I visited Essaouira as part of my trip to Morocco. I hadn't travelled anywhere other than Venice before and wanted to get away somewhere interesting. A friend recommended Marrakesh and I found this company called Naturally Morocco who I booked with. They were just amazing. They are experts in Morocco. They support small businesses and so provide unique and interesting holidays that are flexible and affordable. I think I was spoilt with them and this is honestly what triggered my love of unique and interesting holidays and accommodation when I travel, always trying to support smaller businesses if I can. I only had a week so they suggested Marrakesh, Essaouira and a one day camel trek which was perfect. They gave so much good advice about local people, tipping, what and where to eat etc. which for someone who has not travelled before was invaluable. The riad we stayed in was stunning as was all the food we ate there. It was the first time I tried slow cooked tagines that had been cooking for hours. The camel trek was quite short, just down the beach from Essaouira, but we got to see a lot that we wouldn't have otherwise and stay in a Berber tent for the night. Essaouira is beautiful. We stayed in the medina (walled old town). It has a long windy beach which attracts all sorts of wind sports, and a working harbour with loads of beautiful traditional blue boats and fisherman returning each day to sell their fish. There are lots of art galleries and a buzzing market - it is difficult to not buy anything. It is a beautiful sleepy place and a complete contrast to Marrakesh!
Morocco was one of the first places I ever travelled to. When I arrived in Marrakesh I didn't know what hit me. Scooters hooting and constantly trying to get past me. Navigating narrow streets to try and find our riad. Stray cats everywhere. It was crazy. And it was probably what triggered my travel bug. The markets were so incredible. The main square with its snake charmers and dentists practicing out in the open. Freshly squeezed orange juice. The tagines. The constant stream of smoke rising above the food stalls. The incredible hammam massage. The colours and smells of the market. The spices. The mint tea. Memories etched in my brain... until the next time.