You’ll arrive by coach at Asilah. With its white and blue houses, you’ll be forgiven for thinking you’re in Greece, but the tapas and paella on the menus and the houses’ wrought-iron window grills reassures that this sleepy North African fishing town actually switched between Spanish and Portuguese colonial power for centuries.
Your walking tour starts in the beautiful walled medina, painted in pastel colours and decorated with ornate murals created for Asilah’s annual Cultural Festival. The labyrinth of lanes lined by whitewashed houses, studios and galleries are very photogenic, so cameras’ at the ready for plentiful photo opportunities.
You’ll pause to admire the ancient gates of the Old City, Bab Homar at the southern entrance to the medina, still topped by a crumbling Portuguese royal coat of arms. Then, you’ll stroll on to admire the Palais Raissouli, now the Palace of Culture, on the seaside of the medina. Built in in 1909 by a pirate named Pasha Er-Raissouli, it’s hard to believe this opulent palace was once a notorious pirate’s den.
Before you board the coach for the journey back to Tangier, there’ll be time to stop for refreshments. And, if time permits on the return, you may even be able to squeeze in 20 minutes to shop in Tangier’s own fine medina.
This excursion will operate by coach and on foot. There is approximately 1½ hour’s of walking over uneven surfaces.