The Region of Tangier-Tetouan is known for its strategic geographical location and is considered as a Jet-Set destination.
It is one of the most frequented bathing regions of the kingdom, with an area of 11 570 km² that covers 1.6% of the total surface of the country with a population of 2.5 million inhabitants.
It is located at the north-western tip of Morocco, in the Rif mountain range, only 14 kilometers from the European continent.
The area is bathed by the Mediterranean Sea to the east and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. It is bordered to the south by the regions of Rabat-Sale-Kenitra and Fes-Meknes and to the east by the region of the oriental.
It is one of the oldest regions of the Mediterranean with the most attractive landscapes and historical monuments, but also has one of the largest ports in the Mediterranean (Tangiers Med) and an international airport.
The Tangier-Tetouan region is at the top of the recipient regions of Foreign Direct Investment in Morocco after Casablanca.
Want to discover Tangier? There are a thousand ways to do it. Tangier has long served as a cultural capital for a number of writers and artists from all around the world, whom were attracted by its climate, landscapes and quaintness, it has also attracted real estate businessmen mainly from the Rif and elsewhere.
Located on the Strait of Gibraltar, which separates Africa from Europe, at about 15 km from the Spanish coast, and on the outskirts of the mountain range of the Rif, it offers an exceptional view on the other side.
Tangier has long been an important strategic place. With its 2,500 years of existence, it has a population of 974,000 inhabitants today, and it is one of the oldest cities in North Africa.
Its Medina, Kasbah, bazaars and souks are among the liveliest in the country, and its beaches range at about 7 km.
In the last century, Tanger became one of the places of predilection of the international jet set.
A major seaside resort, Tangier has a variety of hotels and tourist infrastructures, and a Medina that attracts a huge number of visitors.
At the entrance of the Medina, the big Socco is the most frequented place of the city. The square is bordered by the former residence of the Mendoub (representative of the Sultan) and its park. The Mendoubia park is a splendor with its giant banyan fig tree and its many centenary dragon trees. You can also see the Kasbah Museum, Cinémathèque of Tanger and the “Grottes d'Hercule”.
Tangier has long been a land that welcomed many artists and intellectuals.
Moroccan economic center after Casablanca, Tangier's industrial activity is diversified: textile, chemical, mechanical, metallurgical and naval industries. The infrastructure of the city of the Strait is important: a port managing the flow of goods and passengers (more than one million passengers per year) with a marina and a fishing port.
This fortified citadel dating from the twelfth century is built inside the Medina, on the heights of Tangier, overlooking the rest of the city. Inside, there are prestigious residences that have preserved all their glory. Dar el Makhzen, a former sultan’s palace dating from 1648, today houses a museum of Moroccan crafts and antiquities. The Kasbah Mosque has an unusual octagonal minaret with coloured tiles which present form dates from the 19th century. With its quiet streets and friendly inhabitants, the Kasbah has a special character and its walls and gates command stunning views over the strait, the bay and the city.
The link between the Medina and the Ville Nouvelle (New Town) is the Grand Socco Square, which was renamed ‘Place du 9 Avril 1947’ in memory of the speech that Mohammed V made in support of the independence. The square comes alive in the evenings, when vendors spread out their wares on the ground and a colourful market takes place just above the square. The minaret of the Sidi Bou Abib Mosque (1917), decorated with polychrome tiles, overlooks the square from the southwest.
The Café Hafa opened in 1920, and neither the furniture nor the décor seem to have changed since then. Located on the edge of a cliff facing the Atlantic Ocean, it offers a breathtaking view of the strait. An ideal place for mint tea, coffee or a smoke, lots of writers and singers have come here: William Burroughs, Sean Connery, Paul Bowles, The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Place de France & Place de Faro
Place de France is a major meeting place for the inhabitants of Tangier. The Café de Paris, which opened in 1920, was the first establishment to open outside the Medina. Once Tangier’s most fashionable café, Paul Bowles, Tennessee Williams and Jean Genet were among its regular customers, as well as foreign diplomats. Today it remains a hub of city life.
Very near Place de France is Place de Faro (named after the Portuguese town twinned with Tangier in 1984), complete with cannons. It offers a view of the Medina and of ferry traffic in the harbour and the strait of Gibraltar.
We find ‘Les Grottes d’Hercules’ (Hercules Caves) about 10 km (6miles) West of Tangier. At the place known as Achakar, the sea has carved impressive caves out of the cliff. According to legend, Hercules slept here before performing one of his 12 labours. The entrance to the caves, facing onto the sea, is a cleft shaped resembling the map of Africa.
Further south, beneath the level of the caves, are ‘the Ruins of Cotta’ (1st century BC to 3rd AD). With vats for salting fish, making garum and producing purple dye, this was one of the largest industrial centres of the Punic-Mauritanian period.
Close to Hercules Caves, on the most north-westerly point of Africa, stands a lighthouse at the cape. It was built in 1864 on Cape Spartel to prevent the many shipwrecks that occurred in the rough waters of the ocean. From beneath the lighthouse, there is a breathtaking view where the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet. On clear days you can see the strait and coast of Spain from Cape Trafalgar to the rock of Gibraltar.
The bay of Tangier is a grand crescent that stretches for almost 4km (2.5miles). Due to the closeness to the city and the pollution, the beaches on the East and Westside of Tangier are better fit for swimming and sunbathing. On the Westside we find beautiful beaches between Cape Spartel and Hercules Caves and East to Tangier there are the coves of Cap Malabata, the beaches at Sidi Khankroucht and Ksar es-Seghir. The beach at Mrissa, ‘plage des Amiraux’ and Wadi Aliane are also worthwhile.