The City of Nador, Morocco

NadorRead all about what makes Nador an important city of Morocco. It’s strategic location has made it on of the richest cities in the country.

Nador is a wonderful city that lies in the northeastern part of Morocco in the Rif region. It is a port city on the Bhar Amezzyan lagoon. It is a major trading centre for fish, fruits and livestock. It is has a semi-motorway linking it to the Spanish city of Melilla. It has about 180,000 inhabitants and a major population uses Tarifit-Berber language.

Its nearness to the sea and the Spanish city of Melilla is a major catalyst for international trade. It had achieved disrepute as a center for smuggling but has now overcome the problem and has now become a point for incoming consumer goods from Europe.


Nador is believed to be founded by the Berber Civilization. It was later ruled by the Phoenicians, Romans, and the Arabs. The name of the city may have originated from the name ‘Has Nador’ a small settlement near the lagoon. It may even have originated from the Arabic word “nadar’ which means sight and that matches more as Nador is a strategic point of observation with Spain. It has been popular with most of the Moroccan kings, King Omar ibn Idriss II in particular and the Almoravide King Youssef ibn Tachfin.

What to do in Nador?

There economy of Nador is mainly dependent upon the fishery and agriculture industry. There are also substantial number of metallurgical, textile, and chemical industries here. But tourism has become a major part of the economy here. You will find many Moroccan expats coming to Nador to meet their relatives and visit their homeland.

The numbers are huge and it has given a great impetus to the tourism industry. There are not many beach side restaurants or picturesque ports or museums to attract the tourists. But it has several tourists from Europe who love visiting this city for its traditional Riffian feel.

However for the bird and wildlife enthusiasts this a great place. To the east of Morocco about 30 kms away is the village of Kariet Arkmane which has major freshwater and saline sites. Birds and insects of all types frequent these sites. Brightly colored grasshoppers, damselflies, sand spider are some insects found in the salt marsh of this area.

You would also find the great flamingo, black winged stilt, coot, great crested grebe and terns and gulls around this area. Further east you will find the plant community gradually cedes to another community. Where there were grass marram you can find them replaced by sea spurge and sea holly and large species like juniper and cistus.

This fine combination attracts interesting bird like dunlin, oystercatcher and Audouin’s gull. As you move even further along the coast from Ras el Ma a freshwater lagoon with remarkable sand spits 50 metres apart can be found. This is also a safe haven for birds like white stock, gray heron, little egret, redshank, black tailed godwit, spotted redshank (in summer) and kingfishers and black terns.

The nature lovers make a beeline to this area to see the amazing variety of birds in and around Nador. There is also a transmission site for long-wave and shortwave of Medi 1 Radio that broadcasts to all Maghreb countries. It is supposed to be among the tallest constructions in Africa.

There are few luxury and budget hotels to stay and you can also find several restaurants and café’s serving the tourists to the city. The government has issued guidelines to make the city look better as a perfect tourist spot. The city is small but comfortable and a very interesting place due to its perfect location.