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Most people travel from Marrakech to Essaouira for a day trip but I’d urge you to stay a little longer, allowing at least a few days in your Morocco itinerary. There are just so many wonderful things to do in Essaouira, a charming, bohemian beach town on the Atlantic Coast of Morroco.

There are various ways to get from Marrakech to Essaouira so there should be a way to suit your budget and style of travel.

essaouira fort with blue fishing boats in foreground

But first, why visit Essaouira from Marrakech?

Marrakech is one of the craziest, most chaotic, intriguing yet frustrating places I have ever visited.

Essaouira, by contrast, is one of the most relaxing places I visited whilst backpacking in Morocco. With a hipster vibe, beautiful beaches and a buzzing live music scene, this UNESCO world heritage site is somewhere you can while away many lazy summer days.

Choose to spend your days’ shopping, enjoying a hammam treatment, learning to cook or chilling out in any of the wonderful rooftop cafes. Alternatively, enjoy some beach activities from quad biking to horseriding or kitesurfing.

How to get from Marrakech to Essaouira

Marrakech to Essaouira on a guided tour

If you only have time to take a day trip from Marrakech to Essaouira, the easiest and most cost-effective way to do it is to take a guided tour. I usually arrange tours through the trusted website GetYourGuide.

They offer a day trip beginning at 8 am and arriving back to Marrakech at 7 pm. This trip includes a stop at an argan oil cooperative and allows you plenty of time to explore the old medina, the port, the jeweller’s quarter and the beautiful beach. It costs a very affordable $28 at the time of writing.

If you wish to combine your visit to Essaouira’s port and medina with one of the beach activities on offer, you can easily arrange this. Check out these 2 tour combinations;

A highlight of your tour will be to stop and see the goats in the trees looking for argan oil halfway between Marrakech and Essaouira.

Marrakech to Essaouira by pre-organised transfer

If you prefer to explore independently, you can arrange a pre-organised transfer. Here are a few options.

canyons on essaouira's ramparts

Marrakech to Essaouira by bus

If you are on a very tight budget, your best option would be taking a bus. There are 2 operators Supratours and CTM which collectively offer 8 buses from Marrakech to Essaouira each day.

It will only set you back between $6-12. There are 8 buses from Marrakech to Essaouira and 5 from Essaouira to Marrakech each day.

Driving from Marrakech to Essaouira

If you have a hire car, you could drive independently to Essaouira from Marrakech.

The most direct route is via the R207 but does involve toll bridges. This route will take around 2.5 hours.

The longer route via the R204 and N1 avoids the tolls but will take 3.5 hours.

Make sure to take care when driving around both cities as the roads can be extremely chaotic.

Group Tours which visit both Marrakech and Essaouira

Finally, you could consider taking a multi-day group tour which visits both Essaouira and Marrakech.

Group tours are a great way to meet new travel friends and travel safely whilst also seeing a lot in a short period of time. Read about the benefits of group travel here.

G Adventures offers several trips which see both cities including those designed for people 18-30’s, classic trips for all age ranges and more luxury National Geographic trips. I have taken 9 tours with G Adventures and have nothing but praise for them.

Intrepid Travel also offers very similar trips at a similar price point.

chaotic alleyway in Essaouira selling carpets and gifts

Hopefully, you’ve found this guide for how to get from Marrakech to Essaouira useful. Don’t forget it pin it for later!

marrakech to essaouira

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