Essaouira Things To Do
Essaouira is a port city and resort on Morocco’s Atlantic coast. Its medina (old town) is protected by 18th-century seafront ramparts called the Skala de la Kasbah, which were designed by European engineers. Old brass cannons line the walls, and there are ocean views. Strong “Alizée” trade winds make the city’s crescent beach popular for surfing, windsurfing and kitesurfing.
The name of the city is usually spelled Essaouira in Latin script, and الصويرة in Arabic script. Both spellings represent its name in Moroccan Arabic, ṣ-Ṣwiṛa. This is the diminutive (with definite article) of the noun ṣuṛ which means “wall (as round a yard, city), rampart”. The pronunciation with pharyngealized /ṣ/ and /ṛ/ is a typically Moroccan development. In Classical Arabic, the noun is sūr (with plain /s/ and /r/), diminutive suwayrah. Hence the spelling of the name in Arabic script according to the classical pronunciation is السويرة al-Suwayrah (with sīn not ṣād).
In Shilha, the Berber language spoken by a sizeable proportion of the city’s inhabitants, it is called Taṣṣuṛt. This name is formed from the borrowed noun ṣṣuṛ “rampart” by the addition of the feminine gender affixes ta- and -t. In Shilha, the feminine derivation is often used to form diminutives.