Things to Do in Oualidia
Beach and Walks
A short walk through the garden leads to the edge of the estuary. There are wonderful walks going both left and right. If you go left and walk for about 5 minutes, there is a larger beach area where you can swim. Please note that the estuary is tidal and therefore it is best to go down at low tide.
Loubna can arrange for a fisherman to collect you from the beach below and take you for a leisurely tour of the estuary and the lagoon, perhaps with a stop to enjoy freshly grilled fish and crab. Or you can do the journey to or from Oualidia by boat, which takes about 40 minutes. On the estuary you will see plenty of bird life, perhaps other fishing boats or divers harvesting shellfish.
We can arrange for you to be taken out on a boat to fish for sea-bass, or you can go the beach or cliff-tops to cast for sea-bream and red mullet.
Oualidia is famous for its extraordinary variety of bird life. Find out more about birdwatching in Oualidia.
The Pullman Mazagan Royal Golf and Spa at El Jadida has one of Morocco's finest 18 hole golf courses. It is approximately 1h30 from The Lodge.
The small town of Oualidia is located between El Jadida and Safi. It lies on a beautiful tidal lagoon on the Atlantic coast at 33 degrees of latitude. Lagoon Lodge is 4 kilometres North of the town.
Oualidia consists of a main street with a market, a few shops, pharmacies and cafes and a steep hill leading down to the lagoon. In July and August, the beach area is frequented by Moroccan families seeking respite from the heat of Marrakech. For the rest of the year, the place is almost deserted.
You can play tennis on a clay court, enjoy quad biking, go surfing or paddle boarding, rent a pedalo or a 2-person kayak. You can swim from the main beach by l'Hippocampe Hotel or get a boat across to the much quieter beach on the other side. In the summer months you can go horse-riding on the beach.
There is a shop which hires quad bikes, bicycles and scooters on the El Jadida road.
The Banque Populaire on the main street has an ATM. You can also change currency/travellers cheques inside. There is a second ATM at the Poste.
The Saturday souk is well worth a visit. With its rumbustious atmosphere, it's a different experience to the more tourist-oriented souks of Marrakech.
Hammam and Massage
There are three local options: the cheap and cheerful village hammam, which is segregated; the hammam and full body scrub at the Veach View Hotel in the centre of town, or the more expensive, state of the art pampering experience at The Sultana Hotel.
The Royal Palace
The former royal palace of King Mohammed V is one of only two 'tourist sights' in Oualidia (the other being the 7th century Kasbah). For many years this elegant, Italianate building, surrounded by eucalyptus and Norfolk Island Pine, was the scene of royal parties and summer festivities. Sadly, his son Hassan II did not share Mohammed V's taste for Oualidia and the palace has fallen into ruin. The latest rumour is that Mohammed VI (the present king) is going to restore the palace. The grounds are now guarded by gendarmes and you are not allowed to take any photographs, but you can see it from the estuary when you take a boat between Oualidia and Lagoon Lodge.
If you are in Oualidia in April, don't miss the annual moussem (or pilgrimage). Crowds converge on the town for a grand fantasia. This is a spectacle involving white-robed horsemen who charge up and down a field firing fusillades in the air. There are sometimes musical recitals and belly dancers in the evening. The event normally takes place in the field beside the Motel Assaka el-Hamra on the El Jadida road.