We stayed for only one night in Casablanca at the Seven Hotel. The hotel had 4 stars. The rooms were clean and the quality was okay. We had only breakfast which was fine as well.
Although we reviewed some articles to find out some attractions in the city we couldn’t discover much that appeals to us. The only attractive part was Hasan II mosque. By the time we were in Casablanca, it was Sacrifice Feast. That is kind of an unlucky timing because almost all the shops are closed. We could only find some cafes and pedlars open around the city centre. We were almost starving by the time we found a good restaurant to eat some kebab.
After these exciting experiences in Casablanca we decided to make our way to El Jadida which is around 2 hours driving distance. By the way, if you are planning a trip to Morocco, I really recommend to rent a car for moving around the country. The roads are straight, not climbing or descending best part almost no traffic jams 🙂 It is a paradise for travelling with car. So, we took the highway and arrived in El Jadida.
This is a holiday town on the shore of Atlantic ocean. There is a historic part called “old medina” which is surrounded by city walls and belonged to Portugal before. I liked the town so much because of its very nice, long and wide beach with fine sand. What is more, the old medina within the city walls is exceptional. It is a unique example of Portuguese and Arabic mixture of architecture.
We spent our first night in old medina in a “riad” called Maison d’hotes Cite Portugaise. For me it was amazing to stay in a riad. Riads are traditional buildings. One of the typical attributes of a riad is they possess a big square or rectangular hall in the middle. The windows and doors of all the rooms are facing towards that hall. In upper floors there is a surrounding corridor around that hall. And at roof level, this hall is covered usually with transparent glass. Thus, it is sunlit inside the building. Another typical feature is the decoration of walls, floors windows and doors. You will usually find best examples Moorish carvings and ornaments. What we noticed later on is that almost any building, let it be a traditional school, a home, a mosque or whatsoever, is built with the same model: A hall in the middle and rooms that surround it. We can easily say that this is typical Moorish architecture.
The price of our riad was very cheap. It is run by a family. They don’t speak much English but we could understand each other 🙂 The room was clean but the breakfast was disappointing. The best part was the roof. You could view most of the old medina from the roof. I found the streets and architecture of the old medina very authentic. The old medina is also one of the Unesco world heritage sites.
The landmark of El Jadida is the old medina and landmark of the old medina is the Portuguese castle in the middle (La Citerne Portugaise). There is a basilica in the basement of the castle which is a perfect spot for mystic photographs 🙂
We spent our first day within the historic town and walked through every street. I also recommend to walk around the city walls of the city.
Next day when we woke up, it was the second day of the Sacrifice Feast. Traditionally, every family in Morocco sacrifices its sheep by itself in the garden of their house or on the corner of any street. Therefore the second day of the feast is the official cleaning day of the streets :). The grown-ups clean the streets and the children play water fight. They form groups of 5-10 and attack each other with water filled balloons. They usually don’t attack tourists or kindly invite you to join their game before attacking 🙂 For me it was a pleasure to join and record them with my camera in water resistant cover.
The next day we moved to Pullman Mazagan Royal Golf & Spa hotel near El Jadida. It is at beautiful Atlantic ocean coast. It is a marvellous beach with fine wide sand. The water is very wavy and the bottom is pure sand and it just reaches your waist even you walk 50 meters into the sea. We were in El Jadida in the second week of September and surprisingly the water was kind of cold. The pool of the hotel was warm enough but the ocean was a little cold for me. So, if you go to El Jadida and you want to swim just bear in mind to go there before September.
I enjoyed my stay in the Pullman hotel. The service and quality is very professional. The meals were extremely tasty. The rooms were quite large but it is expensive as well.
What to do in El Jadida?
- Visit the old medina and walk through colorful buildings and exotic streets.
- Walk around the city walls
- Watch the sunset at the beach or at the port infront of city walls
- Swim or surf in the ocean
- Visit the basilica
- Stay in a riad
What not to do in El Jadida?
- Don’t go out late in the night or to isolated streets. It might not be safe!! (valid for whole Morocco)
- Don’t stay more than two nights. You might get bored.
Who is this town good for?
- If you like history
- If you like ocean
- If you like wide nice beaches
- If you like to see an extraordinary holiday town