The largest rural market in the region takes place every Sunday in Had Draa, 30 km from Essaouira off the road to Marrakech. The farmers of the region travel there by donkey to offer their crops, animals and crafts and to shop for the week. Mainly attended by men, the gathering at Had Draa serves also for socializing: chatting over tea with friends, exchanging news in a café or beneath a tent.
The market gives an authentic insight into the daily lives of Berbers in the Moroccan countryside. We’ll find everything needed for living and working: food for the animals, simple windows made of wood, entrance doors made of metal in “Berber style”, self-made saddle bags for donkeys and camels, and household effects. Especially interesting are the “flying haircutters” offering haircuts and shaves beneath simple tents – we’ll feel as if we’re in a movie! Vegetables and fruits, nuts and spices release their aromas of the Orient.
After the market tour, we drive to “Ain el Hajar”, 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.
Following our visit to the market and the oasis, we re-join the coast in Moulay Bouzektoun, a surfer village, where we have the option of lunch at a nice restaurant with a terrace above the Atlantic. The view from here is delightful.
The tour starts at 9 am with pick-up from your hotel and ends at approximately 2:30pm.
Tea at the market and transport is included. (Lunch is optional and not included in the price.)
40€/440DH per person. Kids from 3-12 years half price.