After traveling to Egypt a couple of years ago, and falling head over heels, I started looking at Morocco as a travel destination. I don’t know if it was the proximity or just the dang camels, but these two countries somehow seemed connected to me. And thus, a wishlist spot is born!
Morocco is a country located in Northwest Africa (see, Egypt = north Africa, Morocco = north Africa…they are practically twins!) just across the Straight of Gibraltar from Spain. To the east is the Sahara Desert, to the south is Algeria and to the west is nothing but Atlantic Ocean. You can probably already tell, there are a lot of exciting things to discovering in these varying climates, but today’s post is going to highlight the northern port city of Tangier.
Depending on where you are coming from, there are a lot of different ways to arrive in Tangier. If coming from Europe, there are a few different ports in Spain offering ferry service, including Gibraltar, Tarifa and Algeciras. As always, you can also fly, drive, bus, boat or take a train into Tangier from almost anywhere. Basically, no excuses! Get there!
So, why Tangier? It is said to have beautiful beaches, an incredible (and turbulent!) history and some of the friendliest people. Lonely Planet listed Tangier on their list of Top 10 Beach Cities to Visit. Apparently, the new governor has cleaned the place up pretty nicely and even managed (apparently, it’s possible) to remove most of the “hustlers” from the city. Just the thought of strolling down the beach on the back of a camel is enough for me to head on over! I know that camels have a rep for being mean little suckers, but that look on their faces like they are always smiling just wins me over every time!
But, I digress…
Due to it’s fairly small size, Tangier can easily be seen wholly on foot. However, there are taxis around…if you dare! One thing that you would surely want to do while there is Rock the Kasbah! Oh, yeah, baby! The Sultanate Palace (also known as Dar el Makhzen) is now home to two museums that you can check out: The Museum of Moroccan Art and the Museum of Moroccan Antiquities. Back in its hay day though, it was the fortress that housed the Sultans of Morocco whenever they were traveling through. The last Sultan of Independent Morocco was exiled here when the French invaded.
Looking for some adventure? Head out to the Hercules Caves! Located just 14km from Tangier and only a 15 minute taxi ride, you can discover the supposed resting place of Hercules. I don’t know about you, but that’s pretty cool in my book!
It seems the best thing to do in Tangier is to just wander. There are refreshing cafes, vibrant souks and bustling medinas to get lost in and lots of great people watching to be had along the way. This laid back and colorful city seems like a great place to start your journey through Morocco.