Discovering Safi – Morocco's Coastal Gem for Luxury, Culture, and Natural Beauty

Discovering Safi – Morocco's Coastal Gem for Luxury, Culture, and Natural Beauty

· 23 min read

Nestled along Morocco's Atlantic coast, Safi is a city that seamlessly blends history, culture, and natural beauty. Known for its vibrant ceramics industry, ancient medina, and stunning coastal views, Safi offers a unique travel experience for those looking to explore off the beaten path. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore Safi's climate, attractions, and luxurious five-star hotels, providing everything you need to know for an unforgettable visit.

Chapter 1: The Climate of Safi


Safi enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, characterized by warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. This climate makes it an attractive destination for tourists year-round, with each season offering its own unique charm.

Summer (June to August)

Summer in Safi is warm and dry, with temperatures typically ranging from 25°C to 30°C (77°F to 86°F). The coastal location provides a refreshing breeze, making it comfortable even during the hottest months. This is the perfect time for beachgoers to enjoy the sun and sea, as well as for those interested in outdoor activities and exploring the city's historical sites.

Autumn (September to November)

Autumn brings slightly cooler temperatures, with highs between 22°C and 27°C (72°F to 81°F). This season is ideal for sightseeing and outdoor excursions, as the weather remains pleasant and the summer crowds have diminished. The city and its surroundings take on a beautiful golden hue, making it a picturesque time to visit.

Winter (December to February)

Winter in Safi is mild and wet, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F). While rain is more common during this season, it typically comes in short bursts, leaving plenty of dry and sunny days. This is an excellent time to explore the city's indoor attractions, such as museums and markets, or to enjoy the coastal scenery in a more tranquil setting.

Spring (March to May)

Spring is a delightful season in Safi, with temperatures ranging from 18°C to 24°C (64°F to 75°F). The city's gardens and parks come alive with blooming flowers, and the weather is perfect for outdoor activities. The springtime vibrancy and mild climate make it one of the best times to visit Safi.

Chapter 2: Discovering the Beauty of Safi

Safi is a city rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. From its ancient medina to its beautiful beaches, there is no shortage of attractions to explore.

The Ancient Medina

The medina of Safi is a maze of narrow streets, bustling markets, and historical buildings. It is one of the city's most captivating areas, offering a glimpse into its rich past. As you wander through the medina, you'll find traditional Moroccan architecture, vibrant souks, and friendly locals. Key highlights include:

  • Bab Chaaba:
  • This impressive gate marks the entrance to the medina and is a great starting point for your exploration.
  • The Pottery District:
  • Safi is renowned for its ceramics, and a visit to the pottery district is a must. Here, you can watch artisans at work and purchase beautiful handcrafted pieces.
  • The Great Mosque:
  • Dating back to the 16th century, this mosque is an architectural gem and a significant religious site in the city.

The National Ceramics Museum


Located within the historic Kechla fortress, the National Ceramics Museum showcases Safi's rich pottery heritage. The museum houses an extensive collection of ceramics, from traditional designs to contemporary pieces. Visitors can learn about the history and techniques of Safi's pottery industry and appreciate the artistry involved in creating these beautiful works.

The Kechla Fortress

The Kechla Fortress, also known as Dar el Bahar, is a prominent landmark in Safi. Built in the 16th century by the Portuguese, it offers panoramic views of the city and the Atlantic Ocean. The fortress is home to the National Ceramics Museum and provides a fascinating glimpse into Safi's history. Climbing to the top of the fortress walls offers a spectacular vantage point for photography enthusiasts.

The Coastal Corniche


Safi's coastal corniche is a beautiful promenade that stretches along the Atlantic coast. It is the perfect place for a leisurely stroll, offering stunning views of the ocean and the city. The corniche is lined with cafes and restaurants, making it a great spot to relax with a coffee or enjoy a meal while taking in the scenery. At sunset, the corniche becomes a magical place, with the sky painted in vibrant hues of orange and pink.

The Cathedral of Portuguese Remains


A unique and intriguing site, the Cathedral of Portuguese Remains is a testament to Safi's colonial history. This former cathedral was built by the Portuguese in the early 16th century and now stands as a fascinating ruin. The structure's Gothic architecture and weathered stone walls offer a striking contrast to the surrounding cityscape. It is a poignant reminder of Safi's diverse cultural heritage.

