Having done little research on Essaouira before we headed out on a four hour bus ride, we arrived at our hotel ready to tour the town the old fashion way- just pick a direction and go. 

It must have looked like we had no clue what we were doing because the woman behind the desk at the hotel check-in pulled out a white sheet of paper and told us exactly what we were going to do in this small beach town. Seems like tourists often find themselves in Essaouira because it’s an easy seaside town from Marrakech with a laid-back vibe and small enough to see in a few hours.

She suggested a sunset camel ride on the beach. Seemed a little cliché but at the same time, exactly what we were meant to do in Morocco. Without hesitation we signed up. At 20 Euros, it was by far the most expensive thing we had done since arriving in Marrakech 7 days earlier, but we were on vacation, so we spoiled ourselves a little.

And, I’m so happy we did. The camel ride on the beach was just magical. The sun was setting just as we rounded over the sand dunes and could see the reflection of the sun off the water. The camels were calm and easy going, simply gliding back and forth at an even pace through the sand.

Camels, if you’ve never ridden one before, slowly sway side to side. Unlike a horse, which is more of an up and down movement, on a camel you really just move side to side on top of the hump. Almost as if the camel is keeping time by how often he chews on his tongue, his speed is about the same.

Our tour guide got off his camel and took our camera to get a lot of pictures of us on the camels, which was really nice because we never have any photos of the two of us. He told us a little of Essaouira, a fishing village that was made popular by Jimi Hendrix’s song Castle in the Sand (our tour actually walked through the castle that Jimi is referring to) and Cat Stevens even spent some time in this ‘hippie’ town.

While riding camels on the beach is a very popular tourist attraction, it didn’t feel like a tourist trap. The experience was really fun and absolutely romantic and beautiful at sunset. Seeing the castle that inspired Hendrix song was just really cool and something to brag about to my musician friends back home. Sometimes letting the hotel help guide your trip can come in handy and be a really fun experience.

Sponsored by Morocco Tourism