following our visit to marrakech we rented a car and headed west for our final days to be spent seaside. after an easy 3 hour drive through the argan country we arrived in essaouira, a port city on the atlantic coast with white walls, chill vibes and interesting history. we welcomed the cooler temps, and KP was happy to know that the strong trade-winds make their crescent beach a popular place for surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.
WHERE WE STAYED:
villa maroc exceeded all expectations – we could not believe how perfect this place is. tucked on the outskirts of essaouira's small medina, the hotel literally feels like a tiny castle. the atmosphere is constantly warm and intimate with always-lit candles + fireplaces and fresh flowers from their other property, jardin de villa maroc [where they offer free day trips 15 minutes away to enjoy their pool and olive grove]. one of my favorite things about villa maroc is that it's actually four connected 18th century riads covered in moroccan textiles and ceramics, yet has a very refreshing white crisp feel. there is no true common area, rather a mix of 6 or 7 extremely comfy little nooks where you are welcomed to read, hang out, eat dinner or just enjoy the sound of the wood burning fire. the restaurant serves breakfast on the roof terrace daily [included with your stay, and it's not to be missed!] they also offer a casual three-course dinner each night with a constantly changing menu. we admittedly ate here for dinner both nights and did not leave often because of how cozy & comfortable we felt. rooms start at about $100/night.
WHAT WE DID:
this town is small. it's easy to cover in two days, but more is certainly not too many if you're looking to relax.
the water: rent surf boards down the beach at explora and grab espresso or beers afterwards at beach and friends | fancy a camel ride on the beach? there are a ton of options to choose from
to eat & drink: patisserie chez driss for morning coffee and local moroccan pastries | elizir for dinner | taros for a drink | le patio d'essaouira for a drink | restaurant café des arts to see live gnaoua music
to shop: essaouira was my favorite place to shop. haggling didn't really exist and things cost what they cost. it was a refreshing change of pace and we were able to pick up a few last minute souvenirs before our departure.
^^ on our way home we were ecstatic to see one of the famous "goat trees" along the side of the road. these goats happily climb right on up to munch on argan nuts & leaves, it was so fun to witness in person.
* this stay was part of a collaboration, all opinions are my own.