The Portuguese originally gave the name ‘Casa Blanca’ to a small Berber village perched atop Anfa hill, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Modern Casablanca came into being in the early 20th century, when representatives of the French protectorate created an artificial port here.
Today, Casablanca is Morocco’s economic capital and its largest city, having a population of over four million. Its fame, largely based on the Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman film, contributes to the city being North Africa’s most frequently visited destination. Although Marrakesh is actually the country’s cultural capital, Casablanca is Morocco’s centre of style and wealth, and its port is one of the largest on the African continent.
Casablanca is situated on the Atlantic coast and has a busy harbor area, home to one of the biggest ports in Africa. Perched at the edge of the ocean is the Hassan II Mosque, the world’s largest mosque, boasting one of tallest minarets ever constructed. Nearby are some of the area’s loveliest beaches. In the center of the city, you’ll find most of the main attractions including the old Arab town (Old Medina) and Place Mohamed V, featuring fine examples of French colonial architecture.
Going south from Casablanca, you’ll come to Azemmour, situated in a picturesque spot on the banks of the Oum er-Rbia. The violet-colored bougainvillea and purple ramparts create a beautiful sight, and if you pay a small fee to the guardian of the ramparts, he’ll unlock the gate so you can walk along them. Continuing on in a southerly direction, you’ll find El Jadida, which boasts a notable Portuguese fortress and one of the Atlantic coast’s most beautiful beaches. The Church of the Assumption is here, as is the ‘Gate on the Sea’ and intact fortifications.
The beaches on the Atlantic coast, just outside the city, are some of the most beautiful in this part of the world. So, if sunbathing or water activities are what you’re looking for, Casablanca is an excellent choice.