One of my favourite places in the whole of North Africa is the quaint fishing town of Essaouira on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. Morocco is such a welcoming country, very open to western visitors, and our breaks for single travelers here have proved very popular.


For most people, it’s Marrakech that is their first experience of Morocco, but my personal recommendation is for the coastal town of Essaouira, which is truly quaint and quieter than the big city. It offers authentic experiences, relaxation and a host of photo opportunities all in one small location.

Essaouira is a ‘windy city’ thanks to the cooling Atlantic beaches. This makes it a more comfortable temperature than the inland cities or Mediterranean coast. It’s also why you’re more likely to spot people on the beach kite-surfing rather than sunbathing. Don’t get me wrong: the beach is fantastic, and it’s a great place to blow the cobwebs away!

Although travellers do visit Essaouira, there’s currently only one direct flight from the UK, so it’s not over-run with tourists, and it’s easy to relax and wind down here.


Wander the old ramparts, get lost in the medina and browse the small stalls that sell… well, just about everything from hand-woven blankets and rugs to silver jewelry or turned bowls made from fragrant tuya wood. There are several smart art galleries too, showcasing original art and limited edition photos of the town. If you are artistic yourself, you’ll find inspiration around every corner, so bring your camera or sketch-book. ‘Berber blue’ is everywhere: the indigo dye is used on everything from houses with their painted doors and shutters, to the traditional dress of the Berber people.

Fishing is still an important ‘industry’ at Essaouira, with a fleet of little boats (painted blue!) operating from the port and bringing back the day’s catch to sell in the noisy fish market. Street food – freshly grilled fish – is fantastic here, and cheap. After snacking at the seafood stalls, I suggest we head to my secret little coffee shop for a special little cake… And no, I’m not telling you where it is: you’ll have to wait until you get here as I’m really looking forward to being your Host in Essaouira this year!

Essaouira is a refreshingly different destination and a great choice for our single travelers. If you don’t leave with a suitcase full of bargains from the souk, then I hope you will take with you many memorable moments and new friendships.

Image Source: Mark Fischer