To celebrate the launch of ESSAOUIRA Body Serum, we’re giving you Kahina founder Katharine L’Heureux’s quick travel guide to Essaouira, Morocco, the town that inspired the new scent.
The first thing in the morning, wander down to the docks to watch the fishermen bring in the days haul. The locals will be there jostling among numerous vendors with their wares laid out in boxes on the ground or in carts to buy their fish for the day. A huge variety of fresh fish is on display, eyed by plenty of cats hoping for their chance.
If you’re feeling brave, do what the locals do. Choose one of the vendors based on what looks good (even if you can’t identify the type of fish) and buy directly. There is a guy with a few tables and a grill at the end of the dock who will cook your fish and serve it to you on paper plates with bread for just a few dirhams.
Otherwise, head back towards town where there is a row of open-air restaurant/stalls where you can choose the catch of the day from glass cases and they will serve you with a touch more formality.
After lunch take a stroll on the beach and watch the wind-surfers. Towards the end of the long beach, you can ride camels and gallop horses.
Make time in the afternoon for the hammam. There are two types to choose from, the traditional hammam which is a shared experience in a large room, or a private hammam session. Either way, treat yourself to the traditional beauty treatments of Moroccan women including exfoliation with savon noir, a rhassoul clay mask, and argan oil massage. If opting for the traditional version, make sure to stop at the souk and pick up your own products to bring with you on the way.
Afterwards, make your way to the old fortress to watch the sun go down. Stroll along the walls of the medina on the way to browse the shops and galleries there. There is a good selection of restaurants for dinner in the medina to suit your mood and budget.
Take a drive south toward Agadir. It’s a beautiful drive through the argan forests. You’ll see goats in trees and some typical Moroccan villages. There are several argan cooperatives along the way to stop in and see how the nuts are cracked. Make sure to try the amlou with bread, a mixture of almonds honey and argan oil. If you are feeling ambitious, continue approximately 2 hours south to reach Agadir. There is a beautiful stretch of unspoiled coastline before you reach Agadir and multiple spots for surfing. Have lunch at any of the restaurants along the boardwalk of Agadir before heading back.
Where to Stay
L’Heure Bleue $$$
Luxury in a traditional Moroccan riad decorated in a Colonial Style
Madada Mogador $$$
A boutique hotel decorated in traditional Moroccan finishes with rooms on the ramparts overlooking the water and the medina.