EL JADIDA IN MOROCCO, THE ANCIENT MAZAGAN


visit El Jadida in Morocco | El Jadida in Morocco, although rather unknown, is a city that deserves to be visited. Located on the Atlantic coast, a hundred kilometers from Casablanca, visiting El Jadida can be a step in a trip to Morocco to enjoy the beach and the charm of this small town. Accessible by train, so it is very easy to get there to visit El Jadida.

After a brief review of the history of the city initially called Mazagan, I give you some ideas for visits to El Jadida and share with you some photos of the city taken during my visit in 2013! After reading this post on El Jadida in Morocco, you should have all the useful practical information and you should know what to do in El Jadida.

 

History Of Mazagan, City Founded By The Portuguese

The Carthaginians already occupied the geographic location of present-day El Jadida since the 5th century BC.

It was at the very beginning of the 16th century that the Portuguese founded the city. At the time called Mazagan, a military fortress was built and a little later, a larger town surrounded by walls. These are the walls that can be seen today in El Jadida.

History Of Mazagan, City Founded By The Portuguese

The Portuguese city of El Jadida in Morocco is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mazagan resisted the numerous assaults of the Moroccans and it was not until the end of the 18th century that the city fell under the control of Morocco. Before their departure, the Portuguese demolished / mined the city to the point that it was renamed El Mehdoûma ( La Ruinée ) by Morocco.

A few decades later (beginning of the 19th century), the city was restored and it was at this time that it was given its current name, El Jadida, which means “ The New ”.

 

Visit El Jadida In Morocco And Its Portuguese City

Although the historic center of El Jadida is rather small, it is beautiful. The various points of interest of the city are grouped around what was the Portuguese city, historic heart of the city. If you plan to visit El Jadida during your trip to Morocco, this is the first place to go!

Take the time to lose yourself in the alleys of the Portuguese city which looks like being mistaken there in a medina. You can also walk on the ramparts of the city and enjoy a magnificent view of the rooftops of the Portuguese city and the ocean.

Do not miss the Portuguese cistern of El Jadida either, an underground water reserve built during the construction of the Portuguese fortress at the beginning of the 16th century.

You can also walk on a dike near the old town of El Jadida. It is a bit of a meeting place for locals, especially at the end of the day, to enjoy the magical colors of the sunset.

Visit El Jadida In Morocco And Its Portuguese City

You will also be able to observe there (rather in the morning) the fishermen who go to sea. They use boats that strongly resemble those of Essaouira. Unlike the color, here in El Jadida, they are red!

visit el jadida in morocco

Getting to El Jadida in Morocco

As indicated at the beginning of this post, a hundred kilometers separate El Jadida from Casablanca.

Getting to El Jadida in Morocco

If you are traveling to Casablanca, be aware that you can get to El Jadida by train. Departure from Casa Voyageurs station. 1h20 journey approximately. Several departures per day. 35 Dh per person in second class, 50 Dh in first class. Get train tickets online here.

If your trip is longer, renting a car for your trip to Morocco is often the most comfortable solution. Indeed, some regions/cities of Morocco are not served by train. To reach El Jadida by car from Casablanca, the journey is very simple. Indeed, a highway connects these 2 cities. You just have to get out of the chaos of Casablanca 😉 For more information on driving in Morocco or car rental, I recommend my post entitled road trip in Morocco.

Where To Sleep In El Jadida?

As you will have understood, the ideal place to sleep in El Jadida is the old Portuguese town. It is the most charming and pleasant place to stay in El Jadida.

I know two addresses in the old town:

  • if you are looking for a little dar , simple but clean and your accommodation budget is limited, go to Dar El Jadida  (more information here)  in the heart of the Portuguese city. The rooms are basic but very clean and the welcome is true to the reputation of Moroccan hospitality! Price of around 25 euros per night in a double room with breakfast. Hard to beat 🙂
  • if you want a more upscale, more refined address, only one place to remember: the Iglesia in the Portuguese city as well. This hotel occupies a former Spanish church in the Portuguese city. A truly charming and very refined place. Count 120 euros per night in a double room. With such charm, in a city like Fez or Marrakech, it would take more than 200 euros per night … If you have the budget, go for it! It is the nugget of El Jadida.

 

Relax In El Jadida

Beyond the historic center of El Jadida, this small town is ideal for resting and relaxing for a few days by the sea. A bit like the town of Asilah which I told you about a while ago on the blog.

Unlike a tourist city like Essaouira, El Jadida remains very authentic and there are far fewer tourists there than in Essaouira.

Although located at the level of the Atlantic Ocean, it is much less exposed to the wind than Essaouira and we can therefore enjoy the beach. When I was in El Jadida in September, there were very few people in the city but also on the beach! It was very nice and the beach is quite long.

Finally, as with most coastal towns in Morocco, it is possible to eat many varieties of fish, freshly caught. There is also an excellent market near the historic center of El Jadida. You can buy fresh fish there to grill. A delight!

The city is not huge, I recommend that you stay there for 2 or 3 days. This is enough to discover and visit El Jadida and enjoy the beach and the peace of this charming little town.



 

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