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46 kilometers south of Tangier and 110 kilometers from Ceuta lies a small Moroccan City that has become one of the last tourist discoveries on the north coast of Morocco : Asilah , the display of white houses that contrast with the blue of the Atlantic and with streets that invite you to get lost in a world of freshness, color and simply delicious shade.
Like many other enclaves of the Moroccan coast, Asilah was visited by Greeks and Phoenicians who left evidence of their presence in the form of different sites such as Zilil, which dates from the second century BC. Later, the place was taken by the Carthaginians and in the 1st century BC was occupied by the Roman Empire , who named it Colonia Augusti Iulia Constantia Zilil (Augusta Zilil).
For centuries, the Romans took over the city until it was conquered again by the Arabs in 712, giving rise to a golden age in which Asilah allowed itself to be enveloped by the charm for which it is famous today. In turn, its strategic position in the north of Morocco made it a strategic point for Spanish, Arab merchants and Portuguese.
The Saharan gold fever led Portugal to take the city in 1471 , to abandon it almost a century later. During this rule, the Portuguese raised walls that fortified Asilah and now become one of its major tourist attractions.
After several attempts at reconquest, Spain appropriated the area after its alliances with Portugal, and made it part of the Spanish Protectorate until 1956 despite the constant assaults of various Moroccan dynasties for years.
Today, Asilah unfolds all its historical legacy converted into one of the most picturesque towns in Morocco.
The medina of Asilah is characterized by the luminosity of its sky, the constant sound of the sea in its streets and the salinity of its environment. The streets are clean and silent, its street lighting is the original “Lantern of Asilah” and its paving is the work of local artists.
The houses are white, adorned with mural paintings by the artists who visit it. Some are refurbished with beautiful Andalusian design, blending white with indigo blue. The small mosques of Asilah, very clean, are completely painted white.
The walls that surround the old city were built by Alfonso V of Portugal in the 15th century. Three entrance doors open to the medina, which are called:
Inside the enclosure, we discover a labyrinth of alleys that run between houses whose whiteness is enhanced by the green or blue of the shutters and doors.
Entering through the Bab the Kasbah, you will run into the untainted white Grand Mosque, or the Kamra Tower, an icon of Asilah whose 50 meters structure is attached to the walls that whisper old wails. In front of it, the Hassan II Center, with its exhibitions and international events, becomes the cultural epicenter of a city that brims with color and creativity.
As we stroll through the Medina, we will also find the charming Ibn Khaldun Square, ideal to be captivated by small markets such as the Nashia or Les Amis bazaars, where everything is sold: from lanterns to Moroccan nuts and sweets. You can also get carried away by flavors that serve in the terraces, tearooms and restaurants. After a cool Moorish tea, nothing better than climbing one of the most famous sections of the old Portuguese wall: Borj Al Kamra, which offers some of the best views of the city and the presence of ancient canons in some sections that adjoin with the Atlantic .
It is a great place to visit in the Medina of Asilah. It is located in the Medina of Asilah.
The Cemetery and Mausoleum of Sidi Ahmed The Mansur is a good example. A calm place to the southwest of the Medina where lie the remains of this Saadian leader who reconquered the city after fighting in the Battle of the Three Kings, in 1578. A solemn visit to an ascent to the Caraquia viewpoint, from where you you can contemplate one of the best sunsets on the Moroccan coast caressing the remains of the walls.
The new city extends in grid, to the north of the medina, in front of the port, maintaining to this one like vital center of the population. Its main street, Avenue Mohamed V, gives access to the city from Tangier.
And beaches Do not worry, there are also beautiful strands of sand in front of the ocean near in Asilah and they are beautiful. To the north you will find a small beach next to the port of “Canyons Cove”, ideal to take a relaxing walk and sit down to watch the sunset. If you are looking for wider beaches, the Asilah beach extends to the village of Briech, located 10 kilometers away.
The Beach of the Caves , standing out among the most capricious relief of cliffs and rocks and 6 kilometers to the south of the city, is the most famous. The Sidi Mghait beach lies at the end of a network of unpaved roads rewarding those who come to seek the blue waters and golden sands in this place in Morocco.
Getting lost in Asilah and its charm will not take more than a day, so it can become the perfect getaway place through the tour of the magical north coast of Morocco or as an extension to visit nearby Tangier.
The city is also known for its delicious pastry and its fresh fish which you can buy immediately after it leaves the sea.
As a summer resort, its cultural activity coincides with summer, especially in July, celebrating the Cultural Festival, with conferences and exhibitions and other cultural events.
Participants are usually politicians, diplomats, artists, etc. Each year a guest country is invited to show its culture through conferences, art exhibitions, folk dances, etc.
It is typical of this festival that the walls of the whitewashed houses of the medina are artistically painted by the participating international artists.
Siroco Tours is property of the moroccan company "SOCIÉTE OCORIS TOURS" , S.A.R.L.
Identifiant Fiscal 18718452
Registre de COMMERCE 48001 CASABLANCA
Address: Nº 200 S.A.R Casablanca, Grand Casablanca;
Nº 31 Derb Ben Salem Talaa Kbira, Medina Fes, Fes - Morocco
+351 914 184 366
+55 113 280 9467
+212 696 337 892
+1 716 218 3861