Overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar, just a short hop from Spain, Tangier’s strategic position has long made it a hot spot for invaders and colonial powers. From the Phoenicians to the Portuguese and later the French, Spanish and British, the city’s seen more than its fair share of competing cultural influences. Despite all this, Tangier has clung steadfastly to its Berber roots. A recent revamp has seen the city’s less salubrious spots smartened up, while the medina’s ancient maze of shady alleys, bustling souks and sun-dappled squares has been carefully preserved.
Start your stroll through the old town at the Bab Al Bahr, pausing to take in the view of the bay below, before stopping off at the Kasbah Museum of Mediterranean Cultures. Housed in the former palace, it’s a picturesque spot to find some shade and brush up on your history. A short, meandering walk will bring you to the Petit Socco with its market stalls and friendly cafés. Pull up a chair on the edge of the square and indulge in a spot of people-watching, accompanied by a pot or two of fresh mint tea. For the serious shoppers why not head down to the Grand Socco. While no longer a marketplace itself, the side streets surrounding the square are filled with shops and stalls selling all sorts of trinkets, spices and souvenirs. When you’re ready to take a break, the peaceful Mendoubia Gardens are just a few steps away, where you’ll find shade in the shape of banyan, fig and dragon trees.
Thanks to its sunny days and balmy evenings, Tangier is home to some stunning terrace cafés, bars and restaurants. For a touch of (slightly faded) colonial grandeur, head to the Hotel Continental for a sundowner. Otherwise, settle in with a sea view and a mint tea at the legendary Café Hafa. For those in search of something sleeker, Le Mirage is an opulent spot for a cocktail or two. While there’s no shortage of high-end hotels, Tangier’s riads make for an authentic Moroccan experience. With their cool, tiled courtyards and private roof terraces, they offer a peaceful retreat from the city outside, and many offer luxurious rooms to rival any international brand. Aspiring artists meanwhile, can follow in the footsteps of Henri Matisse, taking a room at the Grand Hôtel Villa de France, where he painted the view from his window.
Why not simply contact our team to charter a private jet to Tangier.