Located on the Mediterranean coast of Morocco, Tetouan was historically the main connection between the country and Andalusia, and Spanish influences are evident in town today. About an hour southeast of Tangier in Morocco, Tetouan allows visitors to experience northern Morocco on a smaller, less frantic level than in the major port city. Ferries leave regularly to and from Spain.
Tetouan’s medina is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Though it is smaller than those of larger cities, Tetouan’s medina has been largely untouched, making it an authentic site. Guides can point out the Andalusian, Jewish and Berber sections of the medina, though wandering solo will unearth plenty of interesting experiences. The smaller scale of this medina means fewer opportunities to get dizzyingly lost, making the purchase of rugs and other goods less stressful.
Modern Morocco has come to Tetouan as well, most visibly on Mohammed V Avenue, a pedestrian-only road through the city’s center. Filled with people in the evenings, this thoroughfare features cafes, stores and street vendors and leads to the King’s Royal Palace. Visitors to this part of town will also find the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Moroccan Arts.
Tetouan has a stunning background of mountains, and the rolling hills around town provide excellent trekking terrain. An ancient kasbah overlooks the town from one such hill, and a large portion of the terrain is spotted with hiking and mountain biking trails.
Because of its Mediterranean location, Tetouan is a popular hub for beach vacations, with Martil Beach located just a few miles from the city center. Whether on the promenade or in the water, tourists can experience the sorts of beach activities common in Western culture.
Written by Brinda Gupta.
Photo by GflaiG.