Another early morning in the Medina. Woken up in our riad by the first intense North African sun-rays we got ready for our day trip to the coastal city Essaouira. The tour we were about to experience was booked with a tour company called Go 4 Marrakech, founded and managed by Zouhir Bengo.
Once we walked out of the thick walls surrounding the old part of town we spotted Zouhir waiting for us next to his shiny big van and with a bright smile on his face. He helped us to get into the van and out of the early morning bustle of Marrakech. Once seated in the comfy leather seats, Zouhir drove us out the town and westbound into the direction of the coast.
Connected to fast WIFI we had a smooth and easy ride with Zouhir. We introduced one another and found out that just like us Zouhir had travelled the globe and speaks Italian, Spanish and German next to Arabic and English – we were impressed! The first stop we decided to take was at one of the typical Moroccan ceramic shops right at the Highway. Zouhir explained the difference between the imported and the original tajins and even allowed us to pick one as a souvenir. We continued our journey and Zouhir asked us if we were interested to stop at one of the best Argan Oil suppliers on the road – we sure did!
We learned how argan oil is pressed and about the products and benefits. Of course we could not leave without our own bottle of the precious beauty remedy. Once back in the car and another 50km closer to Essaouira we saw a bunch of goats standing on an Argan tree. Amused and interested we asked Zouhir to stop again and the friendly farmers brought us one of the baby goats to cuddle and pet for a while.
Before we headed directly to Essaouira we made a stop at a high peak in order to overlook the beautiful city-and we did so in style. We both slowly got on on top of our handsome Btad Pitt of Camels and it was more than enjoyable.
We eventually arrived at the Moroccan coast and Zouhir parked the big van – usually this part of the day tour, the visitors get to spend time in Essaouira until the departure by themselves. Since we found a new friend in Zouhir on our trip we decided to ask him to come along. We walked along the beautiful coastline of the town right to the harbor – a busy beehive packed with fish merchants, tourists, locals and greedy seagulls. We strolled over the market and tasted a fresh oyster with lemon – delicious! Zouhir showed us the best route through the town, along colorful orange juice booths and past the best spices and leather stores. From our first impression of Essaouira we would say it’s full of colors-especially bright blues.
Some souvenirs and typical Morocan linen shirts later we arrived at the main attraction of Essaouira – another fish market with neighboring restaurants. At this point we found out that our new friend was a fish fanatic – Zouhir helped us pick loads of fresh fish, crab, prawns and more and more fish.
Uncertain who was going to eat what looked like half of the markets fish we walked over to the restaurant. A simple but happy and traditional place with loads of merry locals enjoying the catch of the day together. Music playing, people dancing and laughing – and we were right in the middle with a cold drink in our hand and excited for what the local chefs were going to do with our purchases.
Once we tasted the prawns we were amazed. Probably the freshest and tastiest fish we had ever tasted. Round after round it got better and we ate until there was no space for a single sardine left. Fed and happy we strolled back, had a coffee and ice cream on the way and soaked up the beautiful and relaxing vibe of the city which turned out to be so different to the hustle and bustle of Marrakech, but just as mesmerizing. Slowly we made our way back to the van and started our journey back home. Throughout the whole ride Zouhir was not only a safe and fast driver, he was also at our disposal for all the questions we had. After a long and beautiful day trip we have also found a friend in Morocco. Zouhir was funny, entertaining, intelligent, and honestly just a well round guy and we can not simply say he was only our guide. We appreciate our time with him and would encourage any of you who are traveling to Morocco to be sure to book our friend Zouir Bengo with Go 4 Marrakech.
Essaouira is an amazing getaway for a day or maybe even more and a sight not to be missed during your stay in Morroco. Check out our experiences in the video below! 🙂