Essaouira: Romance & Beyond


Essaouira is a beautiful, funky, artsy city on the Atlantic coast of Morocco filled with art galleries, crafts, artisans, jewelry makers, and of course, plenty of musicians strumming guitars and singing Bob Marley classics. Day trips from Marrakech to the small town are often offered, but if you really want to get to know the city, you should definitely stay overnight in one of the traditional Riads.

Romantic Medina Riads in Essaouira

Below is a list of a few of the more romantic, yet affordable options.

Riad Dar Maya

Riad Dar Maya is in the middle of the Medina, just a few minutes from the seaport where you can watch gorgeous sunsets. The Riad is beautifully decorated and very romantic for couples. The rooms are spacious and offer the necessary peace and quiet after a long day at the beach or in the old town of Essaouira.

If you’re looking for a more luxurious type of accommodation, where you will find a lovely fountain, fireplaces, private terraces, and spa services, this is a perfect choice.

Riad Chbanate

Riad Chbanate is on the edge of the old town in a very quiet area. This 18th century luxurious, elegant riad is decorated in a romantic Moroccan style and offers you a Jacuzzi on the roof terrace. From here you have a beautiful view of the old town of Essaouira.  If you love natural colors and textures, like bamboo, natural wood, stonework, you will love this place. Whether you’re seeking an Orientale or Berber type of magical dream stay, you’ll love the simple, yet exotic ambiance of Riaf Chbanate.

Riad Emotion

Riad Emotion is located in the perfect spot, right in the middle of the old town, so it is fairly easy to find. The interior is a fairytale from 1001 nights. From the roof terrace, you can watch the sea while having tea and let the impressions work on you. Riad Emotion is a crisp, clean, modern guesthouse that mixes in the old and traditional with the new in a unique blend of comfort and style.

Salut Maroc

If the opposite of a minimalist style accommodation is for you, Salut Maroc is an amazing riad with brilliant, bold colors and hues splattered everywhere. The decor is funky, trendy and vibrant, with eye-catching murals and contemporary art and fun furniture for art lovers, filled with Instagrammable photos everywhere you look. You’ll love the awesome Instagrammable copper bathtub in your totally unique room.

Les Terrasses d’Essaouira

Les Terrasses d’Essaouira is very affordable, so for couples on a budget, this is a perfect place to stay in Essaouira. The small Riad offers you a beautiful roof terrace from which you can enjoy the view over the sea. In a small alley, you will find the riad hidden away in a more secluded and more peaceful area of Essaouira.

Located in the heart of the medina this secret hideaway is just a brief walk away from the main square and the harbor. You can easily browse through the medinas shops and cafes or walk along the beach.

Have you stayed at any of these romantic medina riads in Essaouira, Morocco? Which riads or hotels are your favorites? Tell us below!

April Hope
As a child, April dreamed of traveling around the world after reading books like Around the World in 80 Days and watching movies like Casablanca and The African Queen. On her first trip abroad, she got engaged on Valentine's Day, so romance and travel was inexplicably linked for her. After a passionate long distance relationship, she had a fairytale wedding in London. She explored Europe and Africa on a one year honeymoon before settling in the U.S.

Although now divorced, she's still a hopeless romantic and believes that you never know where you might meet your soul-mate. Whether you want to add romance to your relationship through adventure and travel, you're in a long distance relationship looking for dating or travel tips and tricks, or you're a solo traveler looking for love, April is dedicated to helping you make your travel fantasies a reality. She's an industry expert with a passion for sharing stories of romance, wanderlust and adventure.

When home in NYC she also works as a writing coach and has led the Women's Writing Workshop for over 15 years. You can find stories and articles by her and other insatiable travel lovers at
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