Essaouira | Morocco

A rare stormy day of rain and dark clouds greeted us the morning we were to drive over the Atlas Mountains to Marrakesh and Essaouira. It seemed as if the tiny villages made of red earth and rocks could dissolve and wash away into the deep gorges at any moment. It was a treacherous drive through the mountain range along the narrow road comprised of endless switchbacks and sharp corners, dodging huge tour buses that hogged the road and boulders washed down with the rain. Relieved to finally reach the flat empty lands around Marrakesh, we continued on to Essaouira, dramatic skies creating epic backdrops for the shepherds and small villages. We arrived in Essaouira as the sun's rays finally succeeded in piercing the dark clouds, shining warm light onto the ancient walls of the small seaside town. Even the thousands of gulls seemed to revel in the beautiful light, swooping and cawing high in the sky. Yes, it was nice to be on the ocean again.


Essaouira was the perfect place to end our month long adventure in Morocco. It had the grit of Fez and the beauty of Chefchaouen. We wandered the narrow streets, in perpetual awe of the depth and texture, stumbling upon local shops and markets, loving the endless stream of exotic smells and sounds. Around every corner was sight that excited all senses.

We stayed at Dar Skala, a guesthouse with a tiny entrance that takes you up winding passages until you reach the rooftop patio with one of the best views in Essaouira. Jorge and his son Pablo were incredible hosts, adding a personal touch to the beautiful home they welcomed us in. We rose with the sun and ran along the vast stretches of beach, followed by breakfast on the roof and full days of exploration (always taking a break for a coffee and croissant in the main square, of course). Inevitably we would end up watching the sun sink into the ocean with a glass of wine, lulled by the evening prayer, eventually venturing out in search of kefta tagine. Yes... the days were perfect...