Parks & beaches

The Parc de la Ligue Arabe offers respite from the hubbub of the city... without having to stray too far afield. A palm-fringed promenade runs through the park, the largest green space in Casablanca, bordered by café terraces on which visitors can kick back and relax. Strollers can feast their eyes on the thickets of vivid flowers, rare tree species and a pink-water-lily pond that adorn the park. On the northwest edge of the park stands the Sacré-Coeur Cathedral, a superb architectural feat that was built in 1930.

The Âïn-Diab seaside resort, located in a posh suburb of western Casablanca, boasts a fine-sand, landscaped beach. Ringed by the villas, restaurants and hotels that line the coast and enliven the Boulevard de la Corniche, this is a very popular destination. If you're unable to find a spot on the public beach, clubs such as Miami Plage offer access to the beach, pools with water slides, parasols and sports equipment-for a fee.

The Marabout (shrine) of Sidi Abd Er-Rahman is located a few kilometres from the beaches of Âïn-Diab. Pilgrims flock to the sanctuary, which is perched on a promontory that can only be reached at low tide. Non-Muslims are invited to contemplate the wave-washed shrine from afar, believed to help people suffering from psychological or nervous disorders.