The lagoon and extensive beaches at Oualidia, lying between El Jadida and Safi, were a well kept secret and a favourite of Moroccans as a seaside venue and a place to unwind. Now it is finding increasing in popularity as a beautiful sheltered natural beach and fishing location where surfing and swimming in the lagoon are enjoyed by more tourists on a break from the busy streets of Casablanca and Marrakech.
Oualidia also an excellent location for bird watching with flamingos in spring and summer, amongst other species. The unspoiled beaches extend for miles and are ideal for walking and horse riding. There is a French run surfing camp for young and old, ideal for families with children. Members of the royal family reputedly learn to surf there. As well as the ruins an ancient Kasbah built by Sultan Al Walid there is the former King Mohammed V’s palace which is now largely derelict.
With its mild year-round climate and quiet relaxing beaches, Oualidia is less crowded than the more populated Essaouira and more protected from the wind . A haven from the hot and dusty cities and less commercialised than other resorts such as Agadir.
There is none of the usual hassling in Oualidia. The shallow waters of the lagoon are ideal for swimming, surfing, wind-surfing or water-skiing. You can hire a kayak and explore the lagoon. Oulalidia is a very important ecological location. Among the marshes and wetlands there are curlews, flamingos, sandpipers, plovers, stilts and many other migrating species making it a paradise for bird watchers
Keen walkers can follow the cliff path for miles above deserted grottoes and beaches. Oualidia is famous for its oysters. You can sample them as well as locally-caught crab, sea bass and sea bream, at one of the many waterside restaurants or freshly grilled on the beaches by fishermen.
The Araignee Gourmande restaurant is highly recommended as is L’Ostrea and there are a others including the l’Hippocampe, which is also an hotel and Le Kalypso.
There are small hotels including the Dar Beldi which is French run with attractive French Moroccan architecture and decoration and a fine garden. It is about 10 minutes walk from the beach.
The luxury boutique hotel La Sultana Oualidia is at the edge of the lagoon with L’Hippocampe and the Auberge Oualidia , which offers less costly accommodation.
Oualidia has been described as a coastal escape for connoisseurs, with something to offer out of season as well because of its milder climate and the protection from high winds by the lagoon.