Essaouira, Morocco, is a beautiful city located on the Atlantic Coast. The old town is a World Heritage listed locale, as an example of an 18th Century fortified town. The Game of Thrones Essaouira destination that you might recognise from the series is Slaver’s Bay, Astapor which is best known for its ‘unsullied’ inhabitants who are visited and later released by Daenerys Targaryen. It’s one of the best Game of Thrones Morocco locations.
How to get to Essaouira
Reaching Essaouira can be challenging. There’s no direct flight route – instead, you have a couple of different options available to you. You could fly to Casablanca, which from London can be anywhere between £120 and £300, and then take a six-hour bus, which is around £10 – £14. Alternatively, you can get a flight from London to Marrakech, which is between £170 – £330, and then you’ve got either a bus, which is about the same cost as from Casablanca or you can take the famous Grande Taxi, which is between £7 and £18. This type of travel is necessary because there is no train station in the town. It is also possible to do Essaouira as a day trip from Marrakech…
Game of Thrones Essaouira – Danaerys meets the Unsullied
Of course, you’re going to want to know what episodes of Game of Thrones took place here, and we can’t blame you. For those of you who don’t know, this is the site of the Unsullied. These are warriors who exist for one purpose – to fight. Daenerys travels to Astapor in Season 3 to buy herself an army of these fearsome warriors. She eventually barters for 8000 fully grown warriors and 5000 young soldiers-in-training, offering one of her dragons in return.
Top Sites of Essaouira
There’s a lot of sites in Essaouira which provide you with a beautiful set of experiences to enjoy. The area offers three main attractions – the medina, the city walls or the ramparts.
Game of Thrones Essaouria Ramparts
The ramparts are quite impressive – built much like many of the old towns in Morocco, and this case right into the cliff itself. Saturdays see a fish market roll into town, with the daily catch being available to purchase. However, if that’s not quite your thing, you can stroll along the ramparts to the setting sun.
Top Tip – Go early (arrive around 8am) to get photographs before the crowds
The medina is a lot like many of the others in Morocco, but like every other offering, it brings something wholly unique to the table. It’s a smaller area than most, but there’s ample opportunity to explore and discover something new.
The souqs, which are known to us as bazaars, are all packed full of unique items for sale, from handmade trinkets to clothing, to things like rugs. Everything that you can buy here is only half of the joy; the other half is just wandering and getting lost in the narrow streets and almost maze-like layout.
Alternatively, you might find that you’re more interested in the beach down below, which has cold waters and raw land – perfect for surfing and windsurfing! Just remember to take some warm clothes for afterwards.
Where to Stay in Essaouira
If you are looking for an authentic Moroccan experience, stay in a Riad – a traditional Moroccan house with a courtyard. One of the best is Riad Chbanate. This 4* Riad has free breakfast and WIFI with an excellent location and positive Tripadvisor reviews.
Another great option is Riad Pearle D’eau, another beach front 4* Riad with breakfast and WIFI that is walkable to the centre of Essouira.
If you are looking for a 3* go for the Riad Baladin. Again the location is great – walkable to the souk and city walls. I adore their Moroccan feel bathrooms.
Game of Thrones Essaouira – Where to Eat
The Hungry Nomad – For cheap eats and local Moroccan food. Perfect if you are looking for Vegan, veggie, gluten free or halal options. Expect to pay around £5 for a main. Try the Tagine!
Les 3 Portes – Where Moroccan food meets Western. Cheap and excellent service, with Moroccan decor. Definitely try the cous-cous! This was my go to place for chocolate and banana pancakes!
O’Bleu Mogador – For a culinery evening treat head to O’Blea Mogador for Mediterranean fusion in a sumptuous setting.
Things to Consider when Visiting Essaouira
- Touts can hassle you, but they are harmless!
- The sea can be cold and has strong currents, but it great for surfing
- Look out for the street art
- Pottery is a great gift or souvenir to bring back from Morocco
- Be aware of the stray cats – many cats!
If you love visiting GOT locations, check out these Game of Thrones Malta destinations.