The city of Assilah in Morocco, located on the Atlantic coast, some 50 km south of Tangier, is sometimes referred to as the pearl of Morocco. Built in the 15th century by Portuguese settlers, it is a great option for a short getaway… So follow the guide!
The major asset of this small town is undeniably its old town (or medina). Authentic and picturesque, it is located just by the ocean, whose waves crash at the foot of the surrounding ramparts. After a walk, you will appreciate the Portuguese architectural style implemented in the city by the 15th-century settlers.
Close-up interest points
One of the great advantages of a cultural stroll to discover Assilah is that you can find all the main points of interest within the medina.
After walking along the city walls to Bab Elhomar (picture above), the city’s main gate, visit Raissoni Palace, built in the early 20th century, is now the city’s cultural center. Former residence of local leaders, erected by Moulay Ahmed Raissouni, governor of the city, in order “to raise awareness among Europeans living in Tangiers who consider that Moroccans are still in the era of traditional clay constructions”. Renovated in 1998, the site is an architectural jewel made of marble, sculptures, and mosaics. Can’t be missed!
The Monassilah Art Gallery aims to confront the works of Moroccan and international artists in a thematic parallel. We discover the work of Mohammed El Wahhabi with whom you may be able to discuss on the spot, or Ahmed El Mourabite, artist of the Middle Atlas with works rich in oriental motifs, calligraphies and poetic delusions on various media. As for international artists, France and South America are highly privileged.
As for accommodation, as the city is not yet beset by mass tourism, it is possible to find quite charming riads at affordable prices, such as Riad Oasis d’Asilah, Riad Aicha, Riad del Cielo, or even the Berbari guest house. Comfort guaranteed as well as a change of scenery!
Nature and landscapes
Before heading to the most beautiful beach in the area, take the time to visit Borj Krikia, this land promontory above the ocean, which offers a breathtaking view of the ramparts, houses, and waves. This is the charm of the city, without a doubt.
Then, head to Paradise beach! Probably one of the most beautiful in all of Morocco, it is located 8 kilometers south of the city and accessible by car or taxi. Very rarely visited, it will be your haven of peace, in order to enjoy the sound of the waves in complete tranquility. Sportsmen will have everything they need to rent a surfboard and go and face the waves, or simply swim a few strokes, while landscape lovers will be able to explore the surroundings in search of magnificent viewpoints! If you feel nostalgic about your return, no worries, it’s normal…