August 25, 2017

From the Rif Mountains to the Atlantic Coast: Chefchaouen to Essaouira

After a laid back 4 days in Chefchaouen, we were ready to move on and see more of the country.




We took a 3 hour bus ride to Tangier after lunch which should give us a bit of time to explore the compact city before getting on the overnight train that will take us back to Marrakech. Once in Marrakech we’ll transfer on another bus for 3 hours to Essaouira. The bus station is just behind Marrakech Railway Station.



Tangier is right across Gibraltar, Spain and ferries cross the short strait frequently making it the entry and exit point to Europe. In a clear day, you can supposedly see Spain, but as it was raining heavily just as we entered Tangier, we couldn’t say for sure. Because of Tangier’s proximity to Spain, I was hoping to find a real nice resto for maybe a paella dinner but that and our plans of exploring were scrapped and we were holed up at the Tangier Ville (central railway station). We grabbed some sandwiches and made ourselves comfortable as we waited for our sleeper train with our tickets booked days in advance in Fes.

The train left on time at a little past 9 PM and we slept the whole way through comfortable in our first class 4 berth sleeper couchettes. Ours was shared with a local lady. The ride was 11 hours long with stops along the way but as we were getting off the last station, we had no worries of missing our stop.

It was light when we finally reach Marrakech at around 8 in the morning and the station was buzzing. We grabbed some strong hot coffee and croissants for breakfast as we tried to orient ourselves and wipe the trace of sleep off our eyes. We have about an hour before our bus for Essaouira departs.


The trip from the Rif Mountains down to the Atlantic Coast though took almost 24 hours and with several transfers, it was all very straightforward. Morocco is well connected and has an excellent public transport system.

We stayed at Casa del Mar, and true to its name, it was indeed right by the sea where we could hear the waves crashing at the rocky coastline. Our room was at the 4th floor and above us was the roof terrace with commanding views of the ocean.


After some colorful incidents in Marrakech on the first leg of our journey, we decided to do a quick trip here instead of staying in the former longer before flying back home. This city was kind of an afterthought but we’re glad we got to see it.


The active port city of Essaouira at the Atlantic coast just 3 hours out of Marrakech is something special. Possibly our most favorite city in all of Morocco. 



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