David Pillinger/Corbis

Essaouira, Morocco

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With its terracotta and whitewashed ramparts, and blue wooden boats bobbing in the sea, Essaouira is about as far from a hammock-on-a-palm-tree surf town as you’ll get. The fortified medina (a UNESCO heritage site) is a 10-minute walk from the beach through labyrinthine lanes with piles of spices, handcrafted wood pieces, fabrics, pottery, and argan oil products for sale. Soothe any sore muscles or nerves at one of the dozens of hammams, such as the upscale Azur Art & Spa, also a permanent gallery for local artists.

World's Coolest Surf Towns

Essaouira, Morocco

With its terracotta and whitewashed ramparts, and blue wooden boats bobbing in the sea, Essaouira is about as far from a hammock-on-a-palm-tree surf town as you’ll get. The fortified medina (a UNESCO heritage site) is a 10-minute walk from the beach through labyrinthine lanes with piles of spices, handcrafted wood pieces, fabrics, pottery, and argan oil products for sale. Soothe any sore muscles or nerves at one of the dozens of hammams, such as the upscale Azur Art & Spa, also a permanent gallery for local artists.

David Pillinger/Corbis

World's Coolest Surf Towns

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