Essaouira and Jorf Lasfar – Morocco

Published 4 years ago

I’m sailing in Morocco just now with my 42 foot cutter “John Silver”. Here are some updates. I’ve spent 40 days in Essaouira so far, so the information is highly accurate.

Alessandro Palladino

SY John Silver


For yachts over 50 feet or over 2 meters draught, it may be better to anchor in the bay and go ashore with the dinghy for clearance. The bay is safe and pleasant with a swell of up to 2 meters. However, with a 2-3 meter swell the anchorage becomes quite rolly and over 3m (common in winter) it becomes dangerous.

The 3 meters depth in the harbour reported on all charts is not true. At low tide, the depth can be less than 2 meters at the pontoon (the only place available for a yacht) but the bottom is soft mud.

There is no security here and many thefts have been reported (even with crew sleeping onboard). Water is available on demand but there is no electricity. The fees are calculated by tonnage and are about 2–3 € per day for a 35 to a 40-foot yacht.

Jorf Lasfar

This is suitable for an emergency stop only. There are no provisions for visiting yachts and the town is 18 km away from the port.

This is, however, a useful safe port when it is not possible to enter Al Jadida due to a big swell and/or low tide. Yachts are welcome.

Don’t enter the fishing port at the head of the harbour, but go directly to the “Capitanerie” basin, the fourth one on the right before the big dock. Here you can tie alongside tugs and go ashore for clearance. The office is just in front. Coordinates of this dock are 33° 7,45’N and 8° 37,48’ W.

WARNING: On MaxSea charts this port is reported in the wrong position (error of about 0,15 miles) and the “yacht marina” icon is in the wrong basin.

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