El Oualidia

As you enter El Oualidia you'll see salt pans at the end of a lagoon. This town is famous for its oysters, and if you visit the oyster parks, you can eat oysters after learning how they're cultivated. (Oyster Park 7 is most renowned.) Turn right in the center of town to reach the beach. El Oualidia's bay is arguably one of the most picturesque places on Morocco's entire Atlantic coast. The fine sand is gently lapped by the placid sapphire lagoon, and in the distance white breakers of the sea collide beyond the cliffs. The beach is surrounded by a promontory to the south, a gap where the sea enters the lagoon, an island, and another promontory to the north. Around the corner is a beach that seems wholly untouched: sandy bays and dunes bearing tufts of grass alternate with little rocky hills. The summer months see a large influx of travelers and beach campers here, and thus far less tranquillity.

There aren't many "sights" in El Oualidia, but if you have a car, it's worth taking a drive south along the coastal road from El Oualidia to Essaouira, which has magnificent views, especially in spring, when the wildflowers are out. There is a souk in town on Saturday.

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