Morocco: Essaouira Riad

Enjoy the warm Moroccan sun all year long! Relax in a comfortable traditional riad in Essaouira and do yoga & surf surrounded by a fairy tale flair of 1001 nights. Book your exciting Moroccan surf holiday now!

The Karma Surf Retreat Morocco is closed in 2018 – you want to be our host in 2019? email us!

Riad in Essaouira – Morocco

Welcome to our Karma Retreat Morocco – a riad in Essaouira.

Stay in our comfortable and charming traditional Moroccan house, a so called riad, situated in Morocco, inside the walled historical city center (medina) of Essaouira with a fantastic sea view from the rooftop terrace.

living area essaouira riad patioTypical for a riad is its architecture, with all rooms pointing to the central, two stories tall atrium space, which is open at the top and allows the sun to enter the living space of its inhabitants. A gallery surrounding the atrium connects some rooms and creates a cozy family atmosphere. Peeking down you can see what is going on in the living room patio, the heart of the riad,  which also invites to sit down and relax.

This riad has been decorated in detail by an artist and invites you to experience traditional Moroccan way of living mixed with comfort and style. It is an open space architecture allowing all  inhabitants easily to meet in the common areas in the ground level consisting of a living room with fireplace, a dining room and the patio in the center of the house, where you can have a meal, read a book or just chat and relax.


stairway-riad-essaouira-IMG_0125gallery essaouira riad patioliving room essaouira riad fireplaceliving room essaouira riad cozy chair


On top of the house you will find a big rooftop terrace, for sure also a nice meeting point to have breakfast, enjoy the fascinating sea view watching the sunset enjoying your favorite drink of choice or just relax in the cozy lounge area. Here, as well as in the patio, the Yoga classes will be held.

roof terrace essaouira riad suite 7roof terrace essaouira riad sunset viewroof terrace essaouira riad buddharoof terrace essaouira riad shaded area


You can choose from 7 lovely spacious suites, each one differently designed with charming details. All have own bathrooms, some even have two rooms, a private fireplace or even a private terrace.

room 1 in riad essaouira with double bedroom 5 essaouira riad mezzanine single bedroomroom 7 essaouira riad spiral staircaseroom 2 essaouira riad bedroom- ivingroom fireplace


Surfing takes place at the nearby beach of Essaouira bay, which is only 10min walk away an due to its curved shape and flat descending seafloor offers good surfing conditions for beginners at various wind and swell directions and sizes. Sidi Kaouki is also a big beach in 20min driving distance and offers several peaks especially in summer with smaller swells and as well for intermediates and advanced surfers also some rocky points (like La Grotte and La Couronne) which become epic in winter months. This stretch of coasline is also well known for good kite- and windsurfing conditions. Boujmaa, Yassines brother, also played these playgrounds growing up in Essaouira and today is one of the best windsurfers in the world.

essaouira beach baysurfing moroccokitesurfing essaouira beachwindsurfing sidi kaouki


essaouira city walls sea gullsThe riad is located in the former fishing village Essaouira, in the north-west part of the medina (historic centre) in a quiet side alley, just 1 minute from the city walls, in front of the ocean. From there its not even a 10 minutes walk to the beach (great Essaouira bay) and its long promenade, where you can also ride a camel or horses or visit the fisherman’s port with its old Portuguese (!) fortification and its fish market.

As soon as you leave the riad, you will dive into the fascinating mystic atmosphere of Essaouira, experiencing all kinds of exciting colors, lights, scents, sounds and flavors, all of which instantly will make you feel like in midst a fairy tale of 1001 nights or in medieval age. In short walking distance, you will also find lots of restaurants and shopping possibilities with all kinds of art, pottery, leather products (shoes, bags, etc.) and cloth , spices, cosmetics (e.g. Argan oil products), pastry, as well spa treatments like traditional Hamam and massage – strolling through the medina with its small alleys is an unique experience. Our hosts will recommend the best places, restaurants and organize any activity for you. Check out the tipps and impressions tab for more inspirations.

essaouira harbor fishing boats fortressessaouira medina clothes shopessaouira-medina-spices-IMG_2736-opthorseback-riding-beach-IMG_096-opt

Rooms of the Moroccan Riad in Essaouira

This charming riad hosts 7 lovely decorated suites. You enter the some rooms from the central atrium space allowing the sunlight to enter. On the first floor all rooms are connected by a gallery creating a cozy family atmosphere with lots of bright open space. One room (suite 6) is situated at the 2nd floor with more privacy and one room is situated on the rooftop terrace with sea view.


room 1 in riad essaouira with double bedSuite 1 with 1 double bed

Suite 1 is situated on the ground floor and easily accessible from the patio of the riads center atrium. It consists actually of 2 rooms: a living room with a cozy sofa and table, plus a bedroom with cozy chairs and a mezzanine where you will find the double bed, as well as an en-suite bathroom.

