Safi lies on the Atlantic Ocean about 150 kilometers northwest of Marrakech and halfway between the two ocean ports of Casablanca and Agadir. The Portuguese occupied Safi in the early 16th century for about 30 years. During their rule of the city they built a citadel surrounding a military enclave, still intact today, called the Kechla and is located about 500 meters off the coast. It was used as a prison until 1990, but today it is open to visitors; with Safi being the capital of pottery in Morocco, local ceramic producers bring their finest traditional ceramics here for presentation and the displays show some of the best molded, glazed, imprinted and carved pottery in the country.
Safi is the perfect place to get a feel of a modern Moroccan industry.
Explore the major sardine processing port which has been functioning since the 16th century and see the phosphate export plants which contribute to the growth of the fishing industry.
The city is very interesting and the journey is a great one-day excursion and guarantees a relaxing day by the sea and a peaceful escape from Marrakech.
Places to visit & things to do:
The old medina in the center of the town: Here traces of history from when the Portuguese occupied Safi can still be found. The industrial-artisan area is shaped like a triangle, with its widest side facing the coast.
The pottery shops: Browse through a whole quarter of pottery shops. Enter through Bab Chaaba or the Gate of the Valley and be overwhelmed with the area’s heavily glazed green palace and mosque rooftops.
Dar Al Bahar: Is a fortress built by the Portuguese offers a fascinating panoramic view of the ocean and the medina market, and very worthy of a stop.
The Kechla: Not far from Dar El Bahar is the Portuguese citadel, originally a cathedral built by the Portuguese in 1519. Nearby is a mosque, 18th century garden and a national museum that houses traditional and modern ceramics from Safi, Fes and Meknes.
The Jewish synagogue: Located on Avenue Zerktouni.
Seafood: Before you leave Safi, it is a tradition for visitors to enjoy a mouth-watering seafood meal at one of the local restaurants.
Kasbah Hamidouch: This ancient fortified outpost is worth a quick stop on your way back to Marrakech.
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