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Safi beach, Morocco

Safi beach

Located in the northern regions of Morocco, the Plage de Safi, or Safiís Beach, is the name of a beach off the coast of the ancient, red-walled port city of Essaouira. A long, windy stretch of golden sand and sparkling sapphire waters, it is known for its excellent surfing very early in the morning, before the wind picks up too strongly. The waves here are known for their height and vigor, plus there are groups of large rocks to look out for on the ride back in, so best options are to read the safety tips posted there, check the surf report and ask experienced surfers for advice regarding this particular beach. It can become dangerous quickly and is not recommended for swimming.

To the west of the Moroccan coast, kneeling at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean is Safi, first an ancient port used by both Romans and Phoenicians, then formerly founded as a religious and cultural center by the Almohads. Safi is the capital city of the Doukkala-Abda region, with a population of just under 300,000 and is considered one of the most beautiful cities in all of Morocco. There is a deep sense of history here with the Portuguese fortress Dar El-Bahar, built in 1508, still standing like a silent sentinel watching the ocean for signs of invasion. It is encouraged to walk the well-kept remains, with the view out over the horizon being one of the most spectacular in the land.

The Kechla is another behemoth fortress structure, which served as a prison until the 1990s and today houses the local pottery shops and exquisite pieces set forth by the pottery artisans of the city. The Kechla is larger than Dar El-Bahar, and closer to the sea, but Dar El-Bahar is more widely photographed. Safi is quite famous for its pottery and the many pottery shops exposing their wares to visitors. If you are a pottery enthusiast, this will truly excite you; if you are not much interested in pottery, this export may not entice you as much, but it is still fascinating to browse a few stalls and watch the pieces made by hand. Most shops do not have fixed prices and bartering is expected, with prices generally ending up being very reasonable.

Most activities eventually lead to the beaches of Safi, of which there are five dazzling locations of sand and sea. Sidi Bouzid lies just north of the city and offers up large, excellent surfing waves consistently. Windsurfers and kite surfers will also find this beach perfect for their sports, but it can be a bit rough for swimmers. Swimmers need not worry, however, as the remaining beaches seem to be created for you and reach for over 150 kilometers. Nine kilometers from Safi, Lalla Fatna shimmers in the African sun like the stunning Atlantic jewel it is. Surfing is fantastic here, as well, with great swells in all seasons, save summer, which sees small, fun waves. Swimming and fishing are fabulous, too, as are the lovely vistas and the many great places to laze in the sun. Walidia is a gorgeous lagoon of calm, sparkling waters and amazing local cuisine. Truly a swimmerís and sunbatherís paradise, this is also a child-friendly beach and excellent for family or romantic picnics. Walidia boasts some amazing walking paths, too, for sighting flamingoes, terns and storks. Finally, there is Cap Bedousa, a rockier beach, so not as safe for younger children, but considered to be quite a beautiful locale nevertheless.

As an excellent jumping-off point for other activities, Safi is as lovely as it is functional and is well worth a visit for the history and atmosphere, which is considered genuinely Moroccan. Safi port is an excellent choice for a relaxing vacation or stopover on a longer holiday trip and is sure to delight.

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