With the brilliant whiteness of its lime-washed walls and the sight of women enveloped in voluminous hairs, Essaouira, formerly Mogador, is a quintessentially Moroccan town and one of the most enchanting places in the country. By virtue of its location on this stretch of the Atlantic coast, where trade winds prevail almost all year round, the town enjoys a particularly pleasant climate. It is a prime location for wind- and kite surfing, but has managed to escape mass tourism. A mecca for hippies during the 1970s, it is still an artists´ town and is very fashionable with independent travelers.