Mediterranean Morocco is the northernmost region of the country and home to some of the most famous ports and cities in Morocco. Many of the cities in this region are former Spanish or French territories, resulting in citizens speaking Spanish and occasionally French. This region boasts quintessential Moroccan charm with winding streets, picturesque mountains, and beautiful Kasbahs.
The climate is very typical of Mediterranean cities with hot summers and mild winters. Temperatures average 95 Fahrenheit in the summer and 70 Fahrenheit in the winter, making it ideal to visit any time of the year.
Across the cities in the Mediterranean region, there are countless sights to see; one of the most popular is the medina in the city of Chefchaouen. The medina, or old city, in Chefchaouen is famous for their white washed buildings made a tradition by Jewish immigrants and their quiet winding streets that juxtapose the wild streets of larger cities. Of course, Tangier is a treasure trove of popular sights, from the Kasbah to the medina to the vast American Legation, a cultural center, library, conference center, and museum all in one.
Tetouan boasts a medina that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best examples of the multicultural history of the Mediterranean region of Morocco. There are three sections of the medina: the Jewish, the Andalusian, and the Berber. Take a tour from a local guide in order to fully appreciate each section and understand what impacts they've had on the city over the years.
One of the most famous cities in the region, and even in the country, is Tangier. Tangier has a lengthy history and a wealth of beautiful sights, resulting in it being a popular city for writers such as Tennessee Williams and musicians like the Rolling Stones. The beautiful Spanish occupied city of Ceuta is a small town with Spanish style architecture and pristine beaches, making for a relaxing day trip. Chefchaouen, or The Blue Pearl, is a picturesque mountain city famous for their white washed walls and hiking trails.
Oujda is a busy city and the capital of the Oriental Morocco region; they're home to the beautiful Park Lalla Aicha and the famous place Bab Sidi Abdelwahab. Tetouan is famous for their medina, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Jerada is located just on the edge of the Beni Snassen Mountains, making it predominately a base camp for those climbing the mountain. Another Spanish occupied city, Melilla is home to a stunning Plaza de Espana and gorgeous modern architecture.
Chefchaouen is a popular hiking spot with trails ranging from short day trips to two-day hikes through the Talasemtane national park. Aside from the national park, mountains in the area often have marijuana plantations on or near hiking trails. Be prepared for peddlers looking to sell hash. Just outside of Tangier is the Hercules Cave, a natural wonder and archeological site where mythical hero, Hercules, relaxed after his 12 labors. Explore the cave then take a walk to the nearby Plage Achkar beach to sunbathe and enjoy a picnic. Cueta offers both deserts and beaches to explore, so spend the morning taking camel rides through the desert and afternoon swimming in the cool Mediterranean Sea.
Food and Dining
You'll find many restaurants, cafes, and food stalls throughout each city; be weary of food stalls in tourist areas, as they often sell low quality food at higher prices. Popular foods in this region include: olives, fish, tagines, goat, and goat cheese. Classic Moroccan food such as harira (tomato soup) and koftte (meatballs) are also popular throughout the region. Alcohol is not often consumed in Morocco, instead they drink sugar laden mint tea. Milk drinks like ZaaZaa in Tetouan are also popular, ZaaZaa is a milkshake-like drink made with banana, avocado, milk, and other various fruits.
Mediterranean Morocco is fairly easy to get into via plane, bus, car, or even boat. A popular option for getting from city to city is by grand taxi, which are often shared by multiple people-unless your party fills the entire car. They are quite inexpensive, though they can be uncomfortable in the summer when there is no air conditioning and temperatures are around 95 Fahrenheit.
Getting around each city can easily be done on foot or bicycle and is actually suggested over public transport. Most cities also offer what they call petit taxis, which are simply taxis that are slightly smaller than grand taxis and have the required registration to drive within city limits. Public transport is limited in many medium to smaller cities.
Looking for a hostel in Marrakesh
, Cape Town
, or Zanzibar