Guide to visit Saidia and prepare your trip well
Located in the northeast of Morocco, the so-called "blue pearl" has become a tourist destination very popular with international tourists because of its Mediterranean climate and its 14 kilometers of coastline which provide very beautiful beaches. of fine, golden sand.
"The Mediterranean Saidia resort only has 4 and 5 stars hotels. The 5-star Barcelo, whose construction and architecture are largely inspired by Moroccan medinas, is considered the largest seaside hotel in Africa."
This town in the province of Berkane in northwestern Morocco has the particularity of having one of the longest beaches in the country. Its Mediterranean climate convinces the charm of this seaside resort. Its international reputation dates back nearly a century just after the city was placed under the French protectorate in 1913: the settlers and then, after independence, international visitors were conquered by its geographical position and its gentleness.
But the city experienced a real turning point on August 27, 2003: on that date, the Iberian real estate investment group Fadesa won the offer launched by the Moroccan State as part of the Plan Azur - a plan intended to attract some 10 million tourists by 2010 through the investment of 1 billion euros in six seaside resorts. The project culminates in June 2009 with the construction of the Mediterrania Saidia.
In total, this new tourist complex includes both a marina but also a certain number of high standard hotels with a total capacity of 28,000 beds, apartments but also residences, three 18-hole golf courses, a thalassotherapy center without forgetting a sports infrastructure including a swimming pool, a football stadium, a tennis court, an athletics stadium, etc.
During your stay in Saidia, you will undoubtedly have the opportunity to visit one of these different infrastructures. The project, if it has made it possible to increase the number of tourists in the seaside resort, has also not failed to arouse controversy, insofar as it is likely to degrade the coastal ecosystem.
Tours in Saidia
The 14 kilometers of fine sandy beaches are an invitation to laze around. But during your holidays in Saidia, you can also go to La Medina, one of the largest shopping centers on the African continent, with some 43,500 square meters of shops and places to eat. The architecture of the place cheerfully mixes modern architecture and a style inspired by the medinas of Morocco.
Transport and travel in Saidia
Located at a strategic crossroads, Saidia is very well served. No less than three airports are within easy reach of the destination: that of Oujda-Angad, which is some 50km away, that of Nador-Aroui at 70km, and finally that of Melilla, a little further away, at 75km.
The Corniche de Saïdia, called boulevard Mohamed V or promenade maritime, is a meeting point and a very busy place of passage, especially at nightfall.
The Medina, whose gates, narrow streets, squares and terraces, shops, and cafes give the atmosphere of a traditional Moroccan city, is a unique place, ideal for walking and shopping.
La Alcazaba (Kasbah) stands out on Boulevard Moulay Rachid. It is a 19th-century fortress, built by Sultan Hassan I. An imposing adobe construction, the purpose of which was to monitor the Algerian border. This is why it was built on the left bank of the mouth of Oued Kiss.
The Souk is a market that takes place on Sundays in the open air, between the
Alcazaba and the offal market.
A vestige of the colonial era: the Catholic Church.
In July is celebrated the Water Carnival of Saïdia and in August the Reggada festival, with local traditional music and dances.
Long golden sand beaches stretch from the mouth of the Oued Kiss...
Mediterranean-Saïda or “Med-Saïdia”
It is a tourist complex located 2 kilometers from the village of Saïdia, with 6 kilometers of beach and an area of 7,130,000 m2.
Several luxury hotels, three 18-hole golf courses, a marina, and the Marjane chain shopping center, Marché Saïdia.
A modern Medina has been built with dozens of shops and a large number of bars and restaurants.
Throughout the area close to Algeria, it is common to find sellers of smuggled gasoline. Distrust, it may be of poor quality.
Following the route inland:
Town 20 km from Saïdia, in the Muluya valley at the foot of the mountains of Beni Hassen, capital of the province. It is not a tourist town, but the center of the Trifa region, a very dynamic agricultural area with greenhouse crops.