Apropriate for: 1-2 persons – like a solo traveler, good friends or a couple.

room 1 essaouira riad mezzanine bed viewroom 1 essaouira riad entrance living roomliving room in suite 1 room 1 essouira riad entrance patio



room 2 essaouira riad bedroom- ivingroom fireplaceSuite 2 with 1 double bed

Suite 2 is located on the first floor of the riad and also consists of 2 rooms: a bedroom with a double bed and a small living room with a cozy fireplace, as well as a spacious en-suite bathroom, which is decorated with traditional handmade Moroccan tiles, so called zelliges.

Apropriate for: 1-2 persons: a solo traveler, good friends or a couple.

room 2 riad essaouira fireplaceroom 2 essaouira riad bathroom



room 3 riad essaouira mezzanine bedSuite 3 with 1 double bed

Suite 3, as well located on the first floor, has a bedroom with mezzanine and king size double bed. You will find a cozy couch (can be used as a bed for a child), a cozy chair, as well as an en-suite bathroom, also decorated with zelliges, handmade Moroccan tiles, and tadelakt, traditional coating used in bathrooms or hammams made of limestone.

Apropriate for 1-3 persons – like a solo traveler, good friends, a couple or a “small” family.



room 3 riad essaouira room 3 riad essaouiraroom 3 riad essaouira bathroomroom 3 essaouira riad bathroom



room 4 essaouira riad bedroomSuite 4 with 1 double bed

Suite 4 , also located on the first floor, has a nice bedroom with a double bed and an en-suite zelliges and tedelakt decorated bathroom.

Apropriate for 1-2 persons – like solo traveler, good friends or a couple.

room 4 riad essaouiraroom 4 essaouira bathroom


room 5 essaouira bedroom Suite 5 
with 1 double bed & 1 single bed

Suite 5 is located on the first floor as well and offers lots of space and cozy comfort on 60m². It consists of two rooms: a bedroom with a king size double bed and a living room,. The bedroom hosts a king size double bed and has an en-suite bathroom. The living room offers sofas, TV and a cozy fireplace and has a mezzanine with an additional single bed and an extra bathroom.

Apropriate for 1-3 persons – like two solo travelers, good friends, a couple or a family (even one more person on sofa / small bed possible).

room 5 essaouira riad master bathroomroom 5 essaouira riad mezzanine single bedroomroom 5 essaouira riad 2nd bathroomroom 5 essaouira riad living room



room 6 essaouira riad bedroomSuite 6 with 1 double bed

Suite 6 is situated on the 2nd floor and besides two rooms, bed- and living room, offers access to a private terrace and a small sundeck at the rooftop with view overlooking the medina and the ocean. The bedroom hosts a cozy double bed and an en-suite bathroom. The small living room has its own TV and gives access to a private terrace.

Appropriate for 1-3 persons – like a solo traveler, a couple or small family (e.g. with additional child bed)

room 6 essaouira riad entrance bedroomroom 6 essaouira riad en suite bathroomroom 6 essaouira riad bedroom viewroom 6 essaouira riad artistic decorationroom 6 riad essaouira living roomroom 6 essaouira riad private terrace and rooftop sundeckroom 6 essaouira riad private terraceroom 6 essaouira riad private rooftop sun deck



room 7 essaouira riad double bed bedroom with spiral staircaseRoom 7 with 1 double bed

Room 7 is located on the top of the riad, overlooking the roof terrace and hosts a king size double bed. The bathroom is separate.

Apropriate for 1-2 persons – like a solo traveler, good friends or a couple.



room 7 essaouira riad bathroomroom 7 essaouira riad bedroomroom 7 essaouira riad spiral staircaseroof terrace essaouira riad suite 7

Living and dining area

On the ground floor the common living area consists of a room with cozy sofas and chairs around a fireplace a big roundtable in the corner and the dining room with a large dinner table, both open hence merging with the atrium patio, which offers tables and chairs as well. This open space in the heart of the riad, due to the typical traditional architecture of a Moroccan riad, is providing lots of sunlight and creates a unique living experience. In the rare case of rain, the patio can be closed by an automatic roof conserving the cozy atmosphere regardless of the weather. All areas are covered with WiFi.

