Palmeraie (a prime area) is a fashionable residential district in the midst of the historic palm grove of Marrakech. As old as the city, the palm grove extends for 6,400 hectares. The palms are nurtured against the ravages of droughts, and at times replaced. Among the trees can be found golf courses and upscale investment properties. Some local politicians and French celebrities have homes here.


Formerly known as Mogador, Essaouira is an amazing example of a late 18th century fortified town. It is also home to some of the most attractive resorts along the Atlantic coast. Its coast is a great place for windsurfing, though the winds blow up plenty of sand on the beach. Within the old town’s ramparts are a lot of guest houses offering lodging for varying budgets, and there are a number of modern, purpose-built hotels facing the beach.

Essaouira is also a centre of traditional arts, being home to many small arts and crafts businesses, mainly wood crafts and notably cabinetmaking and wood-carving, both of which have been practiced in Essaouira for centuries. Essaouira is known for its Gnawa music festival, a sacred world music event that takes place every year towards the end of June. The tranquil city with narrow streets has been a haven for many artists, including Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, and Orson Welles. About 175 kilometres west of Marrakech, Essaouira can be reached by bus from Marrakech as well as Agadir.