Day trip to Essaouria or 2nd day in Marrakesh?

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Sep 7th, 2015, 05:03 PM
  #1
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Day trip to Essaouria or 2nd day in Marrakesh?

I will be taking a 13 day tour of Morocco with Gate 1. We will be in Marrakesh for 2 days. The first day there is a planned city tour in the morning with the afternoon for our own activities. The 2nd day there is an optional day trip to Essaouira. I'd like to hear opinions as to if we should stay back and explore Marrakesh a second day. If so, what are things we should not miss? Or, is the long drive (leaving at 7:00am) to and from Essaouria worth the time, or is it just too rushed to really enjoy it?
dkaymarie is offline  
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Sep 7th, 2015, 06:21 PM
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Essaouira is very different from Marrakech and, I confess, a favorite of mine. My first trip to Morocco I considered reconnaissance for future trips and as such, I was very glad I was introduced to Essaouira. In other words, without a great deal of time on a tour to take it slow & easy anywhere, you may as well see as many different places as present themselves. Next time you'll know exactly where you want to spend some time kicking back.
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Sep 7th, 2015, 10:51 PM
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Sallam 'lekum dkaymarie,
Well done on choosing to come to Morocco.
I recently guided a group on a 13-day itinerary that included four nights in Marrakech, with two seperate day trips to Imlil and Essaouira. Some of the travelers felt that the day to Essaouira was the highlight of the trip (despite the long-ish return drive) but they also stressed that they liked it as a day trip from Marrakech, as this allowed them some further time to explore Marrakech once they returned from their day trips (and also allowed them to 'spread out' in their riad room).

The joy of Essaouira is its medina, which paradoxically is relatively grid-like within its walls and easy to navigate. Add to this the ever-bustling fishing port and some fresh, fresh seafood on offer for lunch, plus some unique shopping.

The local Souiri guides are getting a little too strong nowadays with regards to 'jumping' on groups as they arrive in Essaouira, but you shouldn't be exposed to that too much due to being part of a Gate One group.

Happy travels,

Darren Humphrys
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Sep 8th, 2015, 09:32 AM
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I wasn't all that excited by Marrakesh - but I had been in Morocco for over two weeks at that point. I did very much enjoy my two nights in Essaouira - quite different from the rest of Morocco. I would go for the day tour.
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