El Jadida is a coastal city in western Morocco, about 100 km south of Casablanca. The city has a population of approximately 144,000 people, and it is known for its beautiful beaches, historic sites, and vibrant culture.


El Jadida has a rich and complex history that spans several centuries and multiple civilizations. Berber tribes inhabited the region that is now El Jadida for thousands of years before the Phoenicians conquered it in the 7th century BCE.

Over the centuries, the region was ruled by various powers, including the Carthaginians, the Romans, and the Vandals. In the 8th century, Arab Muslims conquered the region, and it became part of the Islamic Caliphate.

During the medieval period, El Jadida was an important center for trade and commerce, serving as a key port for the trans-Saharan trade routes. In the 16th century, the Portuguese established a fortress in the city, which they called Mazagan. The Portuguese built a number of impressive structures in El Jadida, including the Portuguese Cistern and the Church of the Assumption.

In the 18th century, the city was captured by the Moroccan Sultanate and renamed El Jadida, which means “the new” in Arabic. Under Moroccan rule, the city continued to grow and prosper, becoming an important center for agriculture, fishing, and industry.

In the 20th century, El Jadida played an important role in Morocco’s struggle for independence from France. The city was a center of political activism and resistance, and many of its residents played key roles in the fight for freedom.


The Portuguese Cistern

One of the most famous landmarks in El Jadida is the Portuguese Cistern, which was built in the 16th century by the Portuguese during their occupation of the city. The cistern is an impressive underground water tank that was used to supply the city with fresh water during times of siege.


El Jadida is known for its impressive fortifications, which were built by the Portuguese during their occupation of the city in the 16th century. The walls were constructed using local stone and were reinforced with bastions and towers, which provided additional defense against enemy forces.

One of the most impressive features of the fortifications is the bastion of Saint Sebastian, which was built on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea. The bastion features a series of terraces and platforms, which were used to position cannons and other artillery to defend the city from naval attacks.

The walls of El Jadida are also home to several impressive gates, including the Porte de la Mer and the Porte de la Terre. These gates served as the main entrances to the city and were guarded by soldiers who were stationed in towers and watchtowers along the walls.

Today, the fortifications of El Jadida are a popular tourist attraction, and visitors can explore the walls, bastions, and gates to get a glimpse of the city’s rich history and cultural heritage. The fortifications have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and are considered one of the most important examples of military architecture in the region.

Dining, Shopping, and More

El Jadida is also known for its beautiful beaches, including Sidi Bouzid Beach, which is a popular spot for swimming and sunbathing. In addition to its beaches and historical sites, the city has a lively arts and culture scene, with museums, galleries, and festivals showcasing the best of Moroccan art, music, and cuisine.

The city is also home to a number of traditional souks (markets), where visitors can find a wide range of goods, from spices and textiles to pottery and jewelry. El Jadida is also known for its delicious seafood, which can be found in many of the city’s restaurants and cafes..

Camel Caravan

Morocco camel tour activity

There’s something fantastic about camels that you never really understand until standing right in front of one. They’re big, over 6′ tall at the shoulders, and nearly 2/3 of a ton. They’re smart, remember kindness, and enjoy an affectionate scratch or pet (think of them as really big dogs with saddles). They’re also surprisingly photogenic and often will look right into the camera, ready for their closeup.

Morocco camel trekking activityRiding a camel takes no experience at all. Their size and feel resemble sitting on a felt-covered, substantial couch. Unlike the jarring up-down ride of a horse, the camel gently sways from side to side when it walks and never seems to be in a hurry. You also don’t have to steer a camel. Camels are pack animals and will follow the camel guide, who usually walks on foot in front.

If you think riding a camel is easy, you’d be right. It’s getting onto it is the adventure. You don’t mount a camel like you do a horse. The camels start by sitting down until you get in the saddle. That’s when the fun begins. Then, as the camel stands, its back legs straighten first, pitching the rider forward, then the front legs straighten, pitching the rider back. Then, when it kneels, it’s the same process in reverse. So remember, saddle up, lean back, then lean forward.

