Dar Ettouahen, Essaouira
Nestling down a quiet alleyway within the walls of the medina, two minutes walk from the bustling souks, outdoor cafes and candlelit restaurants, and just seven minutes from the beach, Dar Ettouahen, the 'Mill House', can be found. Cosy enough for two, but well-equipped and spacious enough for a whole family or group of friends, Dar Ettouahen is an elegant, light and airy riad, with traditional stone arches, tadelakt (marble-dust walled) bathrooms, tiled floors, high thuya wood ceilings and a open log fireplace. On the roof is a large sheltered terrace with views over the medina, and from a second smaller upper terrace, you can look out to the sea and watch the waves crashing on the rocks below.
Essaouira is a small historic fishing port on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, renowned for its laid-back and friendly atmosphere, souks stuffed full of local art and craftwork as well as local produce, its long sandy beach and its well-preserved old walled medina, named by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2001. The weather is temperate and warm year-round and the bracing sea winds make it an attractive spot for windsurfing. The beach is also home to daily local football and basket ball games and at the south end are the ruins of Borj el-Berod, mythically said to have been the inspiration for Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Castles made of sand’. The old medina ramparts are a great spot to watch the waves crashing onto the rocks as the sun goes down over the ‘Ile de Mogador’, a group of tiny islands which offer sanctuary to Eleanora’s falcons. Inside the medina, the narrow streets (from which cars are banned), are filled with bustling fish, spice, vegetable and pottery markets, art galleries exhibiting work of local artists, souks selling carpets, ironwork and local thuya wood craftware and children playing. Stop and stare in one of the local cafes or patisseries, selling strong coffee, Moroccan mint tea and freshly squeezed orange juice. Evenings are happily wiled away in one of the numerous restaurants, steeped in atmosphere and warmth, which serve traditional Moroccan fare: tagines, couscous and Moroccan and French wine.
Breakfast can be provided if you would like (at about £1 per person), including, fresh baguettes, Moroccan crepes, tea and coffee and freshly squeezed orange juice. Khadisha, our lovely housekeeper, can also offer traditional Moroccan home-cooked meals so you can eat at home (at about £5 per person). You will find a menu in the house.
During your stay, you will be looked after by Noureddine, our local house caretaker, who can offer all kinds of help and advice about things to do and local facilities.
Noureddine can also help you with transport arrangements, and can organise a taxi to pick you up from Marrakech or Agadir airport (about £40 for the two and half hour journey).