Couple of hours drive, or a bit more, from Marrakech lies Essaouira, one of most relaxing and authentic Moroccan cities. The city name is a derivative of the word wall or fort in Arabic, which is quit fitting as the old town of Essaouira is still surrounded by its protective wall, still mostly intact. Like any other imperial Moroccan city, the old town is organised in little streets and market squares with plenty of little shops selling everything across those streets, from leather bags to spices to traditional cosmetics. The beauty of Essaouira can be appreciated year-long, though some months can be windier that others, but even on the windiest of months, the city provides a welcoming climate to its visitors; those visitors can enjoy relaxing walks in the old town, chilling by the beach and enjoy a growing variety of activities that the city offers, mainly wind-surfing and horseback riding. The city witnessed a noticeable development to its culinary scene as well over the last few years with many restaurants offering a variety of food styles including local specialties where fish takes a central part.
As we are leather enthusiasts, we can’t talk about Essaouira without mentioning its truly talented artisans and artists. The calm and colourful vibes of the city has attracted many artists and contributed to the development of a vibrant crafty scene. While most leather tanneries are in Marrakech and Fes, the city is still home to few small ones that supply the local artisans who mostly work on models that mix both leather and canvas featuring authentic berber designs. This mixing results in some unique looking travel duffel bags, backpacks and purses.
Whatever one's interests might be, if in Morocco, Essaouira is definitely a must visit !