Essaouira, affectionately referred to as “swera” by locals, is a windy city on Morocco’s Northern…
Tag: Moroccan Beaches
The 18th Annual Gnaoua Music Festival took place in Essaouira, on Morocco’s Atlantic Coast from May 14th -17th. Every year, the festival showcases the best of Moroccan Gnaoua musicians and a wide array of Gnaoua and world music. Gnaoua is a musical genre based in Sufi Islamic culture with its roots in sub-Saharan Africa. Moroccan and international artists are also invited to perform, often, in unique fusion concerts alongside Gnaoua groups. One of the most anticipated World Music acts at this year’s festival was Hindi Zahra, a Moroccan-born vocalist who played Essaouira for the first time.
Morocco is such a melting pot of cultures and identities. The Berbers (or Amazigh; plural: Imazighen, meaning “free men”) were Morocco’s indigenous peoples, settled in the north-western corner of Africa across modern-day Morocco, Mauritania, Algeria and beyond, long before the arrival of Arabs from the East in the 7th century.
Sidi Ifni is some two hour’s drive from Agadir and is unique because of its much admired Spanish Art Deco buildings built when it was a Spanish enclave from 1934-1969. A vacation in Morocco’s Sidi Ifni on the shores of the Atlantic of Agadir is a great way to pass the summer months. The cliff top views of the sea at Sidi Ifni and the beach are impressive. There are two buildings built like ships with portholes near the steps down to the beach and there is a striking lighthouse overlooking the sea. A former church now the law courts and a former Spanish consulate with its windows bricked up lie around the Place Hassan II, formerly Plaza de Espana along with the governor’s house which is now a royal palace.
The Tizi N’Test pass from Marrakech, Morocco to Taroudant leads you over the Middle Atlas, heartland of the Berber people, through hair raising hair pin bends at 2,092 meters overlooking valleys and gorges, small fields and mountain villages. It was here from Tin Mal, the site of the famous Berber mosque that the Almohads rose up and took Marrakech from the Almoravids in 1152.
In Morocco in July and August when temperatures are on the high side, you can avoid the sweltering heat of the cities by heading to coastal resorts or the Atlas Mountain retreats where cooler breezes allow you to escape inland heat. Agadir’s long clean crescent beach on the Atlantic coast, offer opportunities for surfing, snorkeling, wind surfing and jet skiing. Most of the larger hotels and surf clubs on the beach rent out water sports equipment and surf boards and cool sea breezes keep the temperature down.
Azemmour is a charming former Portugese fortified town on the great Oum Er-Rabia river 75 km from Casblanca and close to the fortified city of El Jadida which the Portugese moved to after abandoning Azemmour in 1541. The Duke of Braganza took the town in 1513 with a force of some 500 ships and 15,000 troops. It was used as a destination for shipping goods along the river. Azemmour is unspoiled and a very restful destination of character in Morocco.