Oujda is a city in the Oriental region in Morocco, located 10 miles or so west of Algeria. Apart from the medina and its many landmarks, there is not much else for tourists in the town itself, except for the bustling cafes and market stalls. The real deal is about 3.7 miles south, where you will find the Sidi Yahia Oasis. This is revered holy ground not just for Muslims and Jews, but also for Christians as the final resting place of John the Baptist. It can get very chaotic during August and September when hordes of pilgrims start arriving and choke up the entire city and the oasis for the annual festival. If you want to move around and see these sights, then you will need to rent a car in Oujda.
Despite its imposing size and million strong population, Oujda is more of a gateway for visitors heading to the Sidi Yahia Oasis rather than a huge tourist destination itself. Assuming you had the foresight to hire a car in Oujda, the Mausolée Sidi Yahya is just 10 minutes away to the south on Ave Moulay Hassan or Route Bouknadel. If you happen to be there on Friday, then you can also enjoy the souk or marketplace. Otherwise, you have the shrine with the mausoleum of Sidi Yahya Benyounes and other saints.
You might want to start with Dar Sebti, which is a restored palace and doubles these days as a Center for Music studies and as an event venue. Opposite Dar Sebti, there is a beautiful park with a grand entrance, and this is where you will find the tourist information office for the Oriental region. But unquestionably the biggest attraction in the city is the Medina, which is at the heart of the city's market stalls and cafes. It is walled on three sides and you can enter through the main gate called Bab el Ouahab set in the old city walls. The souk at these gates is held every Thursday. The Sidi Maafa forest is like a huge park that provides fresh air for the city's heavy population.
One of the most popular day-trips from Oujda is the seaside resort of Saidia, the blue pearl of Morocco where you can enjoy the splendor of the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea and nearly 9 miles of sandy beach. Saidia is less than an hour away on the N2 and P6000 parallel to the Algerian border, unless you stop along the way at towns like Ahfir. If you have time, you can take a coastal drive from Saidia to Ras Kebdana past the Moulouya National Park. You might also want to take a trip to Tgafaït near Jerada, where you will find another green oasis with gardens and waterfalls. Another possible visit-worthy destination is Tafoughalt, a hill-station near Berkane.
There are nine agencies offering a car rental in Oujda for travelers arriving at Oujda Les Angades Airport (OUD). There is one agency that is physically located in the city, while the rest are mostly in Berkane and will provide pickups and drop-offs at the airport and anywhere in Oujda. In order to find the best deal, you will have to compare all the agencies, pick the deal you like and book your car right now so that it can be ready and waiting for you when you arrive for your visit to Oujda.
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