Essaouira day-trip

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Heading west from Marrakesh you transition from stony, barren landscape to the argan and thuya forests of the Moroccan coast (keep an eye out for the goats climbing in the argan trees, one of the more iconic images of the region!). Cresting a hill the town of Essaouira is laid out before you, and you head down to plunge into the medina. Much less dense and chaotic than Marrakesh, the atmosphere of the town draws a lot on the stunning Portuguese battlements, and you’ll have the chance to walk along these, and get an idea why Orson Wells was so keen to shoot his film of Othello here. Beneath the ramparts are the woodwork shops where the thuya you drove passed earlier is made into boxes, chessboards and other intricate items. In the Essaouira museum you’ll find a potted history of the town including the mysterious Iles De Mogador that lie just offshore. As you wander down to the port to see the gleaming blue fishing vessels being repaired and repainted, you’ll have the chance to purchase your lunch quite literally fresh off the boat. You’ve then got a bit of free time to walk off the lunch up and down the wonderful sweep of beach heading south from the town.

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