If you plan to visit Essaouira in June, you'll experience the annual Gnaoua World Music Festival. This is a four-day extravaganza of traditional and contemporary North African and international music, arts and culture. During the festival, the streets are alive with the sounds of funk, jazz, soul, blues and the hypnotic rhythms of ethnic Gnaoua music.
Essaouira's Medina, a designated UNESCO world heritage site, is an exceptional 18th-century fortified town. Arrange five-star accommodation in the Old Town and experience the real thing. Choose a tastefully converted Moroccan riad in the heart of the Medina, immerse yourself in the unique culture and enjoy the best of the region's cuisine.
If you've always wanted to learn to wind or kite surf, now's your chance. With the year-round Alizés trade winds, Atlantic waves and miles of golden sands, the conditions in Essaouira couldn't be better. Under the expert eye of your personal instructor, you'll soon master the elements and enjoy the exhilarating thrill of all-action surfing.
A short drive to the south of Essaouira, the Saouri countryside is a world away from Morocco's arid and mountainous landscapes. It's a beautiful, natural oasis of Argan forests and undulating hills. Look more closely, and you'll discover boutique hotels and chic restaurants situated discreetly throughout this rural idyll. Further evidence that the exclusive boho-vibe is alive and well.
Wine might not be the first thing to spring to mind when thinking of Morocco, but a visit to the Val d'Argan winery near Essaouira – with dinner, wine tasting and an overnight stay – may change that. The winery was established by award-winning winemaker Charles Melia of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. His wines, including Orient du Val d'Argan reds, have wowed critics.