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Where to stay in Essaouira? Best districts + Hotels

Looking for the best place to stay in Essaouira?

Follow the guide, we have tested, listed and detailed for you the best areas to stay in Essaouira as well as the best accommodation in this city that we love to visit for a weekend.

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⏰ Don’t have time to read everything?

Here are our 3 favourite accommodations listed by price category:

🚨 Note: These hotels are among the most popular, so don’t delay in booking. What’s more, they offer free cancellation, so don’t worry if you change your mind

(€) Chems Bleu. Cheap riad in Essaouira with ocean views 200m from the centre, with a flower-filled patio with an Andalusian-style fountain and large terraces where you can relax in the sun. Book here.

(€€) ❤️ Riad Lyon-Mogador. Sublime, charming 18th-century Riad offering bright rooms with authentic decor and situated on the edge of the ocean in a peaceful location in the heart of the medina in the travellers’ favourite district. Book now.

(€€€) Villa Beldi. An absolutely stunning luxury Riad with a sunny terrace, bar, restaurant and heated outdoor pool set in a garden paradise. The breakfast set is delicious! Book here.

🌃 F ind other accommodation at the best price 👈

The best areas to stay in Essaouira

  • For a first stay in Essaouira: the medina
  • To be close to the beach: El Borj
  • Where to stay near Essaouira? Sidi Kaouki

For your first stay in Essaouira: the medina

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Is this your first time in Essaouira? If so, we urge you to stay in the medina, Essaouira’s oldest quarter and historic centre.

Whether you choose to stay in a hotel, an inn or a traditional riad, you’ll benefit from a wide range of accommodation and a prime location! That’s right: most of the historic sites are within easy reach.

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Whether you want to stay in a sumptuous traditional riad or a more modest but still comfortable hotel room, there really is accommodation to suit all budgets in this district!

It’s also in the medina that you’ll find the souks best stocked with local handicrafts to bring back as souvenirs, spices that you know and will discover… and we’re not even talking about the incredible density of restaurants and cafés here!

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If you want to see the sea (or rather the Atlantic Ocean), we recommend a trip to the port of Essaouira, where you can watch fishermen unloading their catch of the day.

There’s also a nice little stroll along the ramparts that encircle the old town: these are impressive, elaborate fortifications dating back to the 18th century.

Here‘s a tip: for breathtaking views over the ocean and the medina, don’t hesitate to climb the rampart walk!

As most of the tourist activities are concentrated in this area, we recommend that you sleep in the medina for your first stay in Essaouira.

5 things to see and do in the medina :

– the ramparts of the old town, built in the 18th century and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site

– the Place du Marché aux grains, with its colours and flavours

– the Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdallah museum, where you can admire the cultural, artistic and traditional treasures of the Essaouira region

– la Kasbah art gallery, an eclectic but organised blend of tradition and modernity

– the port of Essaouira, with its fishing boats, fish market and magnificent view of the Atlantic Ocean!

⏰ Don’t have time to read it all?

Here are our favourite Riads in the area where to stay in Essaouira on a first stay

Note: Don’t delay booking as these are some of the most popular hotels in Essaouira.

(€) Chems Bleu. Cheap riad in Essaouira overlooking the ocean and located 200m from the centre offering a flowered patio with an Andalusian style fountain and large terraces where you can relax in the sun. Book here.

(€€) ❤️ Riad Lyon-Mogador. Sublime 18th-century Riad de charme offering bright rooms with authentic decor and situated on the edge of the ocean in a peaceful location in the heart of the medina in the travellers’ favourite district. Book now.

(€€€) Villa Beldi. An absolutely stunning luxury Riad with a sunny terrace, bar, restaurant and heated outdoor pool set in a garden paradise. The breakfast set is delicious! Book here.

🌃 F ind other accommodation at the best price 👈

The area close to the beach where to stay in Essaouira: El Borj

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An alternative to the medina that we’d happily suggest you consider if you’re staying in Essaouira is the El Borj neighbourhood.

