The first and starting zaouia of the annual Regraga pilgrimage ( Daour ) is found at Akermoud, a small town to the north of Essaouira. The zaouia contains the catafalque of Sidi Abdellah ou Hmad, a Marabout saint.
The Regrega tribe leaders are the descendants of the saint apostles of Islam who, legend suggest, learnt the new religion of Islam on a visit to Mecca. Here they were told by the Prophet to spread Islam to the Maghreb. Every spring (March-April) the descendants carry out a pilgrimage which lasts 39 days and visits 44 sacred places in the region. Pilgrims visit a series of local shrines, from the mouth of the Tensift river south of Safi to the northern outskirts of the High Atlas, including the city of Essaouira .
It traditionally begins from the zaouia at Akermoud.
The zaouia at Akermoud is a little tricky to find. If coming from the bus stop, you walk straight through and out of the small town until all the shops and houses have been passed. There is a small muddy track on the right; follow the path through a group of small houses and the zaouia is right in front of you. It appears locked with a padlock; simply apply pressure to the padlock and it will unlock, no key is necessary.
I find this shrine particularly beautiful; the shape is simple and aesthetically pleasing and the interior colourful and unspoilt.
Below are some photographs, including one of the local children from the surrounding houses who were very inquisitive and helpful.
The shrine of Sidi Ouesman, known as the Sultan of Regraga, is also found just outside of Akermoud on Jebel el Hadid. More information can be found here.
More about the pilgrimage, translated from French, is here