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Are the Winter blues getting you down?  Fed up with the grey and drizzle of good old Blighty?  Well, maybe it’s time to start planning your Summer holiday, and if you need some ideas, then look no further!  Over the next few weeks we are going to be giving you our top tips on where to book your Summer sun.  We’re starting off with one of our all time favourite places: the jewel on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, Essaouira.

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Essaouira is a place that stays in the memory.  Constantly lapped by the alizee coastal wind, it is as atmospheric as it is relaxing.  And it’s not overrun with tourists.  We can think of no better place to soak up the Summer sun.

Passing through the fortified walls of the medina, you enter an entrancing and bohemian world of narrow alleyways, spice shops, dozing cats, colourful carpet stalls and pictures of Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix (former visitors to the town).

The friendly invitations from shopkeepers to enter their shops doesn’t stop, but you won’t mind because the shops are simply enchanting.

The spice shops are a medley of colours and smells, and you’ll find yourself transported as you smell the perfumed blocks of patchouli, amber, musk and sandalwood.  And the array of traditional wood carving shops is seemingly endless.  Here you will find beautiful ornaments and furnishings, large and small, and pretty much everything else you can imagine, all exquisitely fashioned in sweet-smelling marbled thuya wood.

This laid-back town will draw you in and you will soon be whiling away your days getting lost in the souk.  Around every corner there is something exotic and new to enjoy, from sizzling street food, to traditional Moroccan music, to pyramid piles of olives and preserved lemons.

Don’t miss the old fishing harbour, where the seagulls squabble over fish guts among the fisherman and rows of blue wooden boats.  A step back in time.

And when you’re in need of a break, enjoy a coffee in a sea-front café while you gaze along the long, misty beach with its crashing Atlantic waves.  Or have a snooze by the pool, or a traditional hammam, at the relaxing and fragrant Le Medina Essaouira Hotel Thalassa Sea & Spa – our favourite place to stay.  We can smell the orange blossom from the hotel’s incense burners now!

The town has a flourishing music scene, and the pinnacle is the annual Essaouira Festival of Gnaoua and World Music (which next takes place on 12-15th May 2016).  This is a wonderful melting pot of different styles of music.

When it comes to restaurants, you’ll be simply spoilt for choice.  If you fancy something traditional and a little bit different, head for the cosy and friendly Gnawa Blues Café.  The food here is superb and if you’re lucky you may even be treated to some live Hejhouj music.

So set your screensaver with one of our photos and get booking!  You won’t be disappointed.

To get you in the mood for the colours of Morocco, have a look at our Mini Hiss Clutch in Rose Red, our Berry Mini Wristlet in Canary Yellow or Metallic Olive Green, and our Berry Mini Purse in Autumn Shade Orange.

Click here for the official site for Morocco Tourism.

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