08h30 Pick up from your hotel and head inland to the countryside surrounding Essaouira.
First panorama stop at the Oued Ksob (oued means ‘river’ in local dialect) on the Atlantic coast, & great views of the eucalyptus Thuya forest surrounded by sand dunes, a great spot for bird-watching as herons and other local fauna flock here throughout the day.
Thu ais tetraclinis articulata, also known as thuja articulata, sandarac, sandarac tree or Barbary thuja, endemic to the western Mediterranean region. The resin, known as sandarac, is used to make varnish and lacquer; it is particularly valued for preserving paintings.
The wood, known as thuya wood or citron wood, historically also known as thyine wood, is used for decorative woodwork, particularly wood from burls at the base of the trunk. Essaouira is famous for this marvellous marquetry.
Our journey continues through the berber villages belong to the region of Chiadma. A visit to a weekly market is provided on the itinerary such as Had Draa, Khmis Meskala, Tnine Idougard etc, where to see the farmers of the region travel by donkey to display their crops, animals and crafts and to shop for the week. Mainly for men, the gathering at Had Draa serves also for socializing: chatting over tea with friends, exchanging news in a café or under a tent. The market gives authentic insight into the daily lives of Berbers in the Moroccan countryside. Everything needed for living and working is to be found: food for the animals, simple windows made of wood, entrance doors made of metal in “Berber style”, handmade saddle bags for donkeys and camels, and household effects. Especially interesting are the “flying haircutters” offering haircuts and shaves under simple tents – you’ll as if you’re in a movie! Vegetables and fruits, nuts and spices give off their aromas of the Orient.
Enjoy your three course meal lunch at “Chez L’habitant” and taste the best specialities in this area.
Continue to the village of Ain el Haja, the so-called “Gardens of Essaouira“, a lush, green oasis (“ain“). An irrigation system emanating from a natural spring allows crops to grow here. At the village, tall palm trees encircle olive and pomegranate groves, which in turn give shade for onions, corn and other crops, such as “slaoui”, a Moroccan vegetable from the pumpkin family used in delicious tagines. Ain el Hajar is not to be missed: a lovely green oasis in a dry region of prickly Argan trees on otherwise barren hills. You will take a short walk here, a gentle stroll through oases before re-joining the coastal road of Moulay Bouzerktoun the surfer’s village, returning to Essaouira.