Chapter 3: Experiencing the Culture of Safi

Safi's culture is a rich tapestry woven from its diverse history, vibrant arts scene, and culinary delights. Engaging with the local culture is an essential part of any visit to this enchanting city.

Traditional Crafts

Safi is renowned for its traditional crafts, particularly its ceramics. The city's pottery district is a hub of activity, where skilled artisans create beautiful handcrafted pieces using techniques passed down through generations. Visitors can watch these artisans at work, learn about the pottery-making process, and purchase unique ceramics as souvenirs. In addition to ceramics, Safi is also known for its intricate embroidery and textile work, which can be found in local markets and shops.

Culinary Delights

Moroccan cuisine is celebrated for its bold flavors and aromatic spices, and Safi is no exception. The city's coastal location means that seafood is a staple, with dishes such as grilled sardines, seafood tagine, and fish couscous being popular choices. Safi's markets and restaurants offer a diverse array of culinary delights, from traditional Moroccan dishes to contemporary fusion cuisine.

Recommended Restaurants:

  • Le Riad du Pecheur: Located in a charming riad, this restaurant is known for its fresh seafood and traditional Moroccan dishes. The ambiance is cozy and inviting, making it a great place for a leisurely meal.
  • La Belle Vue: As the name suggests, this restaurant offers stunning views of the ocean. The menu features a mix of Moroccan and international dishes, with an emphasis on fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
  • Chez Hosni: A local favorite, Chez Hosni serves up delicious Moroccan cuisine in a relaxed, informal setting. The grilled fish and seafood tagines are highly recommended.

Festivals and Celebrations

Safi's cultural calendar is filled with festivals and celebrations that offer a glimpse into the local way of life. One of the most significant events is the Moussem of Moulay Abdellah Amghar, a religious festival that honors the city's patron saint. The festival includes processions, music, dance, and communal meals, providing a vibrant and immersive cultural experience. Additionally, the Safi Festival, held in the summer, features concerts, art exhibitions, and sporting events, drawing visitors from across the region.

Music and Dance

Music and dance are integral parts of Safi's cultural fabric. The city has a rich tradition of Gnawa music, characterized by its rhythmic drumming and soulful melodies. Visitors can enjoy live performances at local festivals and cultural events. Traditional dances, often performed in colorful costumes, are a vibrant expression of the city's heritage.

Art and Craftsmanship

Safi is home to many skilled artisans who create beautiful handicrafts, from intricate jewelry to handwoven textiles. The city's markets and shops offer a variety of souvenirs, including pottery, carpets, and leather goods. These handcrafted items make for unique and meaningful mementos of your visit.

Chapter 4: Accommodations in Safi

Safi boasts a range of accommodations to suit various budgets and preferences, from luxurious five-star hotels to charming guesthouses. Here are some of the top-classified hotels that offer comfort, convenience, and a touch of Moroccan hospitality.

Hotel Farah Safi

Hotel Farah Safi is a luxurious five-star hotel located in the heart of the city. It offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and provides a perfect blend of modern comfort and traditional Moroccan charm. The hotel features elegantly decorated rooms and suites, an outdoor pool, a spa, and multiple dining options.


  • Outdoor pool with ocean views
  • Spa and wellness center
  • Fitness center
  • On-site restaurants offering a variety of cuisines
  • Conference and event facilities

Golden Tulip Farah Safi

The Golden Tulip Farah Safi is another excellent five-star option, known for its luxurious amenities and exceptional service. The hotel boasts spacious rooms with modern furnishings, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and several dining options. Guests can enjoy easy access to the beach and the city's attractions.


  • Outdoor pool
  • Fitness center
  • On-site restaurants and bars
  • Business center and meeting facilities
  • Proximity to the beach and city center

Hotel Atlantique Panorama

Hotel Atlantique Panorama is a stylish and contemporary hotel that offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. The hotel features comfortable rooms with modern amenities, an outdoor pool, a spa, and a rooftop terrace. Guests can relax in the tranquil surroundings and enjoy the hotel's excellent dining options.


  • Outdoor pool
  • Spa and wellness treatments
  • Rooftop terrace with panoramic views
  • On-site restaurant serving international and Moroccan cuisine
  • Concierge services

Ryad Mogador Safi

Ryad Mogador Safi is a charming hotel that combines traditional Moroccan architecture with modern comforts. The hotel offers elegantly decorated rooms, an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and a restaurant serving delicious local dishes. The hotel's central location makes it an ideal base for exploring Safi's attractions.


