What to visit in Oualidia Morocco

Oualidia may not be the first name that springs to mind for international travelers exploring Morocco, but it is a crucial inclusion when considering what to visit in Oualidia. This serene location is a beloved destination among Moroccan holidaymakers, who come here to seek shelter and tranquility. The deep blue waters of Oualidia’s saltwater lagoon and its shores, shielded from the Atlantic Ocean winds by red cliffs, offer a perfect setting for slow-paced exploration. For those wondering what to visit in Oualidia, this is an ideal spot, especially for thrill-seekers looking to enjoy water sports that the waves and wind of the Atlantic bring.

Introduction to Oualidia

Located in the North of Essaouira, approximately 3 hour’s drive away, Oualidia is a hidden gem and undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Morocco. This small city is perfectly situated in a half-moon-shaped stretch of coast, engulfing an idyllic natural wonder. The location boasts 320 days of sunshine every year, making it a must-visit destination on any list of the best places to visit in Morocco. This charming village features a beach dotted with boats belonging to local fishermen, dedicated to bringing delight to seafood lovers.

The ocean tides flow into the lagoon, creating a nurturing environment for swimmers and water sports enthusiasts interested in kayaking, surfing, or simply enjoying boat rides. As you walk along the shores, you will find beaches, caves, and cliffs, all particularly stunning during the sunset hour. Oualidia is a shoreline of serenity, inviting you to take your time and enjoy the day. In the evening, visit a local restaurant to taste the oysters from the nearby sea farms, a delicacy that has earned Oualidia the title of Morocco’s oyster capital, further solidifying its status as one of the best places to visit in Morocco.

History 

Oualidia owes its name to El Oualid, the last sultan of the dynasty Saâdienne. The small village was the place chosen by King Mohammed V to build his summer palace by the water, thus decreeing Morocco’s first royal beach in the 1940s. 

The present-day sea resort is embedded in the natural harbor that has been transformed into a high-end seaside destination for Moroccans. 

What to visit in Oualidia

Any top highlights anyone can think of about Oualidia will always need to have nature at the top. Explore every inch of the coastline on pleasant hikes. Observe life on the sand and off the cliffs. Be a judge of all the surfers’ performances you can see at the wildest waves outside the lagoon. Also pay attention to the windsurfers, taking advantage of the windy Atlantic. 

More calmy enjoying the peacefulness of the lagoon, you can see people fishing, sailing, swimming, canoeing. Don’t just be a watcher. Take part in all these activities in the water. On the ground, visit the Kasbah and experience the best vantage point to look around in awe. Snap a few pictures of the lagoon, the cliffs, and the beaches. The animal life, mainly birds, is a must in Oualidia. From August to October, there is even the chance to see whales off the coast on such an expedition. 

5 sights and landmarks you can’t miss

Yes, you’ve guessed it. We have to mention the beach again. It is perhaps not a landmark per se. But it sure is a land that marks an indistinguishable memory in your heart. 

Oualidia is absolutely perfect for bird enthusiasts. Its particular geographical situation and general landscape turn the lagoon into a mandatory stopover for many migratory birds that seek the milder Moroccan climate during the colder times in the Northern hemisphere. These birds join the ones that live in the area throughout the year. Expect to find, at different times of the year, limicolous, grey herons, spatulas, big cormorants, golden plovers, white stilts, ash curlews, marbled ducks, warblers, storks, pink flamingos,… Head to the restful lagoon to find all these birds or to the coastal wetlands. The best time to go birdwatching is in Spring and Autumn. 

The northern part of the resort is where you will find the salterns. These ponds were built by hand to harvest the salt that the hot sun reveals after the evaporation of the Atlantic seawater. You can visit the salterns by boat, a trip that will also allow the discovery of the endemic flora and fauna across this natural environment. 

Going for a walk on the cliffs can become an exploratory expedition, especially if you take your kids with you. There are a few caves there that are asking to be found. 

Yes, we know, restaurants can’t exactly be considered monuments. But the seafood in Oualidia is out of this world. Go for freshly caught calamari, lobster, and shrimp. Oh, and of course, oysters!

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