Midweek, we will journey through the Moroccan landscape to visit the seaside town of Essaouira, on the Atlantic coast. While the landlocked oasis of Marrakech is tinged with warm pinks and reds, Essaouira is a cool pallet of white and blues. It has a laid back beach side feel and at a fraction the size of Marrakech, not nearly the size of crowds either.
We will have plenty of time to enjoy the massive sandy beach where surfboarding, windsurfing and kitesurfing are all popular activities. A number of shops along the beach offer lessons and equipment rentals by the hour. Ocean Vagabond is the most popular and includes a beach cafe and plenty of lounge chairs. (Bring cash, as they do not take credit cards.) For the adventurous types who don't mind heights, you can take camel rides along the shore as well! Sample the fresh catch at the grilled seafood stalls along the port or stroll along the ramparts and enjoy the view of the sea from the bastions.
Inside the Medina the streets are refreshingly laid out in grid fashion. The main commercial thoroughfare is a wide street lined with shops. As it dips under an arch it becomes Avenue de L'istiqlal where at #52, you will find Mogador Music;
reportedly one of the best sources for music in the counrty. You will want to browse their extensive CD selection of North African and Western Saharan music to add to your ATS dance music collection. (Bring cash, as they do not take credit cards.)
After exploring the pictuesque port we will meet up at the legendary Cafe Taros in the main square, Place Moulay Hassan. This interesting complex includes a library, boutique, art gallery, rooftop lounge and restaurant. The talented chefs there serve up a wonderful mix of Moroccan and French foods. Our group will dine from the delicious selections of their prix fixe menu before returning to Marrakech for the night.