Pronounced “Walidia”, this is a charming little coastal village situated between El Jadida and Safi, about 2.5 hours south of Casablanca. The village is spread around the southern shores of an 11km inland lagoon filled by the Atlantic which enters through two breaches in the coastal rock wall.
Oualidia is the Oyster capital of Morocco, the sunny beaches with fine sand are perfect for safe bathing, surfing and small fishing boat expeditions. The Lagoon is overlooked by a Kasbah, built in 1634 by Sultan El Oualid, and the hotels we use look over the beach and lagoon.
Towards the south, a collection of small sandy coves and rocky cliffs offer seclusion and lovely walks. Visitors will have the village and beaches more or less to themselves between October and June, but from July to September high season brings many French and Moroccans flooding in to spend their summer months at this enchanting location.
Whilst self-drive car hire is not essential, there is a wealth of great places to visit within striking distance of Oualidia. Drive along the spectacular coast to El Jadida with its superb 18-hole golf course (50 miles to the north), or to Safi (40 miles to the south) which is one of Morocco’s most important pottery centres. Oualidia is about 2.5 hours drive from Marrakech.
“Surfland” is a surf camp for adults and children that operates throughout the year in Oualidia. Ideally, those who would like to learn how to ride the waves should participate in a course lasting a week, but 4 or 5 days will enable Laurent Miramon and his team to teach you or your children the basics.
The hotels can book small fishing expeditions for you out on the lagoon.
Oualidia is in the centre of one of the richest birdlife habitats in Morocco and an important resting area for migrating birds in Spring and Autumn. The coastal wetlands, saltpans and sands, the jagged reefs and the lagoons of Oualidia and Sidi Moussa shelter a vast range of species – pink flamingos, godwits, stilts, waders, storks, avocets, warblers, egrets, terns and many others.