Opening Times
Mon-Thursday 9am-6pm
Friday 9am-5pm
Saturday 9am-2pm
Bank Holidays 10am-4pm

Tangier

 

Tangier used to be the start of most holidays in Morocco, being the main entry point for ferries arriving from Spain. But with budget air travel to the heart of Morocco, it is now less frequently explored. It is a vibrant city with a tremendous history, one of the oldest cities in North Africa and has seen a number of European powers come and go.

Tangier is an interesting city destination thanks to an eclectic mix of historic legacies and can be linked with other northerly destinations such as the beautiful mountain village of Chefchaouen to make an interesting longer holiday.

 

Overview

The City

Tangier sits in a remarkable setting spread over seven hills overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar on the extreme north west tip of Morocco. This makes it an important entry point for tourists entering the country from Spain (including train and car travellers from the UK).

The history of Tangier is complex, but suffice to say that it is fascinating and is more associated with the arts. Its most cosmopolitan period; around 1952, when immigrants accounted for almost half the population attracted famous writers such as Paul Bowles, William Burroughs, and Tennessee Williams to live here. Tangier was also a magnet for talented artists such as Henri Matisse and various celebrities.

Since Mohammed VI's rule began in 1999, the city has seen a massive facelift: the old port now only serves passengers with a marina for yachts and cruise ships, while industrial traffic uses a new commercial port outside the city, Tanger Mediterranée (Tangier Med), and renovation of public spaces and building has taken place including a new railway station and a beach promenade. The café life of the city that made it one of the stylish resorts of the Mediterranean in the past is still evident. A guide is recommended.

 

Location

Tangier is the northern most city in Morocco, positioned on the Atlantic coast on the rocks overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar and, on a clear day, the southern tip of Spain.

Its ferry terminal is an easy point of access into Morocco for those travelling through Spain and that, together with its international airport give visitors the easiest access to the northern reaches of Morocco which are otherwise time consuming to reach.

Tangier is connected to the national rail network and a good road network, but it is still a significant distance to other points of interest:

  • Tetouan and Chefchaouen, the Rif mountain towns around 1 and 2 hours' drive south east;
  • Meknes and Fez, the fascinating Imperial cities around 5 or 6 hours away; and
  • Rabat, the Imperial city on the Atlantic coast around 5 hours south west.

Accommodation

What are you looking for? Advanced Search

Dar Nilam

Rating

> Destinations > Tangier

Dar Nilam is a friendly large homely villa set in a garden with a pool in a peaceful position 2 km from the city. Its 5 rooms and suites offer both family friendly and romantic options.

Standard Double Guide Price:

£80 per night, B&B Information

Standard double room price for indication only. Prices may vary considerably by season and room. Special offer or discount for multiple nights may apply. Prices updated periodically and can be affected by exchange rate.

2** Classic Information

For details of classifications see Star Rating and Guide Price above.

Dar Jameel

Rating

> Destinations > Tangier

Dar Jameel is a remarkably light property with 8 bedrooms built on 4 floors, and offers an excellent quality of service. It enjoys a peaceful yet convenient location and offers tremendous views over the city and the Straits of Gilbraltar.

Standard Double Guide Price:

£60 per night, B&B Information

Standard double room price for indication only. Prices may vary considerably by season and room. Special offer or discount for multiple nights may apply. Prices updated periodically and can be affected by exchange rate.

3*** Boutique Information

For details of classifications see Star Rating and Guide Price above.

Attractions

Things to do or see

In the City

  • The principal site of interest, Dar El Makhazen, the old sultan's palace, set in lovely gardens, houses the a museum containing a significant collection of Moroccan arts and archaeological remains including some superb calligraphy, Roman mosaics and a fine collection of other craftswork.
  • The small, delightful medina with rambling streets, where the former home of Woolworths heiress, the legendary Barbara Sutton is located, has shed its sleazy image in recent years.
  • The American Legation museum, commemorating the relations between Morocco and the USA stemming from the period of the international zone in the first half of the 20thcentury, is a beautiful building containing some fascinating memorabilia.
  • From the kasbah some superb views may be enjoyed, including those painted by Matisse, in whose honour a trail has been laid.
  • The Tanjazz festival takes place annually in June.

Outside the City

  • Tetouan (Berber for “open your eyes”), a bustling large town over 300,000 inhabitants with a lively souk, is one hour's drive to the south. Enjoying a spectacular position in the Rif mountains, it is best known for its largely undiscovered medina, which is a World Heritage Site. The architecture of its “new” town displays a significant Spanish influence.
  • Chefchaouen, a very pretty little town of about 50,000 inhabitants in a spectacular setting in the Rif mountains about 2 hours' drive south of Tangier, is a ideal stopping off point en route to Fez or Meknes.
  • To the west the scenic Atlantic coast offers a range of opportunities including  visits to the attractive promontory of Cap Spartel, the photogenic Caves of Hercules with Neolithic remains, camel rides, the ruins of the Roman town of Cotta and a good but dangerous surf spot, all within about 10 miles.
  • Asilah, a delightful, peaceful coastal town with a good beach and attractive Portuguese fortifications just 50 minutes by train from Tangier.
  • Lixus, a short drive to the south of Asilah, is an important Roman site with a wonderful hilltop setting overlooking the estuary, saltpans and Larache.

Gallery