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. One of the things you definitely have to explore on a visit to Essaouira is the city’s skala and ramparts.
Built as the city’s defence on the ocean, Essaouira’s 18th-century skala and ramparts are lovely to wander. There are two levels to these fortifications that you can check out. The ground level used to be military storage areas. Today, it is filled with little shops. The top level has bronze cannons and great views out to the sea, the harbour, and the Île de Mogador. Oh and seagulls. You will see tons and tons of seagulls swirling up in the air currents!
I definitely recommend exploring this part of Essaouira either before the day trippers arrive (i.e. early in the morning) or after they leave late in the afternoon. Besides, the light will be better at those times for photography. And if you feel like sitting on the edge of the ramparts by the cannons to contemplate the crashing waves, you’re more likely to get a spot when there are less people around. And yes, I definitely did that!
By the way, you will see this photo all over the internet:
While it is undeniably a pretty view on Essaouira’s medina, you’ll likely have to wait in line for your turn to get the photo. If you happen to get to the porthole when there is no one around, take all the photos you want right then and there because the next time you walk by it, it will likely be surrounded by people posing for their Instagram page!