Ghost Tour of Fez

Guided tour activities at tourist attractions, MoroccoOver fourteen centuries have passed since the founding of Fez. One of the largest labyrinth cities in the world, the city has seen dynasties rise and fall, foreign invasion, conquest, bloody rebellion, and liberation. It’s an enigma, wrapped in a mystery, colored with hope, and tinted with blood. Guided tours of Fez focus on today and the city’s historical monuments and highlights, overlooking its colorful and sometimes dark past.

Now, for the first time in Morocco, SaharaTrek offers its exclusive guided Ghost Tour of Fez. Starting after dinner and just before sunset, you’ll get rare access to the places and stories left out of the tourist brochures.

Guided tour activities at tourist attractions, Morocco -1 The tour starts before sunset with a look inside the abandoned Glaoui Palace. Once a sprawling complex of twelve houses, hammams, Qur’anic schools, stables, a cemetery, and extensive gardens, it was the base of power for the Glaoui family. As powerful as they were brutal, the Glaouis’ ambition knew no bounds. They became the enforcers for the French during the occupation (1907-1956) and conspired to overthrow Sultan Mohammed V. After Moroccan independence, the blood-soaked Glaoui family was erased from history, and their multiple palaces were seized and left to rot.

Guided tour activities at tourist attractions, Morocco -2 As the sun sets, you’ll be driven to the hills overlooking Fez as the call to prayer echoes from a hundred mosques before heading down into the Madina. You’ll venture by foot, following your guide down the narrow, dark alleys before arriving at the Slave Market.

Slavery was abolished in Morocco in 1925, but its shadow still lingers in the Fez Medina at the Slave Market. During the day, they auction animal hides from the tannery in the market. In the afternoon, it’s a market for used clothes. But it’s when the market is empty at night that you can faintly hear the wails of despair from enslaved Christians taken by the Barbary Pirates or the sub-Saharan Africans brought over the Salt Road.

A short 2 hours after the tour starts and the darkest of the night has set in, you’ll be guided back to your Raid for the rest of the evening.

Taste of Morocco

Morocco's top food attractionsHere’s a joke: What do Moroccans call traditional Moroccan food? Answer: Food! And traditional Moroccan food is everywhere you go, surrounding you with the smells and tastes of the exotic. With our Taste of Morocco, you’ll experience the adventure that is Moroccan street food. In Marrakech and Fez, your tour guide will not only show you the sites of Moroccan culture and history, feeding your curiosity and desire for adventure. But also stop by the small shops and workingman’s cafes where you’ll get to sample the local delicacies feeding your stomach simultaneously. Think of it as a city-wide roving buffet that can easily replace a sit-down lunch.

As you tour the cities, keep your eyes (and noses) on the lookout for some of the specialties Morocco offers, and you’ll regret missing them.

  • Shebbakia: pasta ribbons with hot honey and grilled sesame seeds, commonly found during Ramadan.
  • Briouats: sweet filo pastry with a savory filling, like a miniature pasilla.
  • Morocco's top food attractions -1Briouats au miel: sweet filo pastry envelopes filled with nuts and honey.
  • M’hencha: almond-filled pastry coils, often covered in honey or syrup.
  • Cornes de gazelle: marzipan-filled, banana-shaped pastry horns.
  • Pastilla: sweet pigeon or chicken pie with cinnamon and filo pastry (a specialty of Fes).
  • M’laoui: flat griddle bread from dough sprinkled with oil, rolled out, and folded several times.
  • Bissara: thick beans soup, usually served with olive oil and cumin.
  • Olives: come in numerous varieties,
  • Almonds, walnuts, and dates.
  • Bread: almost always round like a cake and tears easily by hand. It’s usually homemade and cooked in the public oven.
  • Morocco's top food attractions -2Khlea: small pieces of beef or lamb marinated in light spices, then dried in the sun (gueddid) before being cooked and preserved in fat for up to 2 years. Still a homemade staple in rural areas, these days, many Moroccan families resort to buying it as it is so readily available everywhere.