Cheap Day Trips and Tours from Tangier, Moroco
Tangier, a Moroccan port on the Strait of Gibraltar, has been a strategic gateway between Africa and Europe since Phoenician times. Its whitewashed hillside medina is home to the Dar el Makhzen
, a palace of the sultans that's now a museum of Moroccan artifacts. The American Legation Museum, also in the medina, documents early diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Morocco in an 1821 Moorish-style former consulate. Its blend of cultures and influences is unique in Morocco - for much of its history it wasn't even governed by Morocco and because of its independent status, was neglected and gained a dismal reputation. But contemporary Tangier couldn't be more different. Investment has flowed in and the white city gleams with an air of confidence. The cliffside road bustles, entrepreneurs in the new business district have replaced the hustlers, and a new marina is under construction, along with the new TGV train line to Casablanca. Tangier's cultural life is buzzing in a way it hasn't done since the 1950s, and Tangier works as a great base for exploring surrounding areas. With so much to see, do, and taste, Tangier is a great place to experience, and there are several options for day trips or tours or cooking classes in or near the area to help you make the most of your time here.
Meet a guide at your Tangier hotel for 10am departure, then board a climate-controlled vehicle for the 28-mile trip to Asilah. The first stop of the day it at the historic ramparts, built by the Portuguese through the 15th and 16th centuries. Climb to the top of the fortifications for a sweeping view of the Atlantic coast, then continue to El Kamra Tower, another Portuguese landmark that's still the tallest building in the Asilah medina. As you explore, hear stories about Asilah's pirate past, and about the Riffian bandit that once made his home in the city. Learn about the Summer Arts Festival that brings creative energy to the town through the warm months, and take in the Church of San Bartolome, whose bells still toll each week for Sunday mass. Following your time in the town, begin the return trip to Tangier, where this tour concludes with hotel drop-off at roughly 5pm.
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Depart your Tangier hotel by private, air-conditioned vehicle with your guide, and travel southeast to Chefchaouen, in the rugged Rif Mountains. Established in 1471 when Moulay Ali Ben Moussa Ben Rached El Alami constructed a kasbah here, Chefchaouen is famed for its blue-painted walled medina, giving it the nickname of the 'Blue Pearl.' The blue palette derives from the 15th century, when the town attracted exiles from Spain. Arriving Jewish refugees fleeing the Spanish Inquisition painted their houses blue to reflect their divinity - a tradition that continued through the centuries. On arrival, enjoy a walking tour through Chefchaouen's cobbled medina, absorbing the Moorish and Spanish atmosphere. Admire the striking blue-and-white houses and visit the 18th-century Kasbah, if you choose, at your own expense, with its tower, garden, and museum. See the central mosque and mellah, the former Jewish quarter, and absorb the sights around the bustling Utta El Hamam main square. Take a break for lunch at your own expense at any of the cafes and enjoy free time to explore the souks for unique Rif souvenirs. Peruse the shops for everything from colorful woven blankets, clothes, and rugs to chunky Berber jewelry, leatherwear, and more. Lastly, return to Tangier, where your tour ends with a hotel drop-off.
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Start out with a peaceful drive along la Corniche, the central beach, and then visit the east side of the city. From here, you can snap some pictures over the port, and if you're lucky, you might even be able to see Spain! Then, it's time to head inland and visit Iberia and the California residential area, which is filed with luxurious chalets and villas. Your guide will point out the history of these locations as you are treated to some fine photo and shopping opportunities. Then head along the coast for a tour of the mythical Hercules caves. These caves are said to have once housed the hero. After the caves, it's time to come to the real heart of Tangier, with a walking tour of the Kasbah. This 15th century fortress has been rocked by a tumultuous history, and as a crossroads of life here in Tangier, serves as a meeting grounds for people of all walks of life. The archeological museum offers a nice contrast to the packed and colorful streets. There's no shortage of people trying to sell you things, so keep a close eye for the best bargains. Afterwards, head to the fruit and vegetable market for a different kind of commerce. Here you can taste all sorts of delectable fruits and olives, and also get a good look at Mendoubia, with its 800 year old Banion Tree. There is a chance for a mint tea in the Petit Socco before returning back to our starting point.
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Depart your Tangier hotel by private, air-conditioned minivan with your guide, and delve into the bustling streets as you learn about the city's history and culture. Stop first at the walled medina to tour its labyrinthine alleyways. Pass the peeling Moorish- and Andalusian-style houses as you learn how the medina formed old Tangier's heart, and see landmarks like the main square and kasbah, with its rich architecture and marble courtyard. Along the way, browse a fruit, vegetable, and spice souk, and visit a bakery to sample some delicious local breads. Head for the new town to view the palm-lined Avenue Mohammed VI, Royal Palace, Severo Ochoa school, and colonial-era buildings; and travel to Tangier's Atlantic shores, stopping to see the Punic-Roman necropolis on the way. Gaze at these ancient graves, carved into a plateau facing the Straits of Gibraltar, and visit Cape Spartel, the lighthouse-topped promontory that seemingly stands guard over where the Atlantic and Mediterranean meet. Visit the famous Caves of Hercules at your own expense, a picturesque sea grotto that opens to the crashing Atlantic, and enjoy an optional camel ride at your own expense along the sand dunes. Your tour then concludes with a hotel drop-off.
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