Flashback: Game of Thrones Season 3 Episode 4- Danaerys meets her ‘Army of Unsullieds’ in the buzzing ramparts of Astapor.
Back to April 2018: We are walking on the same ramparts in Essaouira. The cool sea breeze, the setting sun, innumerable fishermen and the undeniable pungent smell from the fishing port proving to be our ‘only’ company in the entire setup.
While Essaouira may be well-known for being one of Game of Thrones locations, yet, to us, it was much more than just that. We did a day trip to Essaouira and fell in love with this coastal town in that short span.
We drove from Marrakesh by our car, on the way stopping at Chichaoua, to take some pictures with the ‘Goats on the Argan trees’.It took us 2.5 hours overall.
After enjoying the beachfront of Plage Tagharte for sometime, we went in and around the Essaouira Medina. What did we enjoy there? See below:
-Enjoyed a walk into the narrow alleys of the Medina, soaking in the calm and laid back vibe of this Unesco World Heritage listed old city. This was such a sharp contrast to the bustling Marrakesh Medina. It was less populated, slow-paced and less touristy. We were quite happy to get a feeling of being lost within its nooks and corners.
Take your time, do not rush and you will find hidden gems in almost every corner of the Medina. Try the food from the roadside food stalls.
-Shopped Argan Oil Products, got lost in the carpet-clad alleyways, witnessed the high-quality art displayed in the alleyways. Unlike the Marrakesh Medina, we found out that people here are quite relaxed, and there were no hassles to buy anything.
Always negotiate the price. The shop owners do not sell things really hard like those in Marrakesh, hence, you have to be optimistic with your bargain too.
-We walked to the busy port area and feasted on some fresh fish fries. It was such an overwhelming experience that we easily ignored the pungent smell of the port area.
If you are a fish-lover, you should be able to easily ignore the touristic restaurants inside the Medina and feast here.
-After this wholesome meal, we were out on a stroll in the port area, admiring the beauty of the blue fishing boats all around us, taking our own time to soak in and of course, posing for some beautiful pictures. The sea of blue fishing boats in the backdrop of the medieval ramparts provided us the perfect setup.
As a courtesy, please ask before taking pictures of the fishermen or carpenters at work. Usually they do not mind if you walk in or get on a fishing boat for some pictures. But asking beforehand is expected.
-After the walk, we climbed up the Sqala for a walk along the ramparts, now a famous Game of Thrones location. The ticket to the top tower cost us 10 Dirhams or 1 Euro per person, and it is open till 5 pm everyday. The view from the top of the Sqala is astonishing to say the least. The ramparts, studded with canons along the walls, retains much of its medieval feeling and it would be apt to say that we relived our Game of Thrones memory in this dramatic setting. Apart from this, one could also see the bustling port on one side, the rocky Atlantic shore on the other and the adjoining white and blue houses of the Essaouira Medina atop the Sqala.
Have time in hand. Do not rush while you are in there. Be careful while taking pictures standing on the walls.
Although we did not want to leave this amazing place, yet we had to slowly start our journey back to Marrakesh. The following day was the last day in our Magical Morocco Trip and there were still quite a lot left to be seen and Things to do in Marrakesh. My travel blogs on both these topics are coming up soon. Please follow my travel blog to know about all my updates.
As for the entire Morocco trip, we were ever-thankful to our friend and guide Hassan from Moroccoeverywheretours for driving us there and guiding us to the best experiences possible. Although we always do our bit of research, yet there is no substitute for authentic local guidance. We can highly recommend him for any trip in Morocco.
If you need a visa for Morocco, the process is super easy and described in my blog here.