Essaouira's main beach is a sweep of sand along the bay that has provided shelter to seafarers from Atlantic storms since antiquity. Although temperatures are moderate all year and the sun is nearly always shining, the wind is consistently strong, making sunbathing or swimming less attractive than further south in Agadir. Nonetheless, sun-bed rentals are relatively inexpensive or even free if you eat at one of the cafés at the southern end of the beach.
The wind comes from the north and creates three main areas. The most northerly part, tucked up into the armpit of the port, has wind that comes in gusts. Just south of this the wind strengthens, with fewer gusts. Farther south are the steady, strong trade winds the town is known for, and that make it a mecca for wind- and kite surfers. The range of areas makes the bay perfect for every level of water-sports enthusiast.
The surrounding islets, the Iles de Mogador, are home to nine bird species, including the endangered Eleanora's
falcon. They are closed to visitors during breeding season (April–October), but otherwise you can get a boat trip from the port, with boats leaving morning and afternoon depending on weather conditions.
Since summer 2013, the seafront promenade has been under renovation. Plans are to provide more strolling, parking, and relaxation areas interspersed with palm trees and other vegetation. Amenities: food and drink; lifeguards (summer only); toilets; parking (10 DH); water sports. Best for: sunset; swimming; walking; windsurfing.