Everyone becomes a photographer when traveling, and Morocco is full of sublime landscapes just waiting to be captured. The south of the country is most popular with travelers who want a complete change of scenery. Beautiful sand dunes stretching to the horizon, kasbahs, remnants of antiquity and living proof of the excellence of Berber architecture are all more reasons to choose to escape to the ochre side of the country. The North is a region of incredible beauty, with towns like Chefchaouen, a blue gem named by Condé Nast Traveler in 2016 as the sixth most beautiful city in the world, and Asilah, a photographers’ paradise classified as a “national heritage site.”
After spending most of my vacation in Northern Morocco, I was able to discover five of the most incredible cities! Have you not yet booked your destination? Follow the five-step itinerary that will take you from Asilah to Al-Husseima.
Asila is about forty kilometers from Tangier and is one of the most authentic places in northern Morocco. Its mild climate, Western and Arab-Andalusian architectural heritage attract artists from all over the world.
Quiet and tranquil for some, magical and majestic for others, Asilah has always had a unique appeal for artists. Narrow streets, whitewashed houses, blue doors and small coral stores have contributed greatly to the city’s success.
In 1978, two Moroccan artists, Mohammed Benaissa and Mohammed Melehi, helped transform the city from a pile of ruins hidden behind old walls into an open-air gallery. Thus, during the Asilah Cultural Mussem, the city is decorated with works by renowned artists such as Richard Dahn, Sylvia Hussman, and others. Proceeds from this festival helped fund the redevelopment plan for Asilah, which won the Aga Khan Prize for Architecture in 1989.
Tangier, Bride of the North
Because of its beauty and international status, the mysterious city of Tangier has been a haven for many personalities since the 1920s. Among those who succumbed to the city’s allure was Walter B. Harris, the famous writer and correspondent of the Times of London. In fact, he settled in Tangier around 1900 and built one of the city’s architectural gems, the Villa Josephine.
Not to be missed in Tangier: The Caves of Hercules, natural caves located about ten kilometers from Tangier. The Dar el-Mahzen Palace, the former residence of the city’s pashas, and the Museum of Mediterranean Cultures at the Casbah, a major heritage and part of the collective memory of the Mediterranean
Tetouan, the Pearl of the Reef
Tetouan is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities of the Maghreb. Its medina has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you can buy everything imaginable, from Spanish army pants to old newspapers, fresh fish and wooden doors… But don’t settle for the lively, colorful and typical bazaars: head to the more shady and mysterious part of the medina, which turns magical gold at night.
Chefchaouen, the blue pearl
Nicknamed the “Blue Pearl” because of its white buildings with blue-painted windows and doors, Shefchauen is located in the heart of a region rich in natural resources. Photographers, climbers, rock climbers, hikers, paragliders and water sports enthusiasts will find activities to their liking, as will lovers of crafts, especially tapestries and jewelry, as well as folklore.
Al Hoceima – Mediterranean
Your tour of the most beautiful cities in northern Morocco ends in Al Hoceima, where you can enjoy the Mediterranean sun and sunbathe on the most beautiful beaches of the region. Since Al Hoceima is a coastal city with a Mediterranean climate, most of the entertainment is focused on the sea. I recommend the following five beaches: Quemado, Rmod, Maktoa, Calabonita and Isri.