Sunsets over the Atlantic are spectacular and few people leave Essaouira without dozens of sunset shots on their camera or phone. Here is a selection of the best locations from which to view the Swiri sunset.
With a beer in hand – enjoy the cheapest beers from Hassan the barman and a handful of roasted nuts from the “kow-kow” man (an itinerant scat-rapping peanut vendor) at the Barca Bar. Constructed like a WWII pill box lookout right on the beach, it offers great views of the sunset skimming behind Mogador island and down behind the port. Note: bars are a mainly male domain in Morocco; single females may be better off next door to the Chalet de la Plage café.
To get camels in your sunset shot (with Mogador island in the background) – head to the string of cafes at the far end of the beach. Beach and Friends has a licence, while Panoramique serves nous-nous coffees (half coffee; half milk – like a small latte) to locals and surfers all day. Café Tamouziga has sunbeds and a pizza oven but shuts around sunset.
For sophisticated sundowners – head to the rooftop terrace of Taros at the back corner of the main square. They often have live music or a DJ, with cocktails and food are served late into the night.
For a great view of the port (and to try to capture dive-bombing seagulls in your photos) – pick up some msimen (flaky pancakes served with honey or spreading cheese), crepes or cakes from local vendors or the historic Patisserie Driss and head along the small alleyway in front of Taros to Hotel Ftah. It’s worth the climb up three floors to the roof terrace for the view of the port, the skala and the small island. As well as seagulls, watch dare-devil sparrows try to catch your crumbs and swifts and swallows cruising at dusk.
Capture the medina fortifications from – Restaurant El Mare. Just behind the skala of the medina, you can capture shadows of locals and tourists sitting on the canons against the backdrop of the sun setting into the sea and the flouka (the famous blue boats) setting out for a night’s fishing. El Mare has a happy hour on wine and beer in the early evening, but the food menu is a little pricier than other medina restaurants.
Finally, make like a local and enjoy the sunset with a promenade. Join Swiris in their droves with friends and family lounging on Place Moulay Hassan or strolling along the seafront.