ssaouira, with its reinforced walls, lies on a peninsula on the Atlantic coast where trade winds blow. It is located approximately 170 km from Marrakech, 130 km from Safi (Asafi) and 190 km from Agadir. The temperature fluctuates constantly around 25 ° C.
The beautiful fishing port is located at the foot of the ramparts. Sardine boats are a familiar element of the Moroccan sea fishing fleet. Every morning fishermen come home with a load of fresh fish and shellfish for the local factories.
Today it is also a popular destination for surfers. The excitement comes from legions of windsurfers, who have internationally spread the word.
In the 7th c. BC the purple islands in front of Essaouira were inhabited. The Phoenicians and Carthaginians moored here as can be seen on ceramic fragments which were found from the time of Juba II, the Berber prince. In the 16th century Porugese seamen discovered the city and built fortifications and called her Mogador. the Portuguese King Manuel built an impressive castle in 1506.
Between 1760 and 1764 the Alawite sultan Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdallah decided to built a new port for trade between Europe and Africa inthe former city of Mogador which later was given the Arabic name of Al Souirah, a small fortress surrounded by ramparts.
The prisoner of the sultan and disciple of Vauban, who had also worked for King Louis XV, Théodore Cornut, designed the city in the style of European forts on basis of straight and wide streets.
On these walls is an impressive serie of cannons and large square towers from where one has a magnificent view over the Atlantic Ocean.
Orson Welles chose this setting in 1949 to make one of his most famous films, Othello. Jimi Hendrix and Cat Stevens attract a hippie community in the sixties.