Guide to Safi, Morocco

A thriving industrial centre and port on the Atlantic, Safi is not the prettiest Moroccan town. If you enter the city along the common route, what you will see are giant phosphate plants, fertilizer factories and a vast grain silo marring the view of the seafront.

However, making a detour into the town itself you will discover a relaxed atmosphere, three-lined boulevards and whitewashed villas. The old Medina, walled and turreted by the Portuguese, is imposing and worth a visit. The beaches to the north have some of the finest waves in Morocco, making for impressive surf.

The other main draw in Safi is its famous industrial-artisan tradition. The town is Morocco’s main pottery export, in the form of bowls, pots, plates and roof tiles used in palaces and mosques. You can wander around the Colline des Potiers, the potters’ quarters, and see the traditional moulding, hand-painting and glazing process in action.

South of Safi, the coast and landscape is heavily industrialised and will be of little interest to tourists.