Located at the heart of a region (the Doukkala) that is relatively unknown by tourists, El Jadida is destined to quickly become the Mecca of tourism in Morocco. Conquered in the 16th century by the Portuguese, who saw it as a place of strategic interest in terms of trade, the Doukkala region then became an Arab territory (the current name of the area dates from this time). In 1912 it became a French and Spanish protectorate and in 1956 the country finally regained its independence.
Enjoy a stroll along the sea and discover the maze of streets in the centre of El Jadida. While you have to be careful about walking around on your own, it is without a doubt the best way to discover the daily life of this small city just a few miles from Casablanca. The Medina has been well-preserved and offers many opportunities for an immersion into the local folklore. However, be careful when showing your curiosity, although the locals are increasingly exposed to tourism, they are not too keen on being photographed.
The small city of Azemmour is a few miles from El Jadida and is well worth a visit. Enjoy a quick stop-off at the seaside resort village of Sidi Bouzid a few miles south of El Jadida. In El Jadida, don't forget to visit the Portuguese cistern. Another recommended place to visit is Oualidia lagoon, one of Morocco's most beautiful sites. When the tide is out, the sea gives way to a series of sandbanks.
During Ramadan, shops are only open in the afternoon. In the evening, however, the streets start to liven up as the fast nears its end and families come out to buy food for their supper together.
Don't get in a taxi unless you know where you're going. There are 2 kinds of taxis: the small yellow ones, which aren't allowed out of the city's fortifications, and the bigger models which travel out to the suburbs.
The latter are driven by older taxi drivers, who generally only speak Arabic.
When it comes to prices, you're better off negotiating before you leave. However, they usually remain relatively affordable.
Be careful of getting sunburnt, as being on the Atlantic coast you don't always realise how hot the sun is with the wind blowing.
The fish you will find here is excellent. You should try out the small local establishments. Ask around for the best places; you'll find the prices are generally decent and the level of quality undeniably high. There's a good seafood restaurant by Oualidia lagoon called The Spider Crab. The owner is charming and friendly.
In the region of Oualidia, you must absolutely try the seafood and especially the oysters and spider crabs.
The Doukkala region also produces plenty of vegetables, including radishes, potatoes, carrots and turnips.
The quality of Moroccan crafts is excellent. Leather bags, lamps, slippers, spices... your suitcase will be crammed with souvenirs!
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