I spent two nights at the airport in Marrakech. One morning walking to, and at the bus station (Supratour), and one evening going from that bus station back to the airport via a “grand taxi”. So I didn’t see a lot of the city, all I can tell you is flight- and weather related. Might help you with your travels…
What to expect in summer (i.e. June)? Heat. When I came out of the plane at around 19h on the 14th of June, it was still very hot. When I came out of the bus at around 18h on the 30th of June, it was still extremely hot – at least 40 degrees, if not more.
The Airport (or: where to stay)
If your plane arrives in the evening and your bus doesn’t go until the next morning/your bus goes in the evening and your plane departs in the morning, and you want to save money – just stay at the airport (I didn’t plan on doing that when I arrived, but when my CS-host didn’t turn up I couldn’t come up with a better idea 😉 ). It’s not that comfy but hey, it’s just one night. Don’t worry (too much) about theft – there are generally many policemen and maybe you’re as lucky as I was and meet some nice people to spend your night with. The airport closes from 2-5 am, which is – in summer – not a big deal since it’s pretty nice outside at night.
If you need to go to some other city you will want to take a Supratour-bus. Just google the route from the airport to Guéliz (beginning of Boulevard Mohamed VI ex avenue de France) and you will see that the way is pretty straight-forward. Since I had plenty of time in the morning I simply walked (took around 1-1 1/2 h). There are, however, buses running every 15 minutes or so (20DH one way), and also “grands taxis” (around 20DH, too) as well as “normal” taxis (pricey!).
During my stay in Tidzi (a place around half an hour away from Essaouira and the seaside, pretty dry region with many Argan trees) I went to Essaouira a couple of times and at the end of my stay in Morocco I spent three days there (alone). The first night I stayed in a common hotel from Moroccan people. I had never seen such a saggy bed before. The two other nights I stayed with an acquaintance.
Essaouira is a pretty nice, a bit fairytale-like. The “centre” is surrounded by a wall and the sea with a (mostly) sandy beach is right next to the medina.
You don’t need to use public transport to get around in town, it’s not that big.
Wind. Nothing else to say. But maybe I just expand so you know what I mean. I read on wikipedia that Essaouira is known for a strong wind (attracting surfers) but I didn’t expected that. You can hardly hear the person next to you talking. When you sit on the beach, at times, the wind is so strong that it “hails” sand on you. Once the wind took away my hat and I had to run after it for at least five minutes! So be prepared!
photos 1-3: Marrakech, photos 4-9: Essaouira
Generally, inhabitants are nice and polite. One advise though: If you are a (young) (blonde?) (pale??) (attractive ;P) girl, better do not travel alone unless you want to be chatted up by a guy every other minute.
Looking back, despite food-poisoning and sunstroke, I had a good time in Morocco and I could imagine going there again (not alone though and probably not in summer) 🙂