Dar Lazuli is located in a quiet corner of the bustling town of Essaouira on the atlantic coast of Morocco. Centrally located, our riad is just a stone’s throw from the long sandy beach, working port and a myriad of cafés, restaurants and colourful souks. Apart from when you are exploring other towns, you won’t need to hire any transport to get around!
The medina (“city” in Arabic, corresponding to the old walled part of the city) of Essaouira is a UNESCO World Heritage Listed city and we are located just inside its walls, right beside Place Moulay Hassan, the main square. With Marrakech and Agadir just two and a half hours away, getting here is easy. The old town is characterised by Portuguese military, French and Berber culture.
The beach is only ten minutes away on foot, the port, the medina and the fish BBQ restaurants where we had dinner are literally around the corner.
Darkraspberry on TripAdvisor
Inside the walls you’ll find a network of narrow alleys, flanked by white-washed houses with blue doors and plenty of activity from the stalls & workshops. Essaouira is famous for its cabinet making and Thuja woodcarving and you’ll find these carvings, ceramics and many more treasures in Essaouira’s vibrant souks.
Southeast of the medina there’s a lively harbour, lined with distinctive blue fishing boats and brimming with fishing activity. It’s here you’ll find some of the best seafood in town, freshly caught and roasted on outdoor grills.
Above all, the atmosphere in Essaouira is easy-going and relaxed.
Some quick facts about our location in Morocco
The official language of Morocco is Arabic.
Almost everyone in Essaouira speaks French and some people also speak English.
The local currency is Moroccan Dirham, or MAD.
1 MAD is roughly 0.09 Euro, or 1 Euro is roughly 11 MAD.
There are several cash machines and banks in Essaouira.
Plugs are Type C European 2 round pin, 220V.
You should only drink bottled water in Morocco.
Morocco is a Muslim country, so longer clothing is advised.
In Essaouira, swimwear on the beach is ok.
Essaouira evenings can get cool, so wrap up.
The sandy beach
From Essaouira, you can walk south along the beach in the direction of Sidi Kaouiki. At some point, you will reach an “oued” coming from the Atlas Mountain. If you walk along this “oued” in the direction of Diabat, you might see the ruins of a Sultan castle that possibly inspired Jimi Hendrix in writing his song “Castel made of sand”. Beware, along the beach, you will meet plenty of camel and horse keepers offering to take you riding !
The city of cats
When you arrive in Essaouira, you will certainly be surprised by the number of cats roaming around in the city street. Everywhere in Essaouira, you will meet all kinds of cats.
Essaouira is their home town. Inhabitants of Essaouira love their cats. Early in the morning, when the fishing boats return to their harbour, some old women go to the boats to get little sardines to feed the cats in the street. Late in the evening, you could find dozen cats waiting for food in front of restaurant back doors.
If you don’t like cats, you should perhaps think to find another travel destination than Essaouira for your vacation !
What to wear in Essaouira ?
Morocco is a Muslim country and, although it’s liberal, it’s good to be prepared for the cultural changes you may experience so you can get the most out of your Moroccan holiday.Essaouira is a relaxed seaside town, so it’s fine to wear swimwear and summer clothes on the beach. When walking around the town however, you will probably feel more comfortable if you cover up and wear a t-shirt or take a pashmina with you.
It can get windy and cooler in the evenings, so take a jumper of jacket with you. A scarf of wrap is a great item to cover up during the day and to keep you warm in the evenings!
With mild winters and warm, dry summers, Essaouira is the perfect holiday destination any time of year. The winter months run from October to March and the summer months from May to September. Due to its coastal location, Essaouira’s climate is generally cooler than inland, averaging out at around 21 C° in winter and 25 C° in summer.