Destinations Tangier

Tangier: City Overview

Tangier morocco

Tangier has drawn people to her gates for generations for its amazing history, gorgeous scenery, and the incredible blend of people.

Tangier is located in northwestern Morocco on the Maghreb coast which is at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar. This is where the Mediterranean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. Tangier is the capital of the Tanger-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region. It is also the capital of the Tangier-Assilah territory of Morocco. Many civilizations and cultures have been a part of its rich history dating back to the 5th-century BC.

Tangier is an exotic, exciting city with beautiful white buildings and pristine blue skies. Visit one of their wonderful cafés once frequented by many famous artists like Burroughs and Matisse. Spend a day at one of their beautiful beaches or visit the old quarter where you will be engulfed in rich history.

Visiting Tangier

You can book your flights to Tangier from Gatwick or other British cities and arrive at Tangier-Ibn Batouta Airport which is 7 miles outside the city. If you are visiting Madrid or Casablanca, there are many indirect flights that will bring you to their airport as well. As Spain is nearby, many people will arrive on a ferry from Tarifa that sets sail every two hours from 9:00 am to 10:00 pm. The ferry will bring you directly to Tangier so you can immediately start a wonderful holiday or vacation.

Places To Stay

Tangier offers a wide range of places to hang your hat from 5-star accommodations that have opened their doors to world famous people including Winston Churchill and Jack Kerouac. Or if you prefer less expensive accommodations, there are many small hotels, other hotels, and riads to choose from and they are all wonderful.

Riads and Retreats

Visitors from far and wide come to stay in peaceful, idyllic riads that are all around the city. Enjoy sitting on a rooftop terrace taking in incredible views or relax in their famous coffee shops that have been frequented by writers and poets for generations Tangier has been a retreat for some of the world’s most creative people including William S Burroughs, Henri Matisse, and Yves Saint-Laurent. You will experience peace, solitude, and inspiration while staying in this amazing city.

For great relaxation, head over to one of Tangier’s wonderful spas and melt your stress away!

Hammams

Hammams are as diverse as this ancient city with many old and new buildings and cultures. Many cultures and traditions have come and gone but the hammams will always be here. Immerse yourself in the real Morocco! The business district is home to some of the more modern hammams with exotic spa treatments. If you prefer, follow the winding streets of the walled city and discover more traditional hammams that are visited by the locals. Whichever you prefer, you will have a wonderful experience that will be remembered for years to come.

The Blending of Cultures in Tangier

Because Europe is to the north, Africa is to the south, the Mediterranean is to the east, and the Atlantic is to the west, Tangier is a melting pot of many cultures. This city has always been a gateway for many cultures and is ever so unique from anywhere else in Morocco.

Since the 5th-century, Tangier has been a gateway for many cultures from the Carthaginians colonizing settlements and many cultures from many continents leaving their own marks behind. Today, there is a wonderful blend of French, Spanish, and Portuguese that you will quickly discover as you roam around the city and discover the Moroccan Arabic dialect with a slight mix of Spanish. At least a quarter of the locals speak Amazigh while road signs are written in Arabic and French. English is perfectly understood in all the hotels and tourist areas.

Places To Go & Things To See:

Tangier is known for its light and atmosphere that has attracted artists for centuries and their influence is seen throughout the city. There are many wonderful galleries and exhibits displaying the works of many local talents.

The cafés play an important role in the city’s culture. Sit and relax enjoying a cup of mint tea or strong coffee and admire the paintings decorating the walls. It won’t take much to realize how many creative people have come to stay here like Tennessee Williams, Matisse, and Burroughs.

Restaurants

The restaurants in Tangier offer an amazing blend of Moroccan, European, and Mediterranean cuisine. Walk along the beachfront and find some of the best restaurants with exception dishes to enjoy while taking in the incredible views of the Strait of Gibraltar.

If you are in the centre of the city, you will discover so many excellent restaurants, cafés, and street vendors across the main plaza. Their menus provide fresh seafood as Tangier is a coastal city. Choose from lobsters, calamari, or flatfish or some other dish if your taste varies to something totally different. Also, Tangier is one of the very few places in Morocco where alcohol is served and readily consumed!

Shopping

If shopping is on your list, you will be amazed at how many markets and souks are waiting for you. The city offers a wonderful blend of old and new with the traditionally walled fortress of the Sultan, walled plaza, new business district, blend of cultures that any seasoned shopper will fall in love with.

