What are you doing if you have a spare day while you are in the south of Spain or even in Gibraltar? Do it like us, follow our guidance and go for a short trip to another world – Tanger, Morocco!
From the south of Spain, it is pretty easy to get to Tanger, a city in the north of Morocco. The best way is to take the ferry from either Algeciras or Tarifa, the most southern point of Spain. While you may only need around 30 minutes from Tarifa to Tanger city, the fare can be considerably expensive. If you are traveling on a budget, like us, try to take the ferry from Algeciras to Tanger Med, a huge port a little outside of the city. We only paid 30 € return for the trip, enjoyed a longer boat ride and even got to see the countryside while driving in a taxi to Tanger city. So even if you are not traveling on a budget, it certainly is the better idea to take the ferry to Tanger Med. Especially, if you would like to see the stunning countryside of the north of Morocco.
One day in Tanger
During our taxi ride from Tanger Med (port) to Tanger city we saw incredible nature, amazing beaches and cosy villages. The most interesting part on the ride was the spirit of the people. We saw people walking on the streets, people chatting on the sidewalks and ones that did agricultural works without any developed machinery. They only used their animals as their artificial power. All in all, the people outside of Tanger live a basic life but express a very positive and inspiring vibe.
Upon the arrival in the suburbs of Tanger we suddenly noticed how developed the city actually is. We saw many villas, nice office buildings, good street conditions and a wonderfully restored promenade. In some areas the city definitely looks like a modern metropolitan city for example like Barcelona ! Seeing this contrast from the city life to the more basic life in the countryside, we were fascinated and simultaneously very excited about the Medina. The word “Medina” describes the old town of Arabic cities in the north of Africa, especially in Morocco.
We booked an AirBnB direcly in the middle of the Medina, with an picturesque roof top terrace. The problem however was to get from the entrance of the Medina to our house because inside the Medina there are small alleys crossing everywhere, no real streets and generally a chaotic infrastructure. But once we arrived at the entrance, some cheeky locals lunge out towards us. Our first response was like “what does he want from us?” “Please leave us alone.”
Probably most foreign tourists that visit such an Arabic country for the first time would react in the same manner. But we decided to follow him through the Medina to our house. After 5 to 7 minutes we arrived at our destination, to be honest we would have never found it without the help of this friendly fellow. We gave him around 5 euros as a remuneration for his service. It is safe to say that we adverse towards him at the beginning but the friendly, helpful and grateful character of the Moroccans quickly changed our perception.
Accomodation and sightseeing
We stayed at “Bayt Alice” a guesthouse in the Medina that we can highly recommend. Hosted by a French woman and another man, this hidden gem introduces you to the typical Moroccan lifestyle and therefore is an amazing spot to spend the night. Up on the terrace you have a stunning view of parts of the Medina, the new town and the promenade. It also is a great location to watch the sunset.
The hosts also provided us with great sightseeing recommendations around the old town. We followed the advice and went to a great local restaurant with cheap and very delicious meals. Afterwards we decided to explore the puzzling alleys all around the medina. The small street canyons, the fresh fruits everywhere and the laid-back Cafés really take you to another world. Countless shops, selling heaps of teas, herbs and spices, invite you to further explore the food culture of this beautiful country!
Finally, we settled at a famous Café in Tanger which overlooks the costal line of Morocco to review on the great events of the day. The perfect place for having a classic Moroccan tea with your friends and family!
- Visit the Medina but be sure to seek (trustworthy) local guidance to explore the area without getting lost. Some people told us to be aware of pickpocketing, other than that Tanger should be absolutely safe.
- Preferably stay in a guesthouse within the Medina. Trust us, it is a unique experience that should not be missed.
- We spend around 24 hours in Tanger. Possibly we did not see everything, however, at most two days should be sufficient to explore the city. A day trip from Spain is also totally worth it!
- Try local food, for example Tagine (vegetable usually combined with meat), couscous, any kind of offered soup and of course the famous mint tea.