Marrakech to Essaouira – Goats in Trees and the Moroccan Coast

The last town we visited in Morocco was the coastal city of Essaouira, as a day trip from Marrakech. It was a 2.5 hour drive each way (177 km or 110 miles). The highway was good and you see some interesting sights along the way (see below). While we had a rental car, you can also find a bus tour out of Marrakech.

Morocco has a long coastline (1835 km or 1140 miles) and Essaouira was one of two stops we made along the coast (the other being Rabat). Most of our itinerary took us to vast and varied interior of this fascinating country.

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An old mosque on the coastline just north of Essaouira.

The Moroccan coast does offer spots for surfing, swimming and windsurfing; however, since we were going on to the Canary Islands (which has some terrific beaches), we did not spend a lot of time on the coast in Morocco.

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You can take a camel or horse ride along the beach.

Essaouira had a unique feel, with 18th century ramparts that give the town a Mediterranean European feel.

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A view of Essaouira’s ramparts.

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Cannon and an old gate along the ramparts.

Essaouira has a quaint old quarter with numerous restaurants and artisan shops.

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A gated entrance into the old part of Essaouira.

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One of the narrow alleyways in old Essaouira.

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One of the many shops found in old town of Essaouira.

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Fishing boats in Essaouira’s old port.

Essaouira is the third largest fishing port in Morocco. In the 18th century, it was a major trading port with Europe, along with Tangier.

One of the most interesting sights we saw was on our way to Essaouira. There are numerous argan trees along the highway, and imagine our surprise when we saw goats standing in the argan trees!

Goats in Trees (2)

Goats in the argan trees, seen right off the road between Marrakech and Essaouira.

The goats climb the trees, and eat the argan fruit. The seeds/nuts are then “pooped out”, and then processed into argan oil, a highly valued ingredient in many hair care and other products for which Morocco is famous. Next time you get shampoo with argan oil, you’ll know where it comes from!