Its most ancient known name, Amogdul, meaning ‘well guarded’, came also from the name of the Berber saint of the town, Sidi Mougdoul, becoming Mogdoura under the Portuguese, then Mogadour under the French, and Mogador under the Spanish, until it was finally named Es-Saouira (fortified place in Arabic) due to the urbane plans of Théodore Cornut, a French engineer commissioned in 1764 by the Alaouite Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah…ouch! This white and blue fortified town is rich in history and very pleasant to stroll around. It’s also preferred place of residence to many artists and musicians. A vaulted alley leads to the quarter where the most reputed artisans of wood in Morocco work. There are more than 150 of them, creating pieces of thuja of exceptional meticulousness; well known because of their skills from Antiquity, the works of these artisans will amaze you. Argan oil is also a specialty in Essaouira. Lunch at the port or in a typical restaurant inside the medina. When coming back to Marrakech, 15 kms before reaching the city, visit the potters and discover their ancestral and unique techniques, and tadelackt, a paste of lime and substances capable of producing extraordinary colors.