Tangier Travel Guide

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Tangier Travel Guide

Tangier Local History

Phoenician sailors, is it said, visited Tangier earlier than 500 B.C. and it is said that the city was founded by the giant Anteus, according to Greek Mythology. After the destruction of Carthage, Tangier was then affiliated to the Berber kingdom after that it became an autonomous state under Roman protection and in the 3rd century, become a Roman colony. The 5th century saw Vendals conquer and occupy the city and it fell into obscurity until the city was captured by Moussa bin Nasser in the 8th century. Most of the inhabitants were converted to Islam, but many Berber tribes disaffected and joined the schismatic Kharijite rebellion and seized the port in 739 A.D.

In the 14th century, Tangier became a major Mediterranean port where European trading vessels brought cloth, spices, metals and hunting birds to trade for leather, wool, carpets, cereals and sugar. In 1471 the Portuguese conquered and occupied Tangier after many unsuccessful attempts. They converted the great mosque into a cathedral. For nearly 3 centuries Tangier was passed back and forth between the Spanish, the Portuguese and the English. Tangier was granted a charter, which made the city equal to English towns.

In 1679 Moulay Ismail tried to seize the city and managed to cripple Tangier and led to the British retreat. The British destroyed the town and all the port facilities prior to their departure. The city was reconstructed by gradually declined. There was a revival in the mid 19th century when European colonial governments fought for influence over Morocco. In 1905 the German Emperor Wilhelm II arrived in Tangier and the following year the Algeciras Conference was held, where Tangier was granted special status and the town and its surrounding territories were under the authority of the International Commission and the Sultan of Morocco was the nominal ruler. In 1929 Spain was given police powers and the city was placed under the legislative control of an international body. Tangier was granted independence in 1956 and became fully integrated part of the Kingdom of Morocco.

Tangier Attractions

Top Attractions

Mohammed V Mosque This Mosque is dedicated to the memory of King Mohammed V, who delivered the country's first speech proclaiming the country's independence from France. This mosque is beautiful.

The Petit Socco Located in the heart of the Medina, Tangier. The Petit Socco is one of the most picturesque sites. The square is crowded and noisy, with cafes lining the terraces where you can enjoy a cup of mint tea. The square has an interesting past where not to long ago it was the centre for male prostitution, pornographic films and drug related activities. Luckily the Petit Socco has cleaned up its act in recent times, but the area is still a little sleazy.

The Tangier American Legation Located at 8 rue d'Amerique, Tangier. Morocco was the first nation to recognize the United States in 1776, and this building was purchased in 1821 and is the oldest American overseas legation. There are various documents housed in this museum, which retrace the history of the relations between Morocco and the United States. There are ancient doors, maps, paintings and furniture on display. The museum is open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10am to 1pm and from 3pm to 5pm.

The Indian Right on the prom in Tangier, serves great Indian food, most popular place for English people, bar is great crack-has a dartboard!
submitted by Elaine, 27/04/08

Star of India -Sable D'or Indian Restaurant Loacted on the beachfront on Ave. Mohamed VI. Excellent reliable food and entertainment to match.
submitted by Viv Raut, 16/04/07

Cap Spartel On the Atlantic coast. Cold water but clean, refreshing and (mostly - depending on season) empty beaches.
submitted by Viv Raut, 16/04/07

