Wondering how to travel from Marrakesh to Essaouira? This post’s got you covered!
Marrakesh is one of the most popular cities in Morocco for tourists to visit. It is an amazing city, but you should also get out of Marrakesh and see a different side of Morocco.
My favourite city in Morocco is Essaouira. It is a small coastal town that is full of charm.
It is very different from the hustle and bustle of Marrakesh!
Some people choose to do a day trip from Marrakesh to Essaouira, but I think Essaouira is worth spending at least two days in.
Whether you visit it as a day trip or spend a few days in the city, you need to know how to travel from Marrakesh to Essaouira no matter what.
Luckily, it is very easy to travel between the two cities!
You have two main options for travelling from Marrakesh to Essaouira. You can either take the bus or arrange private transportation.
The bus is the cheapest option and is just as easy as taking a private car to Essaouira.
However, the purpose of this post is to help you decide the best way to travel to Essaouira from Marrakesh.
We’ll go over the pros and cons of each option, and you’ll have a much better idea of what transportation method works best for you by the end of this article!
Option One: Taking the Bus from Marrakesh to Essaouira
My favourite way of travelling between Marrakesh and Essaouira is by bus.
It is quick, convenient, and inexpensive.
How Long Does the Bus from Marrakesh to Essaouira Take?
The bus to Essaouira from Marrakesh takes just 3 hours!
It is quite efficient, and there aren’t many stops along the way.
Of course, it could take a little bit more or less time to get to Essaouira. It all depends on the traffic.
However, from my experience, it isn’t likely you’ll run into a traffic jam along the way that slows you down.
How Much Does a Bus Ticket Cost?
Bus tickets vary a little bit depending on what day of the week and what time you travel.
You can expect your ticket to cost between 75 MAD and 130 MAD. That’s between approximately $8 and $12 USD.
From my experience, my bus tickets have been at the lower end of the spectrum, which is nice.
Where to Purchase Bus Tickets
You purchase your bus tickets in person at the bus station, and I believe only cash is accepted.
That could have changed since the last time I was in Morocco, but it was the case when I last took the bus from Marrakesh to Essaouira.
Tickets for the bus from Marrakesh to Essaouira sell out very quickly.
The first time I travelled to Essaouira from Marrakesh, I showed up at the bus station 30 minutes before the bus departed, and the tickets for that bus were already sold out.
I had to wait until the next bus before I could get a ticket.
Luckily, buses run very frequently between the two cities. If the bus you want to take is sold out, you likely won’t have to wait too long before the next one.
If you really need to take the bus at a certain time, you way want to go to the bus station a day or two in advance and purchase a ticket.
Also, when I arrive in Essaouira, I always purchase a bus ticket for my return to Marrakesh as soon as I arrive.
Where Does the Bus Depart from in Marrakesh?
Buses to Essaouira depart from CTM bus station.
It is right next to the train station and a short walk from central Marrakesh.
Although, if you have a lot of luggage, you may want to take a taxi to the bus station rather than trying to navigate your luggage through the busy streets.
Where Does the Bus Arrive at in Essaouira?
The bus arrives at Mahatta, which is the only bus station in Essaouira.
It is located just outside the old town (where most tourists stay), and you can easily walk to your accommodation from the bus station.
If you’re not quite sure how to get to your accommodation, there is a map at the bus station, and I’ve found the employees are always super nice and can help point you in the right direction.
Advantages of Taking the Bus from Marrakesh to Essaouira
- It is the cheapest option
- Convenient departure and arrival locations
- The buses are very comfortable
Disadvantages of Taking the Bus from Marrakesh to Essaouira
- They’ve very busy
- The bus you want to take may be sold out
- Some people are nervous about taking the bus in Morocco
Option Two: Taking Private Transportation from Marrakesh to Essaouira
Your second option is to arrange a private car to take you from Marrakesh to Essaouira.
This option is significantly more expensive than taking the bus, but it is more convenient. Arranging private transportation can also be valuable for people travelling in a larger group, so the cost per person goes down.
How Long Does Private Transportation Take?
You can expect your private transport from Marrakesh to Essaouira to take just under 2.5 hours.
This is if you don’t stop along the way and if you don’t run into traffic.
Private transportation tends to take about 40 minutes less than the bus, which is a significant amount of time.
How Much Does Private Transportation Cost?
Hiring a private car to drive you from Marrakesh to Essaouira costs 1,400 MAD or approximately $150 USD.
That’s not chump change, so you really need to consider the cost before you book a private car.
Where to Hire a Private Car
There are a few places you can hire a private car.
I’ve never taken a private car from Marrakesh to Essaouira, so I can’t advise on who offers the best service. Be sure to read reviews before booking!
One option is to go through a third-party site like Viator to book your transfer. They have a number of different options, and it is a safe bet that the companies on the site are safe.
Another option is to book through Tangier Taxi. I’ve never used them, but they look like a legit company based on my research.
But, again, please do your own research before booking any private transfer!
Where Does a Private Car Depart from in Marrakesh?
Your private car should pick you up directly at your hotel or other accommodation!
Where Does a Private Car Arrive at in Essaouira?
Your arrival location depends on where you’re staying.
If you’re staying outside the old city, your car will drive you straight to the door of your hotel.
If you’re staying inside the old city, your car will drop you off at the gate closest to your hotel. Cars aren’t allowed in the old city, so they can’t drop you off right at your door.
Advantages of Taking a Private Car from Marrakesh to Essaouira
- Very convenient
- Can depart whenever you want
- Very comfortable ride
Disadvantages of Taking a Private Car from Marrakesh to Essaouira
- It is very expensive
- You need to research to make sure the company is legitimate
- Some companies have hidden fees
Travelling to Essaouira from Marrakesh is very easy. Being nervous about travelling between cities in Morocco shouldn’t stop you from visiting Essaouira.
It is an amazing city, and I don’t know anybody who regrets visiting it!
I prefer to take the bust from Marrakesh to Essaouira, but I understand why some people prefer to hire a private car to drive them.
A private car can make you feel more confident in a country where you might be experiencing culture shock.
No matter how you choose to travel from Marrakesh to Essaouira, just do it! It’ll be worth the time and effort.