To offer yourself a small excursion would be only for the pleasure of discovering picturesque sites in the north of Morocco such as Asilah, a small fishing port at the edge of the Atlantic, Chaouen, a charming place with the mountain sides of Rif, and without forgetting Tangier: the white city.
On the other hand, if you want to cross an arm of the sea and to put the foot on another continent, Gibraltar, this portion of England failed in the Mediterranean , is only two hours of ferry from Tangier.
Asilah, located at 45 km in the south of Tangier, on the Atlantic coast, is a postcard port with an imposing fort called : the Kasbah. The architecture of its walls and ramparts testifies the passage of the Portuguese who occupied it in 1471.
Then, they were the Spaniards. The city remained under Iberian rule a little less than two centuries before it became again Moroccan. At the beginning of the century, its famous Pasha Raïssouni built a Spanish-Moorish style palace within the Kasbah where artistic works are exposed presently.
Like the small Andalusian or Greek ports, Asilah is a proper place to taste fish and seafood in the small restaurants of the port. The fishing of the day is served on tables drawn up on the pavements and in the small gardens. Every summer time, particularly in August, the Cultural Festival of Asilah is organised and when many international writers, poets and artists meet.
In the streets of the Medina, the painted walls invite your attention to discover different types of artistic colours.
Chefchaouen or Chaouen, is situated at 120 km south-east of Tangier. The blue and white city with its crowned houses of red tiles is one the most charming cities of the north of Morocco. The traditional landscape is remained intact and the rural and urban world are combined harmoniously.
Founded into 1471, there in Chechaouen took refuge a number of morisques expelled from Spain. Their influence is manifested in the choice of the colours, manners, the patronyms, handicraft and the architecture of the city. Its architectural style is a coexistance of a typically Moroccan médina with its mosques, sanctuaries, studdedgates and paved lanes of rollers and a traditional spanish plaza with its arcades, tiled red roofs and banks decorated with zeliges around the fountain.
With its Kasbah recently restored and in its flowered gardens, you will taste one quiet moment under shade palm trees. In the shops and the souks of the Medina, people sell handicraft, carpets of local manufacture and polished stones coming from the surrounding hills to you. The pottery, the leather working and the work of the copper of this refined city are very famous.
At the septentrional point of Morocco where the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean join each other.
There are many international celebrities who were captivated by the beauty of its bay, the splendour of its Medina, and the brightness of its sun. To name but only a few:
Delacroix, Matisse, Tenesse Williams, Jean Jenet, William Buroughs, Paul Bowles, etc all found Tangier a suitable place for refuge and escape.
La légende attribue à Antée, fils de Neptune la fondation de la ville, à laquelle il donna le nom de Tingo. Depuis se la sont prise Phéniciens, Carthaginois, Romains, Arabes en l´an 682, Portugais en 1471, Espagnols et Anglais en 1661 qui l´abandonnèrent en vingt ans plus tard au sultan Moulay Ismael qui l´assiège.
The city was under international regime between 1923 and 1956.
Tangier acquired the reputation of spying and smuggling centre and attracted foreign capital due to political neutrality and commercial liberty at that time.
At the city centre, there is the place of France and the Pasteur boulevard where you can find cafés, banks, shops, travel agencies and restaurants. The terrace known for idleness offers a pleasant sight on the Medina, the port and the Spanish coast. The evening, citizens and visitors to join the place to enjoy themselves.
If you are in search of exotism, visit the Grand Socco located at The entry of the Medina and discover the smells of spices and traditional perfumes.
You can see the bazars from the street of the Siaghines (jewellers). This principal axis leads to the Small Socco, centre of the old city, surrounded by small cafés and old hotels and towards where converge streets and alleys coming from the high city and the Kasbah.
Perched on hill dominating the Medina, the Kasbah is a place of the election of the snake charmers. The Mechouar, its principal place holds the Dar El Makhzen palace rebuilt in 1740 by the sultan Moulay Ismael. Now that it has become the museum of Moroccan arts, it contains a very beautiful collection of true treasures such as: Korans, precious fabrics, objects carved in wood or metal, and ceramics, etc.
The museum of antiquities will enable you to discover The ancient history of Tangier. The American legation possesses works of great painters as well as old geographical cards, among which those of Leon the African. Lastly, in the Marshan district, secured bysplendid residences, you can visit the Forbes museum where are exposed military figurines reconstituing, the battle of Waterloo or the battle of the Three Kings (1578) which took place in the countryside of Ksar el Kebir, at hundred km. in the south of Tangier.
Tangier, a city with multiple faces, offers a person who can see with the eyes and mind a multitude of colours, witnesses of a glorious past and prestigious future. Tangier is a city where as described Delacroix "one tests a pleasure which one can extremely well wish to test only once in a life time."