Essaouira is a laid back seaside town situated along Morocco’s Western Coast. The 18th Century’s fortified historic medina has a vibrant artist community. Essaouira’s rich history and relaxed pace make it an ideal destination to explore. Essaouira is particularly popular in the summertime. Its sandy beaches and coastal activities, ranging from kite surfing to quad biking, cycling, fishing, and horseback riding make it a perfect fit for families and travelers in search of adventure. There are charming restaurants and beachside cafes that serve fresh seafood, grilled and seasoned to perfection. Sardines are available year round and particularly popular with the locals. Essaouira is also home to one of Morocco’s largest music events, The Gnaoua World Music Festival. The festival takes place each June.
For visitors and residents interested in exploring the Essaouira countryside or lounging poolside, a day pass can be purchased at one of the many boutique hotels or properties that offer swimming and lunch options.
Top 7 Places To Swim & Lunch in Essaouira
Villa Beldi is a boutique hotel situated between Essaouira and the Oued Ksob river, just 5 minutes from the city center. The property has a lush manicured garden surrounded by sky-high palm trees and tall cactuses. Petit patio size furniture in ocean colors and cozy sunbed chairs line the perimeter of the swimming pool. Nature is king at Villa Beldi and it is not uncommon to see a peacock during your stay. Overnight visitors can enjoy the contemporary and shabby chic interior design of each room. Your pool pass allows you to enjoy the premises and dine in the garden. Menu highlights include the spider crab with olive and lemon, salmon poke bowl with wakame, and lobster ravioli or grilled sea bream in miso dressing. For dessert, highlights are the watermelon delight with the famous Moroccan Verbena tea spice or Pistachio Raspberry Cappuccino. The pool pass is priced at 250 MAD ($26 USD). Lunch is a separate fee.
Address: Km1, Route de Agadir; Phone: +212-524-78-48-04
Heure Bleue Palais
Heure Bleue Palais is a Relais & Châteaux property well appointed in the Essaouira historic medina. The hotel’s French colonial architecture stands out among the 18th-century ancient medina city walls. Guests can enjoy the charming, colonial, 1940’s interior ambiance and small luxuries such as being greeted in the garden atrium with tea and pastries or sipping cocktails at sunset on the rooftop terrace. Heure Bleue Palais offers visitors a heated pool available for use year round surrounded by wooden sun chairs, parasols, and a solarium. A day pass is available to outside guests for 450 MAD ($46 USD) and includes a towel, all-day pool access, and three-course lunch with organic farm to table cuisine. The menu reflects French and Moroccan influences. For travelers who would like to upgrade, the property has a full spa with an onsite hammam and traditional massage room. Heure Bleue Palais is owned by André Azoulay, a senior adviser to King Mohammed VI of Morocco, and considered an architectural masterpiece of Essaouira.
Address: Rue Ibn Batouta، Essaouira; +212-524-78-34-34
Les Jardin Villa Maroc
Les Jardin Villa Maroc is 20 km east of Essaouira and sought after on weekends by locals and travelers for its Beldi poolside atmosphere and delicious Moroccan fare. Set inside the middle of the Thuja forest, this stone house property is owned by Abderrahim Ezzaher and his wife, also owners of Riad Villa Maroc in the heart of the Essaouira medina. A pool pass is available for 250 MAD ($26 USD) and includes use of the heated swimming pool, sunbed, and towel. Served under thatched umbrellas that shade the afternoon sun, a large buffet lunch is also offered that includes Moroccan summer salads, grilled fish, lamb or beef skewers, and baked vegetables. Shuttle service between Essaouira and this countryside escape is available daily from 11:00am – 5:00pm.
Address: Route Essaouira; Phone: +212 524-47-61-47
Le Médina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa Sea & Spa-MGallery
Le Médina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa Sea & Spa-MGallery is a 4-star boutique hotel located a stone’s throw of the Essaouira port and beach. The hotel has contemporary décor and features Moroccan touches such as lemonwood cabinets and thuya wood furniture all handcrafted by locals. Daytime visitors can take advantage of the pool pass with lunch included for 250 MAD ($26 USD). Direct access to a luxury spa and Thalassotherapy center is also on the premises. Le Medina also has some of the best views in Essaouira given it’s directly across from the beach. Diners can lunch on the edge of the ocean and watch the raspberry pink sunset over the Atlantic coastline.
Address: Avenue Mohamed V, Essaouira; Phone: +212 525-07-25-26
The Essaouira Lodge is a family-friendly boutique property located in a secluded region 15 km from the Essaouira proper. The property is equipped with a yoga and meditation temple, onsite restaurant and spa. The pool house restaurant serves a buffet with a salad bar and oriental and Mediterranean dishes. Day time guests can purchase a pool pass for 180 MAD ($20 USD) which includes entrance to the buffet and access to a heated pool. A wellness package with a hammam, black soap scrub and massage is available upon request. The lodge offers a free shuttle service to and from the city center of Essaouira.
Address: R207, Essaouira; Phone: +212-525-07-21-07
Sofitel Mogador Golf
Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa Hotel is a luxury hotel in the Golf of Essaouira with panoramic views. Mogador Island can be seen from the on-site Restaurant du Midi, which serves International cuisine comprising of fish, tagines, and salads. Visitors who would like to relax poolside can purchase a day pass for 250 MAD ($26 USD). The pass allows guests to choose between the freshwater pool or heated pool. The pool bar serves lighter fare of paninis, burgers, sandwiches, pizzas, and Italian seafood pasta dishes. Cocktails and smoothies from the Tiki So Bar are also available.
Address: Domaine Mogador 44000 ; Phone: +212-524-47-94-00
Riad Zahra is a charming family-run property across from the Essaouira beach. The owners are from Spain and it’s decor reflects their penchant for traditional Spanish-Moroccan color and design. Riad Zahra’s 18m x 18m open-air swimming pool is perfect for laps and also lounging. A lunch menu with fresh grill offered by season is offered with a Spanish flair for 140 MAD ($15 USD). The Carte du jour of the summer season is cream of vegetable soup with ginger, sauteed fish with grilled pepper and for dessert a homemade pear and peach tart. The menu changes daily to reflect the freshest ingredients sourced from Essaouira. Riad Zahra also offers a daily Tapas Hour, from 6:00pm – 7:00 pm. A pool pass is 100 MAD ($11 USD). Advance reservations required.
Address: 90 Amira Lalla Meryemm, Quartier des Dunes; Phone: +212 -661-90-57-22