port ... Essaouira is one of the most laid-back beach resorts anywhere...'
'This is easy living. Ten minutes ago we ambled up the steps of Taros, Essaouira's best-loved bar, and selected a prime spot on the terrace overlooking Place Moulay Hassan, the social hub of Morocco's most laid-back coastal town... '
Prompted by rumours that the Moroccan port resort of Essaouira was about to succumb to overdevelopment, Barnaby Rodgerson went to look for himself - and was delighted by what he found.
John Mortimer explains why Essaouira is his 'Heaven on earth'
'With a laid-back king loosening the bonds of tradition and bringing party-lovers to Morocco, the windswept fishing port of Essaouira, long a favourite refuge for surfers and backpackers, is netting a new kind of guest... '
'It's the kind of place one first hears about in a yoga class, discussed in heated whispers between sun salutations. Or while eavesdropping on two model types with French accents in a cafe. About 10 years ago that place might have been Tulum, Mexico, but these days it's Essaouira, a tiny white-walled port city on Morocco's Atlantic coast... '
'It was a sensational, if surreal, ending to one of the best music festivals (and, damn it, one of the best kept secrets around)... '
Ian Wilson, chairman and founder of the travel company Wexas explains why Essaouira is his kind of town.
'On the windy coast southwest of Casablanca lies the beach town of Essaouira, onetime bohemian enclave and now the heart of modern Morocco's art and music scenes. Richard Alleman, a regular visitor since the 1970's, returns to the new cultural capital...'
'Morocco's seaside is unfairly overlooked, for beyond the ugly resort of Agadir are miles of empty beaches and beautiful, unspoilt towns ... If you only visit one place along this coast, choose Essaouira ... an enchanting fortified fishing port ... '
'It was deep twilight as we drove, exhausted, across the summit of the coastal ridge and made a switchback as the last light was fading over the western horizon of the Atlantic. In the distance, the lights were just coming on in the walled city of Essaouira, but it was still bright enough to make out the silhouettes of the ruined buildings on the prison island of Mogador in the harbor; indigo phantoms on a sapphire sea... '
'Coming into Essaouira, after a straight, flat, dusty two-hour drive from Marrakesh, we were struck by the sudden change in the color scheme. One of a string of cities that punctuate the Atlantic coast of Morocco from Rabat to Agadir, Essaouira gleams refreshingly white and brilliant blue, with only occasional accents of the sandy pink terra cotta that dominate the inland cities...'