  • Outdoor pool
  • Fitness center
  • On-site restaurant with local cuisine
  • Traditional Moroccan decor
  • Central location

Riad Le Cheval Blanc

Riad Le Cheval Blanc is a luxurious boutique hotel set in a beautifully restored traditional Moroccan riad. The hotel features stylish rooms with intricate Moroccan decor, a rooftop terrace with stunning views, and a restaurant that serves exquisite Moroccan cuisine. The friendly staff and warm ambiance create a welcoming atmosphere, making guests feel at home.


  • Rooftop terrace with sea views
  • Traditional Moroccan decor
  • On-site restaurant offering local dishes
  • Personalized service
  • Central location in the medina

Chapter 5: Outdoor Activities and Adventures

Safi's natural beauty and diverse landscapes provide a perfect backdrop for outdoor activities and adventures. Whether you're a thrill-seeker or prefer a more leisurely pace, there's something for everyone to enjoy.



Safi is renowned for its excellent surfing conditions, attracting surfers from around the world. The city's coastline offers a variety of surf spots suitable for all levels, from beginners to advanced surfers. One of the most famous spots is the Safi Point, known for its long right-hand waves. Surf schools and rental shops are available for those looking to take lessons or rent equipment.

Hiking and Trekking


The region surrounding Safi offers numerous hiking and trekking opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts. Trails wind through scenic landscapes, including coastal cliffs, rolling hills, and picturesque villages. Popular hiking routes include the trek to Cap Beddouza, which offers breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, and the scenic trails within the Doukkala-Abda region.



For adrenaline junkies, paragliding provides a thrilling experience with stunning views of Safi's coastline and countryside. Paragliding schools and experienced instructors are available to guide you through the process and ensure a safe and enjoyable flight. The sensation of soaring above the landscape is unforgettable and offers a unique perspective of the region.

Fishing and Boat Tours


Fishing enthusiasts can join local fishermen on their daily excursions or charter a boat for a deep-sea fishing adventure. The rich marine life in the waters around Safi makes it a rewarding experience for anglers of all skill levels. Boat tours are also available, offering a unique perspective of the coastline and the chance to discover hidden coves and secluded beaches.

Bird Watching and Wildlife Tours

Safi is a haven for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts. The region's diverse habitats attract a variety of bird species, including raptors, seabirds, and migratory birds. Guided wildlife tours are available, offering insights into the region's flora and fauna and opportunities to spot rare and endemic species. The nearby Oualidia lagoon is particularly renowned for its birdlife, making it a must-visit for nature lovers.

Chapter 6: Practical Information for Travelers

Before embarking on your journey to Safi, it's essential to be well-prepared. Here are some practical tips and information to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.

Getting There

Safi is accessible by road and rail. The city is well-connected to other major Moroccan cities, including Casablanca, Marrakech, and Essaouira. Buses and trains offer regular services to Safi, making it easy to reach the city. For those traveling by car, the coastal road provides a scenic route with beautiful views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Getting Around

Once in Safi, getting around is relatively easy. Taxis are readily available and offer a convenient way to navigate the city. For short distances, walking is a pleasant option, especially in the medina and along the corniche. Renting a car is recommended if you plan to explore the surrounding areas and take day trips.

Language and Communication

The official languages of Morocco are Arabic and Amazigh, but French is widely spoken and understood, particularly in tourist areas. Learning a few basic phrases in Arabic or French can enhance your travel experience and help you communicate with locals. English is also spoken in some tourist areas and hotels.

Currency and Banking

The Moroccan Dirham (MAD) is the official currency, and ATMs are available throughout the city. Major credit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants, and larger shops, but it's advisable to carry some cash for smaller purchases and transactions in markets. Currency exchange services are also available at banks and exchange offices.

Health and Safety

Safi is generally safe for tourists, but it's always wise to take standard precautions. Keep an eye on your belongings, avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas, and be cautious when exchanging money. Tap water is generally safe to drink in hotels and restaurants, but bottled water is widely available if you prefer.

