This ritualistic performance is a sensory overload involving music, dance, color, and the smell of incense. Performed only at night, participants enter a trance state with spectacular results.
Take a free lecture
What better way to learn more about the Gnaoua traditions and customs than to take a free class? Lectures are widely available as are random art exhibitions, which generally come with a free mint tea. Bonus!
Relax with a steam bath and massage
Melt the day away at one of the many hammams (steam baths). You can opt for the tourist version that are similar to any Western spa but for a real local experience try what's called a "popular'"hammam.
Sample the seafood
Situated on the Atlantic Coast of Morocco, Essaouria is a former Portuguese fishing port. Head on down to the fish market and sample some of the local seafood. You can buy it fresh and have your fish grilled while you wait.
Royal Air Maroc
As nearly half a million visitors arrive to the city, this is a festival on a grand scale and requires extra planning for flights and accommodation. The closest major international airport is in Marrakech and most flights to Essaouria will connect through there.