Roaming around the city you will find traditional local shopping. The shopkeepers are warm and friendly and more than willing to help you out. They will offer teas and their array of foods, textiles, copper-wares, and fine handcrafts. You will be mesmerized by the vibrant, intricately woven Amazigh rugs. They will even make arrangements to ensure your items will have a safe trip home! You will have a wonderful day shopping and will love the welcoming and friendly environment along the way.

Family Outings

There are many things you and your family can do and have a great time. Just a few short miles outside the city is a wonderful resort that has an aqua park and theme park to delight your children. Your children will also love the many street performers throughout the city with their music and acrobatics. Camel riding is a very popular past time for tourists. There are many wonderful things to do in this exciting city.

Along with beautiful beaches, you can take boat trips and explore the local caves and islands. You can take scuba-diving lessons if you want to explore the Mediterranean sea below the surface! Bring your camera with you where ever you go and capture many wonderful memories for you and your family.

The Beaches

You couldn’t ask for a more incredible location than on the Strait of Gibraltar with sparkling waters of the Mediterranean to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the West. The main beach with beautiful sand is the most popular spot for locals to enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and playing soccer. Along the promenade, you will discover cafés, restaurants, and beach clubs to enjoy some food, snacks, something to drink, and just sit back.

If you would prefer to avoid crowds, travel a few miles west and discover the Plage de Sidi Kacem which is a wonderful place with French bistros, chaise lounges, and umbrellas in the sand! Visit the Caves of Hercules for a more natural setting that have amazing caves and a wonderful beach that is almost totally deserted.

Kitesurfing

The best beach for good winds is Plage Achakar, which is a gorgeous stretch of sand with strong winds that sweep along the coast and the water is great. This is the perfect place for intermediate kite surfers to ride the north-easterlies and freestyle or wave ride, you will have a great time!

A little further south, discover Briech which offers good winds all year round. Crowds are few and far between. They also have a designated launch area for your kite. Because Tangier is located on the north coast, the waves and tides from the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea are perfect for many water activities. There couldn’t possibly be a better place for watersports both inside and outside the city!

Tangier’s Cultural Festivals

When you visit this city, you will quickly discover how proud locals are of their heritage and culture. This couldn’t be more evident than the moussem celebrating Sidi Bouarakia, the valiant warrior who was very important in the history of this northern region of Morocco.

The nearby Moulay Bousselham celebrates Sidi Ahmed Ben Mansour during the months of May or June. In all Moroccan moussems, people celebrate with traditional songs, dance, and street entertainment. It’s wild and very exciting, so if you are in Tangier during these festivals, you will not regret it.

Tangier’s Musical Festivals:

Tangier’s annual jazz festival known as Tanjazz has been drawing visitors from far and wide with the top jazz artists from Morocco and from all over the world. Every September the festival runs for 4 days and if you love jazz, book your stay in Tangier during this time.

Tanjazz is an enormous open-air show with performers playing traditional jazz. Performers come from around the world to appear at the Tanjazz festival. Some artists have been performing here since the festival first started. With its artistic heritage and free spirit, this is the perfect place to have this event.

Visit The Wonderful Surroundings Outside The City

It is actually quite easy to just stay in the city for your holiday or vacation, but you will be missing out on so many wonderful adventures. You can drive or get on a tour and discover the incredible beauty of Morocco that encompasses Tangier.

You can travel on foot or rent a two or four-wheel vehicle. Along the coast, visit the historic Hercules Caves that are amazing! Travel south from the city to discover the Rif mountains. Once you have reached the northernmost range, you will have views that will take your breath away. You will have views across Tangier to the sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean and well beyond!

About The Hercules Caves

This is one of the most visited sites in all of Tangier. It is located 9-miles west of the city in Cape Spartel. It only costs 5 dirhams per person to enter the cave but if you want a guide it will be another 5 per person. There are many markings on the walls that are believed to have been made by the Phoenicians that consisted of a map of the area. There are two openings in the cave; one faces land and the other the Mediterranean. This cave is also near the summer palace of the King of Morocco so you might want to stop by and take a peek!

The cave is partially natural and partially made by man. The man-made areas were created by the Berber people who created stone wheels from the walls. It is also believed that the cave has no bottom and one end is a subterranean tunnel which well over 15-miles long.

Greek legend has it that Hercules lived in this cave, ergo it got its name. This was supposedly before gaining the golden apples from the Hesperides Garden. Roman legend believed he was on his way to the garden but the mountain was in the way. So, instead of climbing it, he used his supernatural strength and smashed through the mountain. This is how the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean connected. Also, this is what created the Strait of Gibraltar. Adding to the story, one part of the split mountain is Gibraltar and the other is Monte Hacho, maybe, and has since been referred to as the Pillars of Hercules.


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