Local Customs and Etiquette

Understanding and respecting local customs and etiquette can greatly enhance your travel experience in Safi. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Dress Modestly: While beach attire is acceptable at the beach, it's advisable to dress modestly when exploring the city and visiting cultural sites. This typically means covering shoulders and knees.
  • Greetings: A warm greeting is important in Moroccan culture. A handshake, accompanied by a friendly "Salam Alaikum" (peace be upon you), is a common way to greet people.
  • Photography: Always ask for permission before taking photographs of people, especially in markets and rural areas. Some locals may prefer not to be photographed.
  • Tipping: Tipping is customary in Morocco. In restaurants, a tip of around 10% of the bill is appreciated. For other services, such as taxi rides and hotel staff, a small tip is also customary.

Shopping and Souvenirs

Safi offers a variety of shopping opportunities, from bustling markets to boutique shops. Here are some recommended items to bring home as souvenirs:

  • Ceramics: Safi is famous for its pottery, and you can find beautiful hand-painted ceramics, including plates, bowls, and vases.
  • Textiles: Moroccan textiles, such as scarves, shawls, and tablecloths, are often made from high-quality materials and feature vibrant colors and patterns.
  • Jewelry: Handcrafted jewelry, including silver and beaded pieces, make for unique and memorable gifts.
  • Spices: Moroccan spices, such as saffron, cumin, and cinnamon, are aromatic and flavorful souvenirs that can be used in cooking back home.
  • Leather Goods: Morocco is known for its high-quality leather products, including bags, shoes, and belts.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Safi is during the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) months. During these periods, the weather is mild and pleasant, making it ideal for outdoor activities and sightseeing. Summer is also a popular time to visit, especially for beach lovers, but it can get quite hot. Winter, while mild, may bring occasional rain, but it's a great time to experience the city with fewer tourists.

Travel Documents

Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned departure date. Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa to enter Morocco. Check the visa requirements well in advance of your trip and apply if necessary.

Health Precautions

No special vaccinations are required for travel to Morocco, but it's always a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before your trip. Make sure you have adequate travel insurance that covers medical expenses and emergencies. Bring any necessary medications with you, as some prescription medications may not be readily available in Morocco.

Packing Essentials

When packing for your trip to Safi, consider the season and planned activities. Here are some essentials to include:

  • Lightweight clothing: For the warm weather, pack breathable, light-colored clothing. Don't forget a hat and sunglasses to protect against the sun.
  • Comfortable shoes: You'll likely be doing a lot of walking, so bring comfortable shoes suitable for both city exploration and outdoor activities.
  • Swimwear: If you plan to visit the beaches, be sure to pack swimwear and a beach towel.
  • Layered clothing: Evenings can be cooler, so bring a light jacket or sweater.
  • Travel adapter: Morocco uses the European standard 220V, 50Hz power supply with two round-pin plug sockets. Bring a travel adapter if your devices use a different plug type.

Local Transportation

Public transportation options in Safi include buses and taxis. For greater flexibility, consider renting a car, especially if you plan to explore the surrounding region. Driving in Morocco is relatively straightforward, but be prepared for varying road conditions and local driving habits.

Emergency Contacts

Familiarize yourself with the local emergency contact numbers:

  • Police: 19 (or 112 from a mobile phone)
  • Ambulance: 15
  • Fire: 15

Keep the contact information of your country's embassy or consulate in Morocco handy in case of emergencies.


Safi is a captivating destination that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and modern comforts. From its stunning beaches and scenic landscapes to its vibrant markets and historical landmarks, the city has something to enchant every traveler. Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or a cultural immersion, Safi promises an unforgettable experience. So pack your bags and get ready to explore this hidden gem on Morocco's Atlantic coast. Your adventure in Safi awaits!

In conclusion, Safi is not just a city to visit, but an experience to be cherished. Its harmonious blend of natural splendor, cultural depth, and historical intrigue makes it a destination like no other. Whether you are meandering through its bustling markets, savoring its delectable cuisine, or simply soaking up the sun on its pristine beaches, every moment in Safi is bound to leave a lasting impression. So, embark on this journey and discover the myriad of delights that this Moroccan jewel has to offer. Your adventure in Safi is not just a trip; it's a memory in the making.

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Alex Rivera

About Alex Rivera

Alex is a seasoned traveler with a knack for uncovering hidden gems and sharing practical tips for navigating the globe. With a passion for both adventure and cultural immersion, Alex's articles promise to guide readers through unforgettable journeys and insights into the soul of destinations worldwide.

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