Weekend in Essaouira
After a few nights in Marrakesh, we made our way to the seaside town of Essaouria. It has its charms but perhaps one night is all you need. Here’s what we got up to while we were in town.
Domaine du Val d’Argan
An old article by Janice Robinson led us to the Val d’Argan winery on the road to Essaouira. (Not too far outside Essaouira and closer to Essaouira than Marrakesh.) Boy was I glad we booked this. We sat poolside under the trees, next to a table of SERVE YOURSELF (!!!) Moroccan wines. The food just never stopped coming, and the presentation was beautiful. There was a small language barrier with the staff when it came to vegetarian offerings but service overall was sweet and friendly. Life doesn’t get much better than this, kids. (But keep reading because it might just.) I highly recommend a visit here. It’s a wonderful way to kickoff a weekend in Essaouira. Visit Domaine du Val d’Argan.
La Table by Madada
We swung a last minute table at La Table and got a bit of a bonus — excellent live music. We started off with a platter of massive oysters. Then I did my thing and ordered the spaghetti vongole. (So predictable.) Great staff, great atmosphere, good food. This was fun. Visit La Table by Madada.
Le Comptoir Oriental by Madada
I admired the napkin rings at dinner at La Table and our server told us that the shop sold them. Shop?? What shop? I could not figure out where this shop was anywhere, but the next day, Instagram helped me. Through an unmarked door and up a flight of stairs, into a lovely space artfully littered with Moroccan treasures. I wanted to buy it all. Instead, I kept myself to the napkin holders and a water bottle container. You should go here. It’s a great shopping stop during a weekend in Essaouira. Buy me everything. Visit Le Comptoir Oriental by Madada.
Heure Bleue Palais Rooftop
I forget which afternoon we did this but we wandered over here for lunch one day and the setting was lovely — a rooftop at the front of the media– if hot. Perhaps unintentionally — or perhaps intentionally — we polished off two bottles of Moroccan rose amongst the three of us. This is one of those places where you’re paying more for the atmosphere and the view than anything else. But it’s also one of those places where you kinda just think to yourself,, “Life is pretty good right now.”
We showed up here late one night and I’m not sure they really wanted us there — we were their last guests of the evening — but they were nice enough. Food was fine — many people will like it here. I kinda liked the overwrought interior — lots of carved wood furniture. The art work is a trip — big and frightening. In short, a nice place for many but not for all. Visit La Licorne.
Saving the best for last. On our way out of Essouira, we stopped here for lunch before our flight back to London. I didn’t think it was possible, but this place was even more beautiful than Val d’Argan. Outbuildings painted in the whitest of white, decorated simply and beautifully. Strangely empty so we had the service all to ourselves. The cheese just kept coming as did the wine. We had a nice chat with one of the owners, an enviably elegant Frenchwoman. We were sad to leave so took as much cheese as we could with us when we left. This was a wonderful way to end a weekend in Essaouira. Visit La Fromagerie.
So — you will not go hungry in Essaouria, that’s for sure. It’s a cute little place. Probably best for a short visit though. I think we saw it all fairly quickly. The best idea would be to drive to Essaouria and have lunch at Val d’Argan, stay the night in Essaouria and have lunch at La Fromagerie the next day. Also, drink all the Moroccan rose while you’re at it. If there’s any left.
Book an Essaouira Tour
- Camel Ride on the Beach of Essaouria
- Price: $32.70
- Individual Lessons of Kite Surf in Essaouira
- Price: $77.30
- Surf Coast Morocco - Surf Beginner Day Trip
- Price: $53.52
- 4 Hour Essaouira Cooking Class
- Price: $47.57