Do you want to know how to get from Marrakech to Essaouira, or vice versa? You’ll be happy to know there are several options and we break them down for you here.
I tell you exactly how to take a bus from Marrakech to Essaouira, how much it will cost and who to book with. Or if you are trying to decide if you should rent a car, take a taxi or book a day trip from Marrakech to Essaouira, then I explain that too.
Of course it’s always a bit unnerving when you arrive to a new country and you need to learn a new public transport system. I always like to do some research before I arrive at a new destination. Mainly so that I won’t get into a situation where I’m taken advantage of.
🚍 We travelled Morocco for three months, tried it all and researched it all before we did. And I’ve put that research, along with our experience, right here to help you too!
But if you are trying to decide if you should visit Essaouira then I suggest you browse my posts on Essaouira and Morocco! Personally, I think you should… but I might be biased after staying there for a month.
Basically, getting around in Morocco is super straight forward. The roads are great and the public transport system is very easy to navigate. Below are all the possible options for travel from Marrakech to Essaouira AND tips if you plan to take the three hour trip!
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Taking the Bus from Essaouira to Marrakech
There are two main bus companies providing comfortable transport throughout Morocco. These are CTM and SupraTours. If you search for CTM Bus or SupraTours on Google maps in any town, chances are the terminal will pop up straight away.
There are also cheaper options, these are less frequently used by tourists and therefore finding information about them is a little more difficult. We had friends who asked some of the locals and were able to find a ticket for a more obscure bus company. Their only complaint was that the leg room was a little smaller.
To check more on alternative bus companies check the website Lagare. This platform is great for checking bus company options and schedules within Morocco. We tried to book through this site also, but found it wouldn’t continue to the payment page. Despite it’s sometimes glitchy performance, we did find it helpful for navigating our public transport routes around Morocco.
You can book tickets online with CTM or Supra Tours.
We had friends who booked through the MY Ticket platform. This website works as a central booking platform that takes a small fee for their booking services. However, at the time our friends made the booking it was confirmed and their card was charged. An hour later they were emailed to say the bus was full and that their tickets could not be issued. So this was an inconvenience. That said, they did receive a refund and they were trying to book tickets last minute.
Alternatively, you can purchase bus tickets at the bus terminal itself.
The bus terminals in Marrakech for both CTM and SupraTours are easy to find and very close to each other, all in close proximity to the main train station.
We walked from the medina to get tickets which took us around 30 minutes. We’d heard that the online booking platforms can be a little difficult at times so decided to go and book tickets in person. We also wanted to get them the day before we travelled so that we had our choice of timing. In hindsight, after learning how easy it was to book tickets directly on their sites, I would recommend you simply book direct on their links above.
You can purchase a ticket on arrival, but of course you’re not guaranteed a seat. And tourism in Morocco does get very busy at different times throughout the year. As we travel with kids we like to be a little prepared.
Bus Timings & Prices – Marrakech to Essaouira
🚍 CTM buses travel from Marrakech to Essaouira once a day – the travel time is three hours. Prices are 90 Moroccan dirhams.
🚍 SupraTour buses travel from Marrakech to Essaouira six times a day – the travel time is three hours. Prices range between 95 and 124 Moroccan dirhams.
(These prices and schedules are current at the time of writing.)
CTM or SupraTours – Which is Best?
We have used both, and honestly didn’t find any noticeable differences between the two in terms of experience or comfort. We did find that SupraTours tickets were slightly cheaper from Essaouira to Marrakech when we travelled. Which is why you should always check both.
It is also worth noting that sometimes a booking fee is added when purchasing at the terminal. Tickets from Essaouira to Marrakech with SupraTours were 100 MAD each when purchased in person at the terminal.
The other things to consider is where you are staying in Essaouira. If you are staying in the medina, then SupraTours is perfect as the stop is a two minute walk from Bab Marrakech. Which is basically right outside the medina wall.
The CTM bus stop is a 20 minute walk from Bab Marrakech, and when it’s hot and you have a suitcase or two the walk can be a little daunting. Or you take a petit taxi of course for 7 dirhams.
What to Expect on the Bus Journey
There are a couple of things that are good to know before you board the bus!
