“Game of Thrones” viewers will know Essaouira better as Astapor, which is the most southern of the three city-states of Slaver’s Bay. You can remember it as where Daenerys Targaryen bought an army of 8,000 soldiers.
Essaouira is a seriously old city. People have been living there for thousands of years.
It was called Arambys under the Carthaginians in the 5th century BC.
Later, in the 3rd century AD, a Roman villa was built on Mogador Island off the coast
We drove three hours west from Marrakesh to visit Essaouira, our favorite Moroccan City on the Atlantic Coast. The whole Medina (walled city) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We love the blue and white houses gathered up by the walls of the Medina. Its walking streets are full of small shops, running children, artists, and tourists from around the world. The weather is cooler than the rest of Morocco, and there always seems to be a cold wind from the sea.
One of the largest populations of Jews in North Africa used to live in Essaouira. The city was once 40 percent Jewish. You can still find old synagogues in the Mellah, and a large Jewish cemetery. Even though most of the Jews left in 1948 when Israel was created, the number of Israeli tourists has greatly increased with the recent strengthening of political ties between Morocco and Israel. We actually saw more Jewish tourists in Essaouira than Americans.
We loved the fish market. In the evening you can eat freshly cooked seafood from small restaurant kiosks.
Saying hello to friends.