Kasbah Gharbaia(25 kms on the Tnine Gharbaia road - 25 minutes)
Although the Kasbah is not nearly as impressive as Kasbah Boulaouane (see below), it is a lot nearer, and you can have a pleasant scramble among the overgrown ruins and troglodytic houses. On the way, about 14 kms from Oualidia, you'll pass a turn-off to the left leading to a forest once used by the Moroccan Royal family for hunting. Look for the board marked 'Reserve de Chasse'. Here you can take walks through eucalyptus groves and roam across rocky outcrops with kites overhead. There are still reputed to be wild boar but the only one we've seen in above the fireplace at the Hippocampe.
Cap Bedouzza(30 kms - 30 minutes)
A windswept promontory with a curious light-house in the shape of an English Medieval castle. The lighthouse keeper has to cover the prism at sunrise and sunset to avoid the African sun setting fire to the nearby houses. From Cap Bedouzza, you can walk for miles along some of the most deserted beaches in Morocco. According to locals, there is a submerged village under the waves.
Safi(58 kms – 50 minutes)
Thought to be the country's oldest city, Safi is the ceramic centre of Morocco. Steer clear of the port area and head for the old Medina (access through an archway to the right of the 'Colline des Potiers'). A maze of alleyways lead up the hillside past the former Portuguese church to the 16th century citadel, now the National Ceramics Museum. At the 'Colline des Potiers', you can buy Safi pottery at very reasonable prices. On the way back to Oualidia, on the hill leading out of town is the Village de Poissons. For 50 dirhams a head, you can gorge on calamari, shrimps, sole, bream and salad. More info (external link).
El Jadida(73 kms to the North, 1 hour)
A former Portuguese outpost and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, El Jadida is an hour's drive. It has a fine 'Cite Portugaise' and a 16th century underground cistern (closed 12-3pm). You can walk around the ramparts. The modern town is renowned for its palm-lined boulevards and smart cafes. Just north of El Jadida is The Pullman Mazagan Royal Golf and Spa. The course is very sparsely used except in summer, has great views of the sea and a club house with good restaurant. More info (external link).
Azemmour14 kms further on is another Portuguese outpost overlooking the river Wadi Ouem Er-Rhia. It has a charming medina seldom visited by tourists. More info (external link).
Essaouira(180 kms to the South, 3 hours)
Morocco's former principal port with its blue and white medina, seagulls and crashing waves makes a lovely but tiring day trip. It's better to spend a night there. Jack's Apartments are a good choice and have fantastic sea views. More info (external link).
Kasbah Boulaouane(3 hours)
One of the most impressive royal kasbahs in Morocco, is a three-hour journey inland. The Kasbah occupies a hilltop high above a meander in the river Ouem Er-Rhia. It was built in 1710 for the concubine of Sultan Moulay Ismail. Note: driving to Boulaouane can be hot and dusty in summer. More info (external link).