The first one, you must have baggage stickers. You’ve got your tickets, that’s all good, but don’t forget to register your bags. You do this on the day of departure. Go straight to the front desk with your bus ticket, tell them how many bags will go into storage at the bottom of the bus. They will print you a sticker and you simply attach it anywhere on your bag.
The second thing to know is that the trip takes approximately three hours, give or take a half hour. There are no toilets or snacks available for purchase on the bus. So, it’s a good idea to bring water and some snacks and go to the loo before you jump on the bus. If you are travelling with kids, it’s anxiety provoking when they announce early on in the trip that they need to go!
However the bus will stop at a cafe restaurant about half way between Essaouira and Marrakech. It’s about a 20-30 minute stop which gives you just enough time for a pee and a cup of mint tea I reckon.
The bus driver lets you know when it’s time to move on with a couple of beeps.
Taxis to and From the Bus Stop
As mentioned above you can walk from the SupraTour bus stop into the Essaouira medina on foot. Cars cannot enter the medina. So if you want to get your bags to the front door of your really cool riad (check from this list if you haven’t already booked something), or to your AirBnb then look out for the guys at Bab Marrakech or Bab Sbaa who can cart your luggage in for you.
If you are coming from CTM Bus stop to Bab Marrakech, then a petit taxi will take a maximum of 3 people for a total of 7 dirhams.
Tip: If you need to take a taxi from the Bus Stop in Marrakech to your hotel we strongly recommend walking a little before waving down a taxi. We found by doing this we could get a better price for a taxi. For example we were getting quoted 70-90 dirhams by the taxis at the bus terminal. But a two minute walk from the terminal we managed to get a 50 dirham taxi.
Taking a Grand Taxi from Marrakech to Essaouira
If there are a few of you travelling from Marrakech to Essaouira, it may be worth your while to take a Grand Taxi. Head to the nearest Grand Taxi stop and let the bargaining begin. If you play hard ball you might be able to get a taxi to take you all the way for as little 600 MAD. A good price, depending on the time of year will be between 600-900 dirhams. But definitely aim for the lower end of the spectrum.
The benefits of taking a Grand Taxi from Marrakech to Essaouira or vice versa is that you have freedom to stop along the way. You can also make the trip in a shorter time, around 2.5 hours. And you get a door to door service… well as close as possible at-least.
Booking a Day Trip from Marrakech to Essaouira
If you prefer to find a guided tour with a few stops along the way then the options below may suite. We met several people who took a day trip from Marrakech to Essaouira and they all raved about their experience. If you’re restricted by time, then we highly recommend a day trip to Essaouira. A visit to the chilled beach vibes of Essaouira will come as a welcome break from the busy medina of Marrakech.
Note: The driver on these guided tours will often stop to see the goats climbing argan trees and take you to visit an argan oil cooperative. Just be warned there is an expectation to tip the goat herders, so if you prefer not to stop in these destinations it’s a good idea to tell your driver before.
Also, when you arrive in Essaouira you are more or less free to explore depending on your tour of choice. So be sure you know what you are booking before you purchase any of the below tours.
Renting a Car in Morocco
If you want the freedom to explore more of the surrounding villages and beaches of Essaouira then book a rental car. Our favourite rental car option of choice is definitely QEEQ. They have the best deals, and always turn up the best prices and options of car rental for our travels.
Plan Ahead: Read our post on 16 Things to Do in Essaouira to get an idea of what you might want to see and do in and around Essaouira.
The road from Marrakech to Essaouira is a very easy highway to navigate. In fact it’s probably one of the best roads in Morocco from what we observed. Pick up your rental car just outside the city, near the train station or bus terminal and away you go!
Parking in Essaouira is also easy. You can find overnight paid parking at Bab Marrakech, or near the fishing port at Bab Sbaa. Alternatively, you might find free street parking if you don’t mind searching further afield. We did find campers and cars parked in the smaller streets just outside Bab Doukkala.
More on Getting Around in Morocco
After spending three months in Morocco our family became very familiar with the public transport. Not only did we find it very easy to navigate with the help of the websites I’ve listed here but also due to the large number of options for getting around.
The train from Marrakech to Fez was fantastic and another method of transport we would thoroughly recommend for a trip to Morocco.
If you are looking for more on getting around in Morocco then check out these posts below –
- The ultimate itinerary for a bucket list holiday in Morocco (post coming soon)
- A day trip and tour from Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions on visiting Morocco.
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