Well, there are perhaps a few fewer traditional riads than three- or four-storey buildings (but not too high either)..

If you’re looking for accommodation in a traditional Moroccan riad, El Borj may not be for you: here, you’ll find more hotels, holiday rentals or outright homestays. It could be an idea for more authenticity! And prices are cheaper than in the medina.

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If you take a closer look, you’ll be sure to find typical Moroccan food restaurants in El Borj, frequented more by locals and retired expatriates (at least for the winter) than by tourists.

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You’ll also find fresh fruit and vegetable shops, bakeries, small spice markets and cafés selling delicious pastries: yum yum!

For those of you who also come to Essaouira for its proximity to the ocean, El Borj is the place for you!

Allow around 10 to 15 minutes on foot to get to Essaouira’s beaches and try your hand at sandy camel or horse rides, swimming, lounging on your towel and why not try your hand at surfing or even kitesurfing?

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A word of advice: we suggest you consider El Borj if you’re considering planning a longer stay in Essaouira, if you want to save money, if you want to be away from the hustle and bustle of the medina and of course if you want to be close to the beach for water activities!

5 things to see and do in El Borj:

– ride a quad bike in the dunes

– go swimming at the beach

– surfing or kitesurfing

– a camel or horse ride to Borj El Baroud, a 16th-century fort now in ruins

– the Dar Sultan palace (the same one that inspired Jimi Hendrix to write his song ‘Castle in the Sand’).

Here are our favourite Riads near the beach where to stay in Essaouira

Note: Don’t delay booking as these are some of the most popular hotels in Essaouira.

(€) Chems Bleu. Cheap riad in Essaouira overlooking the ocean and located 200m from the centre offering a flowered patio with an Andalusian style fountain and large terraces where you can relax in the sun. Book here.

(€€) ❤️ Riad Lyon-Mogador. Sublime 18th-century Riad de charme offering bright rooms with authentic decor and situated on the edge of the ocean in a peaceful location in the heart of the medina in the travellers’ favourite district. Book now.

(€€€) Villa Beldi. An absolutely stunning luxury Riad with a sunny terrace, bar, restaurant and heated outdoor pool set in a garden paradise. The breakfast set is delicious! Book here.

🌃 F ind other accommodation at the best price 👈

Where to stay near Essaouira? Sidi Kaouki

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Do you want to visit Essaouira but stay away from the tourist hustle and bustle? If so, consider Sidi Kaouki.

Just 25 kilometres south of Essaouira, this little seaside town offers travellers some really respectable accommodation at unbeatable prices: seaside hotels, hostels, homestays, ecolodges… you’re spoilt for choice!

Sidi Kaouki is a more local and less touristy alternative to Essaouira, but the little seaside town still offers a great range of activities: swimming on a 2.5 kilometre long beach of fine sand, walks in the wild coastal dunes, surfing and kitesurfing sessions, a visit to a cooperative that makes argan oil… In short, there’s no shortage of things to do!

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If you’re thinking of staying in this small town, we strongly recommend you take an excursion to Sidi M’Barek: less than 15 minutes’ drive from Sidi Kaouki, this natural site practises eco-tourism and boasts a stunning landscape of cliffs and greenery on the seafront.

There are even some breathtaking waterfalls! And Essaouira is only 30 minutes away by car, so if you’re thinking of extending your Moroccan holiday a little longer, Sidi Kaouki is a quieter, less expensive alternative that will allow you to stay longer.

It’s also a destination for water sports enthusiasts!

5 things to do and see in Sidi Kaouki :

– swim in the Atlantic Ocean on a little-frequented yet beautiful beach

– enjoy a mint tea on a seafront terrace

– take a surfing or kitesurfing lesson

– take a hike to the Sidi M’Barek waterfalls

– a little to the east of Sidi M’Barek, visit the Ajddigue argan oil cooperative.

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