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A Little Beach Time in Morocco


View Morocco 2022 & Morocco Tour on margofiala's travel map.

No more Ali! We resorted to public transportation for our last stop. Ali was off with his next clients, and we were left to fend for ourselves (although he was checking in on us by text!)


The bus was very comfortable, we arrived safely and ventured out to explore our new town, Essaouira (essa-weera), known as the ‘Windy City of Africa’:


We quickly found where the action was in town, the fish market - fish of every size and description, including a sky of seagulls looking for a free meal. (My cousin Leith would have hated it - no end of birds!). Essaouira is a significant fishing port for Morocco, lots of fishing boats here:

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We really enjoyed walking the seawall in Essaouira, a nice break from the busyness of Marrakech. Also, lots of people wearing shorts here, so decided to break ours out. The town seems more touristy, with a significant French expat population.


We stopped for a cold drink and some salads that turned out to be pretty impressive for a beach bar: (seafood salad and tuna salad)


At the end of the beach, we saw camels on the beach, which quickly turned into a frenzy of people trying to sell us rides. We declined, having already had the best experience EVER in the Sahara:


Had an amazing dinner at Triskala that night, located in an old synagogue. The restaurant changed its menu daily with new and fresh items, each as creative and unique as the interior of the restaurant: (pea soup with goat cheese, shrimp bisque, falafels, grilled sea bream)

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Not far from our hotel, Dar Maya, were the city walls and 18th century Spanish cannons, still in place:


The main square in town, Place Moulay Hassan, had a huge screen showing the World Cup from Qatar. Depending on who was playing, there was always a large crowd watching and cheering. Soccer here is as big as in Europe, like a religion.


Morocco versus Belgium was a huge game, Belgium heavily favored to win but Morocco beat them 2 - 0. The crowd went wild!


We checked out another hotel in town that looked like it may have the soccer games televised, they didn't but we sure liked Villa Maroc - next time!


Eating again! This time at Les Alizes Mogador, another very interesting restaurant. It was very close quarters; I wonder what they did during Covid? (Moroccan salad, Harira soup, lamb with prunes, Sefa - chicken, almonds, couscous, cinnamon & icing sugar, orange with cinnamon for dessert; the Sefa was outstanding):


We spent most of the next day at a winery, Le Domaine du Val d'Argan. We toured the winery and vineyards, had lunch and spent time with their wonderful new puppy, Dada. It is a beautiful estate and the only winery in central Morocco, as the others are in the northern part of the country. Whenever wine is available at restaurants in Morocco, it is almost always from Morocco. This translates to significant demand for local wine, even in a Muslim country. The tour guide, Tony, was a very knowledgeable sommelier, originally from Senegal.


The vines are dormant right now, notice some vines are on the ground versus staked, in a effort to keep them cooler:

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Lunch in in lovely garden with a puppy to play with - paradise!



We met the owner, Charles Melisa, who explained the challenges of growing grapes in Morocco's hot climate (+50c in summers) and drought conditions. He is from France and also owns a winery in Chateauneuf-du-Pape. He is Dada's grandpa.


Their branding is of very traditional farming techniques, still used today:

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Back in Essaouira, we watched the sunset from the sea wall. Great views with the color, kite surfers and camels:

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Another interesting place for dinner, Miyami, very "hole in the wall" looking but yummy food. This was Woof’s home (also starring in our dog section), he was hilarious, he howled during the call for prayers! (Shrimp bisque, veggie samosas, lamb couscous and chicken couscous)


The things that happen when you meet a dog! We met Zena, whose mom was French, Veronica. She told us a lot about the town, where she rescued Zena, recommended restaurants and when I asked for a henna recommendation, she called a friend who had recently had it done for her wedding and arranged that henna artist to come to her house to do my hands. Really. She was a wealth of information and super helpful.


She was super fast, about 20 minutes for both hands, 150 dirhams (about $15):


After an hour or so, you brush the henna off and this is the end result. Typically it lasts two weeks.


Our last day in Morocco, we took a day trip to Sidi Kaouki, a nearby beach town about 20 mins south of Essaouira. It has a huge beach that seems to go on forever! It is very popular for surfers, camel and horse riding:


Our last meal in Morocco, lunch at La Mouette et les Dromadaires. Just off the beach, a lovely setting and great food. (Olives and spiced chickpeas, goat cheese salad with pesto, monkfish marinated in tea, grilled dorado):


The city was just coming to life the morning we left. We had a clear view of the wind turbines across the water and the morning game of soccer on the beach! Goodbye Morocco! We will miss you!


We were fortunate to meet several dogs in Essaouira. The town seemed very French and was full of pets. We had a great time with Zena and Dada, and Laka had her own motor bike!

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There were kitties there too, free with purchase in some cases:


Back to Marrakech Airport and off to our next stop: Gran Canaria, Canary Islands


Posted by margofiala 14:38 Archived in Morocco

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Great pictures....really makes me want to go back to Morocco.

by Gail

Favourite photo of this group has to be sunset over the ‘camel’ beach. Aaah! Says it all.

by Donna-Lynne

My favourite picture is of the camel pulling a plow at the winery! Great mix of themes there!

by Johndotbike

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