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Getting from Marrakech to Essaouira (2024 updated), including Marrakech airport

Getting from Marrakech to Essaouira (2024 updated), including Marrakech airport

Here we detail and provide prices for the different ways to get from Marrakech to Essaouira, including using the Supratours or CTM bus, Grand Taxi, and private taxi. We also include the best way to get from Marrakech airport to Essaouira.

After the bustling chaos of Marrakech, the traffic-free medina and Atlantic breeze sweeping over the sandy beach of Essaouira is a breath of fresh air. Literally. But what is the best way of getting from Marrakech to Essaouira? Read on…

Essaouira is a 2.5 to 3 hour drive west of Marrakech, and there are really only three options for transport; bus, taxi, or private transfer. There is no train line to Essaouira and a one-way car hire is not possible.

We have travelled the route between Marrakech and Essaouira multiple times over the years, using all forms of transports. And we regularly travel between Marrakech airport and Essaouira, as living close to Manchester, UK, it’s easier for us to fly into Marrakech that Essaouira sometimes.

Quad biking in Essaouira

Top 25 things to do in Essaouira

Wondering what to do in Essaouira? Whether you’re seeking adventure, or need to relax and unwind, here we provide a detailed guide to all the things to do in Essaouira, so that you can get the most out of your visit. From surfing to souks, we’ve got you covered.

What is the road like from Marrakech to Essaouira?

Once you are out of the centre of Marrakech, it’s very easy driving. The road is paved, relatively quiet, and there are some sections that are dual carriage way.

Just been mindful of police checkpoints and speed limits. Make sure you come to a full stop at police check points and wait to be waved through. Read this guide for tips on driving in Morocco if you are self-driving on a longer Morocco road trip. The police checks are very thorough and are becoming an increasing nuisance in Morocco, especially on the road between Essaouira and Marrakech.

road from Marrakech to Essaouira

Are there any points of interest between Marrakech and Essaouira?

The road between Marrakech and Essaouira is mainly desert, passing through a few towns along the way. As you enter the Province of Essaouira, you will notice the scenery becoming much greener due to the maritime climate, and it may remind you of Spain.

The main point of interest between Marrakech and Essaouira is often the goats in the trees, just 30 minutes before you reach Essaouira. Goats often climb trees in Morocco to reach the tasty bean-like fruit in the Argan trees.

Instead, we ask that you venture into the countryside around Essaouira, away from the main Marrakech to Essaouira road, and witness the climbing tree goats in a natural environment. Check out Lou’s Rides, an electric bike tour company that takes you deep into the Essaouira countryside.

goats climbing trees in the Essaouira countryside
goats climbing trees naturally in the Essaouira countryside

Where to stop for a snack and toilet break between Marrakech and Essaouira?

Most private transfers and the bus will stop at Restaurant Atlas in Sid Mikhtar for a comfort break. The staff here are extremely quick and efficient and know the drill. You will be seated with your order taken in a matter of minutes, and food will be delivered shortly after. On the menu is the standard Moroccan and Western food. There is also a bakery onsite and clean toilets. Both outdoor and indoor seating is available.

Atlas Restaurant on the road from Marrakech to Essaouira

Getting Marrakech to Essaouria by bus

READ OUR GUIDE: Getting the bus from Marrakech to Essaouira

Supratours is the main bus company that travels between Marrakech and Essaouira. The journey takes 3 hours by bus, with a 20 minute comfort break enroute.

Supratours bus from Marrakech to Essaouira

At the time of writing, a Supratours bus ticket from Marrakech to Essaouria is 80MAD per person, with no reduction for children or students.

There are six buses per day from Marrakech to Essaouria leaving at 07:45, 09:00, 10:45, 14:45, 16:45 and 19:00.

Check the ONCF website for up-to-date bus times and pricing. This is a much better site than the Supratours website.

CTM also run a bus from Marrakech to Essaouira, except this only runs once per day at 8:30am, and the drop off at the CTM bus station in Essaouira, isn’t as convenient as the Supratours bus station in Essaouira, which is close to the medina. The CTM bus is roughly the same price per person as the Supratours bus, but do check as they sometimes have a sale on.

The Supartours bus will drop you here in Essaouira, right next to the Medina, and is the most convenient stop of the two bus companies.

The CTM bus will drop you here in Essaouira, 1.5km from the Medina, but closer to the Essaouira beach hotels.

Getting a Grand Taxi from Marrakech to Essaouira

There is a fixed fee of 600DH for a grand taxi from Marrakech to Essaouira. You will need to go to a Grand Taxi station in Marrakech (such as outside Marrakech Train Station) and you cannot pre book. Just turn up and ask.

Despite there being a fixed fee, you will probably be quoted 1000DH initially (this is Marrakech after all!). Well done if you can get them down to 700DH.

Grand Taxi from Marrakech

Before leaving Marrakech, your taxi driver will need to stop by the police station to register as they will be driving into a different state. So don’t be alarmed if they take a bit of a detour.

If you are a group of 4, and especially if you’re travelling to Essaouira as a family, taking a grand taxi from Marrakech to Essaouira is a much easier option than the bus. You will be able to stop whenever you want, and even get your own choice of music!

Taking a private transfer from Marrakech to Essaouira

If there are 4-6 members in your party and you want to keep travel simple, a private transfer from Marrakech to Essaouira is your best option. This often the same price as what you would get a Grand Taxi for, but without the haggling.

The easiest way to arrange a private transfer form Marrakech to Essaouira is to book online.

private transfer from Marrakech to Essaouira

A private transfer is also the most comfortable and efficient way of getting between Marrakech and Essaouira, which is perhaps better for families and older travellers. You can be collected straight from your accommodation in Marrakech or Marrakech airport, and taken directly to your accommodation in Essaouira. Though if you are staying in the medinas, some walking may be required; Essaouira’s Medina is traffic free. This allows for ultimate flexibility with your timings and you can stop where you want along the way.

Getting from Marrakech airport to Essaouira

Compared to Marrakech, there are limited flights to Essaouira airport. So many travellers, including us, often fly into Marrakech airport first and then travel over to Essaouira.

Marrakech airport

In all honesty, if you’re flying into Marrakech Airport, the bus to Essaouira is a faff as you have to get yourself from Marrakech airport to the bus station, and then hope that the timings marry up. It’s likely that by the time you’ve boarded the Marrakech to Essaouira bus, you could have arrived in Essaouira by taxi.

However, taxi is much more expensive than the bus, especially if you are a solo traveller. So if you do opt to take the bus from Marrakech to Essaouira, we recommend that you enjoy a night in Marrakech to break up your time travelling.

The most convenient way to get from Marrakech airport to Essaouira is by private transfer.

The easiest way to arrange a private transfer form Marrakech to Essaouira is to book online.

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.

If you have found this website useful for planning your Essaouira adventures, you can show your support by buying Jenny a coffee. Thanks so much!