Essaouira, Morocco - Stein Travel



    • 16+ years

    • 12-15 years

    • 2-11 years

    • 0-23 months


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Welcome to Essaouira

The popular holiday resort town of Essaouira dates from the 18th century and is easily reached by bus from Marrakech. The town is encircled by a fortified wall, and faces the sea, featuring a beautiful stretch of beach, some pretty whitewashed houses, boat-builders workshops and art galleries. What makes Essaouira popular is the laid-back holiday atmosphere, and its characteristic wind that makes it a perfect place for wind and kite surfing, though sunbathing and swimming difficult. It is also famed for its woodcarving tradition, particularly with the local fragrant Thuya wood. Popular activities in Essaouira include horseback riding on the beach, visits to the Argan Woods and Thuya Forests, and excursions to nearby Diabat, which draws tourists on the strength of Jimi Hendrix's presence there many years ago. The harbour is a hive of activity, with stalls and open air seafood restaurants and is particularly busy during the daily (except Sundays) fish auction that attracts as many seagulls as buyers, sellers and onlookers.


Language
Arabic is the official language, but eight other languages are also spoken including Berber, French and Spanish. English is generally understood in the tourist areas, but French is the most widely spoken.
Money

The unit of currency is the Moroccan Dirham (MAD), which is divided into 100 centimes. ATMs are available in the larger towns, but can be unreliable; currency can be exchanged at banks or official bureaux de changes, which are also widespread in major towns. Dirhams cannot be obtained or exchanged outside Morocco and receipts must be retained as proof of legal currency exchange, as well as in order to re-exchange money when departing. Major credit cards are accepted in the larger shops, hotels and restaurants. Travellers cheques can be used in tourist areas, but are not prevalent; they are best taken in Euros or Pounds Stirling.


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