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Visiting Essaouira in May: what to expect

Visiting Essaouira in May: what to expect

Is May a good time to visit Essaouira? What’s the weather like in Essaouira in May? How busy is it? And is it warm enough to swim in the sea? We answer all these questions here and more, so read on.

May is a wonderful time to visit Essaouira. Businesses are all open again after being closed over Ramadan, long and warm sunny days await, and there fewer tourists around.

However, the weather can be rather interchangeable over May; one day it will be sunny with a strong wind, the next day it’s sunny with no wind, and then the next day the sea mist will roll in off the Atlantic and blanket the town so that you can’t see from one end of the beach to the other, and the island just off the coast of Essaouria disappears.

If you are visiting Essaouira for a week or more, you will definitely experience clear sunny days. But if you are just planning one day in Essaouira, it can be pot luck with what the weather dishes up that day.

READ: When is the best time to visit Essaouira?

Essaouira in April | Essaouira in June

Essaouira weather in May

Temperatures in Essaouira in May hover around a very pleasant 20°C, dropping to 15°C in the evening, although the wind can make it feel much cooler, especially on the exposed beach.

There is very little rain in May, and you are guaranteed sunshine almost every day. The question more to the point is whether it’s windy or not; Essaouira is coined “The Windy City of Africa” for a reason! One of the best things to do in Essaouira is kite-surfing, so those windy days will be good for a lesson. If the wind drops, grab the surfboards instead.

And then there are those strange days when the drop in wind brings in a thick sea mist that cloaks the town; the island off the coast disappears, and you can’t see from one end of the beach to the other. In fact sat on the beach on a day when the sea mist rolls in, it’s so thick that you can’t see a few metres in front of you and your clothes, skin, and hair feel damp from sitting in a cloud, although it still feels warm. It really is quite eerie and magical!

Essaouira in May

But really there are only a handful days like this in Essaouira in May. Most days the glorious sun will be shining.

At this time of year in Essaouira, it’s always handy to have a light jumper handy, especially early in the morning or evening, or when you’re sat at an Essaouira restaurant in the shade.

But don’t forget the swim suit as afternoons can be lovely and warm, and sunbeds are laid out on the beach, inviting you to relax with a good book (you may need to angle your sunbed with your back to the wind though).

kids walking along Essaouira promenade

Is Essaouira busy in May?

Not at all. The tourists from the European Easter holidays have left, and it’s still a while until the high season, which commences in July.

The mornings are especially quiet walking through the medina, and in the evenings for a sunset stroll you may have the beach to yourself, bar a few local lads playing football and low tide.

Casa Vera Restaurant Essaouira

Is the sea warm enough for swimming?

If you enjoy an invigorating swim, then yes. This is the Atlantic Ocean after all, and so it’s never warm like the Mediterranean Sea. But it’s still definitely swimmable, and if you are visiting Essaouria with kids, they’ll still have fun in the sea.

Is May a good time to visit Essaouira?

May is definitely one of our favourite times to visit Essaouira and makes for a great May half term break from the UK if you’re looking for a sunshine holiday. Just remember that there will be strong winds off the Atlantic, and that Essaouira isn’t really your laying-on-the-beach-to-sunbathe type holiday.

But the main reason we love this time of year is that it’s not too busy, everything is open after Ramadan, and it’s warm enough for the Essaouria activities, such as surfing, kite-surfing, horse-riding, and quad-biking.

We especially love those breezy sunset strolls along the beach with barely anyone else around.

Explore Essaouira ebook

Updated for 2024, the Explore Essaouira ebook is the only travel guide you need for exploring Essaouira. It is jam packed with inspiration on what to do, where to eat, where to stay, and also includes a step-by-step self-guided walking tour (with photos). 

This is a PDF download for use offline and on the go (and ad-free!). Save it to read on the plane to Morocco, download to your phone to follow the self-guided walking tour around the medina, or print it off at home before you leave on your adventures and highlight all the bits you want to remember for your visit.

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