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Visiting Essaouira with teens: why this Morocco town is great for teenagers

Visiting Essaouira with teens: why this Morocco town is great for teenagers

When it comes to travelling with teens, we get that a parents’ considerations are different to visiting Essaouira with kids that are younger. Read on if you’re considering a visit to Essaouira with teens.

Is Essaouira is good place to visit with teens? Absolutely! Whilst other Moroccan cities, such as Marrakech, Casablanca, or Fes can feel rather busy and chaotic, Essaouira has much more laid back with it’s traffic free Medina and long stretch of beach. This means that parents visiting Essaouira with teens will find that it’s an easier town to allow them some independence.

Essaouira has great activities on offer for teens due to the windy beach location (thing surfing and kite-surfing), and importantly for you teens and keeping things realistic, the WIFI is good for keeping in touch with friends back home.

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What is there for teens to do in Essaouira?

There are some fantastic things to do in Essaouira, and active teens will enjoy taking surf lessons or even kite-surfing lessons in Essaouira.

Indeed Essaouira, coined at ‘Morocco’s Windy City’ is one of the best places in Africa for kite-surfing due to the strong winds blowing off the Atlantic.

Moga Surf at the far end of the main beach offers great tuition, and the instructors are extremely fun. Kids ideally need to be age 13+ to learn kite-surfing and good swimmers as the kite can take you quite far out. Kite-surfing lessons can only take place if there is a wind, which there generally is in Essaouira. But if your visit to Essaouira with teens coincides with rare calm day, surfing is still a great alternative, and the guys at Moga Surf will get your teens standing on a surf board by the end of the 2 hour session.

surf boards and quad bikes in Essaouira

There is also quad biking in Essaouira, plus horse and camel riding along the beach. These activities take you to explore the beach and dunes further south of Essaouira, starting from Diabat.

If your teens love playing football, they will find lots of other teens to play with down on the beach later in the day. Locals are always very willing for visitors to join in and play.

Can I let my teens explore on their own?

Importantly for parents, Essaouira’s traffic-free Medina (old town) is much more relaxed compared to say Marrakech, where mopeds are constantly whizzing past at speed. It’s also pretty hard to get lost in the Medina as it’s relatively compact and follows a grid pattern. Plus, if you ever do lose your bearings, just ask one of the locals and they are happy to help you on your way.

Essaouira is very chilled and laid back, and this isn’t a town where your teens need to be wary of constant scams. Indeed the shop sellers around the Medina are not pushy at all.

So parents, Essaouira really is the place to let your teens have some independence by letting then wander on their own, while hopefully avoiding any extra grey hairs for you.

If your teens are English speaking they will get by absolutely fine. Although a little bit of French will really help them out. Indeed, it would be a good opportunity for them to try their French out if they’ve been learning it in school.

Essaouira Medina

Where is best to stay in Essaouira with teens?

There are a handful of high end hotels outside the Medina, such as Hotel Le Médina Essaouira Thalassa and Sofitel Essaouira Mogador Golf & Spa (check out our guide to the best hotels in Essaouira). But for a more authentic experience and to give your teens some space, try one of the many superb and reasonably priced Airbnbs in the Medina.

Staying at an Airbnb in the Medina will not only mean that you have the best local restaurants on your doorstep, but your teens will be able to have their own room (giving them some privacy really helps the family dynamics when travelling, right?).

Is the WIFI good enough in Essaouira for my teens?

Whilst us parents like the idea of totally switching off and disconnecting from devices, we need to be realistic. The majority of teens are going to want WIFI access to stay in contact with friends. And parents, you may need to do some work.

The WIFI at your accommodation will be good, not excellent. It’s absolutely fine for a video call. But if one person is gaming, another on a video call, and parents trying to work, it may all crash to a halt. And that’s when the arguments happen.

It’s an idea to have a back up portable WIFI device for parents (or teens) to use, if everyone needs internet access at the same time. You can buy a local sim to insert into a WIFI device (such as this one).