Oualidia MoroccoTucked away in a small sleepy fishing village, between the historic towns of El Jadida and Safi, sits a resort that “those-in-the-know” have been flocking to for years.

Oualidia (pronounced “Wa-lid-ee-ah”) overlooks an attractive natural seawater lagoon sitting against the edge of the Moroccan coastline. This Moroccan resort area contains a backdrop of contrasts between its shorelines of fine sand and majestic cliffs.

The lagoon remains serene and tranquil all year long. When compared to its counterpart, separated only by a sand bar, the wildest waves are exhibited by the Atlantic Ocean. Thousands of surfers naturally amass to the ocean side paradise seeking to “hang-ten,” while families opt for the lagoon.

Oualidia is a perfect getaway retreat that is considered the optimum in North Africa for its temperate climate. The region enjoys approximately 320 days of sunshine each year.

Water activities abound, and the traditional surfing and windsurfing are just the beginning of what is available to beach lovers. Canoes, kayaks and chartering fishing boats are available for hire.

The surf and sun may be the main attraction for a vacationer, but there’s more available than just spectacular beaches.

Nature enthusiasts find bird watching is a popular pastime. The ideal time to catch the bird migrations is during the spring or autumn season. Flamingoes, warblers, storks, egrets and many others head to Oualidia for their resting place.

On the program of things-to-do is the chance to catch a glimpse of a whale during August through October. (Book a whale watching expedition to do so). Rent a bike, walk or hike and experience the best vantage point at a Kasbah built in 1634. This ruin was constructed for the Sultan El Oualid and is the namesake for the village. From here, you can snap some picture-perfect panoramic views of the lagoon, cliffs and beaches. A short hop away is the El Jadida’s castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site that history buffs will find particular delight in.

And when you need to fill up on energy, a number of restaurants are considered paramount in freshly caught seafood, including calamari, lobster and shrimp. Oualidia also happens to be famous for the best oysters in Morocco.

To reach the resorts of Oualidia, it is approximately a three-hour drive from Marrakech and two hours from the Casablanca airport.

With its wide variety of outdoor activities, the peaceful lull of the ocean, delicious dining opportunities and nearby cultural pursuits, it is easy to say that Oualidia has the selection to appeal to all types of vacationers.

Photo by laura0509.