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Tetouan

Tetouan is a rarely visited holiday destination in Morocco, but was once the ancient capital of northern Morocco and is now a significant city on the lower slopes of a fertile, orchard-filled valley surrounded by the jagged escarpments of the Rif mountains.

It has a vast UNESCO World Heritage listed medina and a cosmopolitan modern part, which together make Tetouan an interesting place to stop in between Tangier and Chefchaouen, yet it remains quite unspoilt by tourism.

Overview

The City

Tetouan (named after the Berber word for springs) has romantically been described as the ‘white dove’ by Arabic poets, the ‘daughter of Granada’ and ‘little Jerusalem’, reflecting the quality of light from the white-washed and tiled buildings and the influence of the many diverse cultures which have settled here over the centuries, most notably the Jewish and Moorish refugees fleeing 15th century Spain. Much of the fine architecture bears the hallmarks of the more recent Spanish administration.

Location

Tetouan is set in the lower slopes of the Rif mountains of the north of Morocco, roughly midway bewteen Tangier on the most northerly point of Morocco and Chefchaouen deep in the Rif.

It is accessed only by car and would normally only be visited en route to or from Chefchaouen and Tangier:

  • Chefchaouen, the beautiful and peaceful Rif mountain town around 1 hour south; and
  • Tangier, the northern most city in Morocco overlooking the Strait of Girbraltar around 1 hour north west.

Accommodation

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El Reducto

El Reducto

Rating

> Destinations > Tetouan

A delightful 5 bedroomed riad, once a Prime Minister's home, El Reducto underwent a two year restoration project to return it to its former glory in 2007. It has a very homely feel created by the friendly staff and attentive owners. It also houses a busy restaurant open all day.

Standard Double Guide Price:

£55 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.

Attractions

Things to do or see

In the City

The historic medina has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a maze of small thoroughfares bustling with modern day trading and quieter areas of pretty semi covered alleys.  Outside of the medina the city comes alive in the evenings as the local men play ludo and draughts by the square outside the Royal Palace, and everyone seems to take their evening stroll from there down to the Spanish church.

  • The historic medina, which includes a traditional open-air tannery and a labyrinthine souk offering the artefacts of jewellers, potters, leather workers and carpet weavers alongside spices, fish and local produce, together with second hand items.
  • The town centre, a pedestrianised thoroughfare leads to the main square where the atmosphere is more relaxed, a place to watch life passing by.


Beyond the City

  • The town of Chefchaouen is a stunningly pretty blue-walled town further into the Rif mountains, and offers a beautiful place to relax in the marginally cooler mountain air.
  • Close to the city are the Tetouan beaches of Martil and Mdiq, modern beach resorts that are popular with Moroccan tourists in the summer months but tend to be quiet at other times.
  • The city of Tangier is easy to reach by bus or car.

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