Overlooking the Atlantic, life in Essaouira revolves around its busy port and the bustling Medina or Old Town, which is still protected by ancient city walls and imposing battlements. This area is characterised by charming whitewashed buildings, many of which now play host to high-end restaurants, trendy cafés and chic boutique hotels. The transition between historical buildings and modern services is effortless, and nothing looks out of place. Essaouira is also famous for its beaches. Miles of golden sands, stunning Atlantic Ocean and Alizés trade winds combine to make it a popular destination for watersports enthusiasts. The conditions are ideal for wind and kite surfing under the supervision of your private coach, and perhaps a touch more challenging if you're looking to jump on your surfboard and take on the waves. While the UNESCO-listed Medina Old Town with its countless alleyways and souks is truly breathtaking, the fortress defences of the Scala de la Kasbah overlooking the harbour are also impressive. Below the ramparts, you'll find artisan workshops built into its walls. Head east to the Mellah district for some essential people-watching, or enjoy a reviving nous-nous (espresso and steamed milk) in one of the many plaza cafés that thrive in the old Jewish quarter.