After spending several days in Marrakesh, I was ready for a slower pace of life. Enter, Essaouira. In comparison to Marrakesh, Essaouira is a small city and it’s a perfect place in which to unwind. There are no grand things to see or do in this port city but that is okay! What there is to see is more about culture and Moroccan coastal life. A prime representation of that are Essaouira’s famous blue boats.

The best place to see the boats are right in the city’s harbour. Once, Essaouira was Morocco’s largest port; all sorts of goods came from the interior of Africa to be shipped out to the rest of the world. Today, modern ships are too big for the relatively shallow harbour so it has lost its shipping status. Still, a wander through the harbour can be a fascinating thing. Or, if you’re like me and are tired of sellers trying to get you to look at their goods, check out the harbour from the ramparts above.

There isn’t much to see in the harbour other than a buzzing fish market. It’s all about the people watching here. And the blue boats! I recommend going late in the afternoon for two reasons – the harbour will be alive with activity and because the light will be better for photography. If you do decide you want to wander through the harbour area itself, do read up on other people’s experiences, especially if you think you will want to buy a meal there. Whatever you decide to do, the area is worth checking out, be it from within or from above….and here are the photos to prove it!