In this city are produced fruits and vegetables, especially oranges.
Near this city, it is possible to climb the mountains of Beni Snassen and visit Tafoughalt, the most important city in the region, which hosts the Moussem Ouled El Bachir in July.
There are also the Zegral gorges, the cave of the camel, and the cave of the dove discovered in 1908. Inside important remains of the Paleolithic, 80,000 years BC has been found.
Special mention to OUJDA 90 km away, regional tourist capital and commercial, administrative and university center.
Continuing west on the Mediterranean road, you can visit the natural park of the mouth of Muluya, the Cabo de Agua, and the Restinga, and arrive at NADOR and MÉLILLA at 75 km.
What to do in Saidia
Relaxation on Saidia beach
With its 14km belt of fine sand hemming the limpid waters of the Mediterranean, it is easy to find your little corner of paradise on the vast expanses of sand of Saidia.
On the other hand, every summer, the beaches are stormed by Moroccan tourists residing abroad. To better enjoy the pleasures of the sea in peace, it is better to avoid the high season in July-August. Fortunately, we went to Saidia in September.
There are still several wild beaches that have escaped major real estate projects that are encroaching more and more on protected areas of the coast. You just have to venture outside the resorts to discover these little hidden treasures.
There is something for everyone. Motorized water activities include jetskiing, wakeboarding, waterskiing, or even banana boating. For lovers of the big blue, we offer sailing trips, sea cruises in a monohull or catamaran, fishing excursions, or even a sporty outing in a sea kayak or stand-up paddle.
Funny moment #1: Mike was more scared of parasailing than jumping out of a plane or bungee. The look on his face was priceless. Hanging from our parachute a few tens of meters from the water, we could admire the belt of golden sand that wraps around the coast.
Funny moment #2: Too much to share on social networks, almost all of our traveling companions suffered from severe seasickness. Those who didn't vomit all their guts then joined us for a delirious banana ride. Lesson learned: Smartphones on the boat are a no-no!
Introduction to Golf
Who says high standing seaside resort says golf. The Golf Med Saidia instructors were particularly patient and pedagogical with our group of apprentice golfers. Only Mike stood out with his perfect swings. You guessed it, what I particularly like about golf are the walks through kilometers of greenery dotted with bodies of water.
Our introduction to golf quickly turned into a kart slalom. Fun! For golf enthusiasts, the 18-hole course offers a remarkable variety of games, and professional tournaments are organized every year.
Bike ride on the corniche
The Saidia corniche, laid out over 6 km on the seafront, is a promenade area conducive to jogging and walking or cycling. You can rent bicycles everywhere along the corniche.
The cycle paths continue in the heart of the city meandering the shops and restaurants preferred by summer visitors and villagers.
Entertainment and dinner at the Marina
In the evening, everyone converges at the Marina, one of the largest in the entire Mediterranean. With its 800 mooring rings where yachts, sailboats, and catamarans are exhibited, it almost feels like being on the French Riviera.
The marina restaurants offer feasts of freshly caught fish and seafood. We feasted at the table of El Puerto.
Nightlife in Resorts
We won't lie to you. Resorts are not our cup of tea at all. Especially since in this kind of tourist complex, the entertainment is legendary kitsch. But if you're big fans of the Macarena, we won't judge you. It takes everything to make a world ;)
Discovering the hinterland of Saidia: the oriental region
It is around the seaside resort of Saidia that all the magic happens. To discover a sumptuous nature and soak up Moroccan culture, you have to get off the beaten track.
The wild beaches around Ras el Ma, the vertiginous cliffs of the Cap des 3 Fourches, the fauna and flora of the wetland at the mouth of the Moulouya, the cedar and oak forests of the Beni Snassen mountains, the gorges and caves of the Zegzel valley, the desert and the palm grove of Figuig, the souks of the picturesque village of Tafoughalt, are all reasons to leave the comfort of your resort in Saidia to discover the treasures of the Oriental region.