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Rooftop Terrace

Here you can enjoy the ocean just in front of you and view the sun going down over the Atlantic and the flair of the rooftops surrounding this Moroccan riad inside the medina of Essaouira l. With the warm Moroccan sun smiling down on you, you can as well take your meals here , enjoy a sun-bath on one of the deck chairs, chill out with a cup of Moroccan mint tea in the cozy and sun shaded lounge area,  read a book while listening to the sound of the nearby ocean waves wading over the close city walls, spiced with the sounds of the seagulls sailing through the sky.

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You plan on living in Morocco or you already do? Essaouira? You speak English, French or Arabic? You would like to be responsible for running a Karma Retreat in Morocco? Then email us and send us your CV and some lines with your reason why. Maybe 2019 your dream will come true! 

As usual at Karma Retreats, you will enjoy great and healthy food, which will be influenced by the amazing Moroccan cuisine at this location. Expect local fresh and dried fruits and juices, the Moroccan mint tea, peanut bread spreads made with the rare argan oil (a tree you will find only in Morocco) for breakfast, delicious couscous and traditional tagine dishes (historically North African Berber dish, cooked in an earthenware pot) being part of your daily nutrition. For our welcome BBQ we will serve grilled local fish and seafood specialties fresh from the Essaouira fish market, of course with vegetarian/vegan alternatives and mid-week you are invited to join a Moroccan cooking workshop or just join the group to enjoy the meal prepared afterwards.

moroccan mint teamoroccan-tagine-essouira-riadfresh orange juicefresh seafood fish market Essaouira

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Melanie and Yassine will help you with all your needs during your stay. In the following you will find some inspirations beforehand for better planning your holidays. Here are their recommendations:


Essaouira and its surroundings offers many possibilities of recreational activities outdoors: surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, SUP (stand up paddleboarding), wakeboarding, canoeing, kayaking, boat trips, fishing, mountain biking, quad (4WD) beach rides, horseback riding at the beach, camel riding , trekking, guided hikes or golf – whatever it is, we will help you organizing and getting the most out of your stay here in Essaouira.



Essaouira, a port city on the Moroccan Atlantic. In the Medina (old town) countless shops, bazaars, shops, cafes and restaurants. Walking through the narrow streets, the conviviality of the residents is felt. The port where ships are still made in the traditional manner of wood, mended nets and fishing lines with baited be fitted, is definitely worth a visit. Leaving the Medina through one of the doors, the large bay is located only 2 minutes walk.

Marrakech can be easily combined with a stay in Karma Surf Retreat Morrocco in Essaouira. Either at the beginning or at the end.

In Marrakech, the flair of 1001 nights is taught today. Beautiful riads, a carriage ride through the city or if you prefer to relax try one of the traditional hammams. Marrakech offers something for everyone, but what you should not miss is the magical spectacle on the Djemaa el Fna, the most famous and craziest place in Africa.



Delicious Moroccan food:
Laayoune – Rue EL HAJJALI – Essaouira
Our recommendation: Couscous Royale

Best coffee in Essaouira
Le Simoun – médina d’Essaouira rue sqala, Essaouira
Our recommendation: Mocca coffee + clubsandwich

Where it all happens
Dolce Freddo – place Hassan II, Essaouira
Our recommendation: Cappuccino + a lot of different ice creams

Vegan restaurant with a good heart
Shyadma’s – 20, Rue Laalouj – Place El Khayma, Essaouira
Our recommendation: Vegan burger (favorit no. 9)

Best fish!
Chez Momo in Sidi Kaouki
Our recommendation: Grilled dorade or sole

Delicious baked goods
Chez Driss10 rue El Hajjali, Essaouira
Our recommendation: all you can grab

Night out over the rooftops watching the stars
Tarot  – Pace Moulay Hassan
Good for having a drink and enjoying some live music.

Relax max!
Spa Azur – Spa/Hammam- Close by inside Medina
Try the Hammam including Massage and Moroccan tea break

Dar Caravane
Just outside of Essaouira
Enjoy the chilled out artistic atmosphere having a drink. 

How to get there?


Closest Airport is in Essaouira (ESU) but only flown to from a few destinations such as London, Paris or from inside Morocco, like Casablanc or Marrakesh. The best connections you will have to the Marrakech Airport (RAK), but depending on your destinations flight connections, Agadir (AGA) might offer a good deal, too and is worth checking out. Both places are in 175km distance from Essaouira. For the transfer you should count with approx.. 2,5 hours (by taxi or rental car) transfer time.

There are 3 possibilities for the transfer:

Taxi/Shuttle: we can organize for you someone to pick you up at the airport, as this is the most convenient option. The cost is 80€ and can be shared with up to 3 guests.

Car rental: You should book in advance. Cars are provided directly at the airport.

Bus (only from Marrakech): Supratours (we only recommend, if you stayed in Marrakech before and organize the bus ticket in advance.

Map view

Travel information: Morocco