Tangier Sights and events You can see most of the main sights of Tangier in a day, but you will need a longer time to properly absorb the ambience of the place and to make at least one excursion. Steep stairways and streets, as well as wide boulevards, make it a city ideal for strolling. Breathtaking views over the Straits of Gibraltar to Spain are one of the many attractions. Sights and events: You can see most of the main sights of Tangier in a day, but you will need a longer time to properly absorb the ambience of the place and to make at least one excursion. Steep stairways and streets, as well as wide boulevards, make it a city ideal for strolling. Breathtaking views over the Straits of Gibraltar to Spain are one of the many attractions. The medina: A dense maze of houses, shops and narrow, steep streets, the medina is centered on the Petit Socco (The Small Souk) - a charming square lined with hotels, restaurants and cafés. Sampling a mint tea in one of these cafés is another highlight of Tangier. The Grand Socco: (The Big Souk) is where the medina begins - stalls and shops, vibrant with the bright colors of the fruit, pottery and cloth that they display for sale. The Kasbah, constructed on the highest point of the medina, was fortified in Roman days and was the traditional residence of sultans. The Dar-el-Makhzen palace was founded in the 17th century. Its marble arches and cedar ceilings now house the Museum of Moroccan Art, the Museum of Antiquities and the Musée de la Kasbah (Kasbah Museum). The Sultan’s gardens are also well worth a visit. Sidi Bou Abid mosque - don’t miss the tiled minaret. The Forbes Museum (owned by American tycoon Malcolm Forbes) - see 115,000 lead soldiers re-enact three of the major battles of history - Waterloo, the Somme and the battle of the Three Kings. The museum also has magnificent gardens. The Mendoubia gardens - find a quiet place to relax in the shade of the centuries-old fig and dragon trees. Excursions: You can reach Cap Malabata, 6 miles (10km) east of Tangier, by a magnificent road that winds its way up through the hills and along a succession of sandy creeks and beaches. A visit in the morning to see the sunrise is a must. Cap Spartel is the northwest extremity of Africa’s Atlantic coast. It is a dramatic nine-mile (14km) drive west from Tangier. The area is a favorite destination for bird watchers. The sunsets from this vantage point are breathtaking. The Caves of Hercules are natural limestone formations that were extended by quarrying for millstones until the 1920s. Tangier’s rich and famous once partied here. There is a breathtaking view of the ocean through an Africa-shaped window. The four seaside resorts of Restinga Smir, M’Diq, Cabo Negro and Martil have beautiful sandy beaches, washed by the translucent waters of the Mediterranean. Swimming, sailing, fishing and golfing are available at these resorts. Sample the catch of the day in the local restaurants, or stroll in the cool evening air and admire the yachts in the cosmopolitan ports of Marina-Smir or Kabila Marina. Ancient Lixus is the second most important Roman site in Morocco after Volubilis. The site is a short distance from Tangier, near Larache, and can be visited in a day. In the baths at Lixus, you can see the ‘ocean god’, 60m2 of superb mosaics showing the austere and majestic features of Neptune, surrounded by shellfish motifs. Charif is a guide for the likes of Maupintour and university alumni groups. He is very efficient and well organized, and Manages to locate and stop at a “necessary”, no matter how rural the area. His email [viptour@gmail.com].
submitted by Larry P.White, 19/11/05

Tangier Shopping

Parfumerie Madini Located in the Medina, Tangier. Parfumerie Madini is a perfumery, which is famous throughout the Muslim world. They sell all types of essential oils. The fragrances that come out of this little shop are out of this world.

Ensemble Artisanal Located between Casbah and rue de Belgique, in the Medina, Tangier. The Ensemble Artisanal sells all types of leather goods, shoes, carpets and various textiles. This store is interesting, weather you buy anything or not.

Marche des Pauvres Located in the Paupers Market, in the Medina, Tangier. This colourful market sells all sorts of things and you are bound to find something of interest here.

Tangier Activities

Forbes Museum of Military Miniatures Malcolm Forbes purchased the ancient palace of the mendoub, which housed the Forbes Museum of Military Miniatures, in 1970. The Forbes Museum housed the collection of military miniatures, which he collected as a child, and currently contains over 120 000 miniature on display. There are displays of famous battles of history.

There is an exceptional garden that offers fabulous views of the Gibraltar Straits and the Spanish coast. Open Wednesday to Monday from 10am to 5pm.

Tangier Parks & Gardens

The Mendoubia Located to the northwest of town, Tangier. This park contains residence and offices of the Mendoub, which was the Sultan's permanent representative on the international commission. There are old cannons, which probably date back as far as the 17th century and were taken from various Mediterranean fleets and left here.

Tangier Beaches

Bay of Tangier The Bay of Tangier is one of the most beautiful bays in the Mediterranean. There are several attractive beaches which host all sorts of water sports for the visitors to enjoy.

Tangier Restaurants and Bars

Tagine This Moroccan meal is made from spicy meat and vegetables, which have been simmered together for hours in a conical clay pot, and is one of the best known Moroccan meals.

Couscous This meal is made from semolina grains and steamed in a colander-like dish referred to as a couscoussiere and is the staple food for the Moroccan population.

Kaliya This Moroccan meal is a popular Berber contribution to the Moroccan cuisine. Kaliya is a combination of lab, tomatoes, bell peppers and onion and is served with couscous or bread.

Besara Besara is a thick glop (soup) made from peas and olive oil and is a traditional breakfast in Morocco.

Tangier Restaurants

Café Hafa Located in the Quartier Marshan, Tangier. This café clings to the hillside among beautiful flowers and shrubs and offers a spectacular view over Tangier Bay. The cuisine is spectacular and the service is friendly and efficient. This is a heavenly place if you are looking for peace and relaxation.

Grand Café de Paris Located in France Square, Tangier. This is one of the smartest cafes in Tangier. The Cuisine in this establishment is absolutely out of this world and is an experience that needs to be experienced to be believed. Remember to leave room for desert, there are some fantastic chooses to choose from.

El Korsan Located at 85 rue de la Liberte, Tangier. El Korsan is an excellent restaurant, which serves genuine Moroccan cuisine. Their speciality is seafood. The restaurant is closed on Monday.

Tangier Bars & Clubs

Deans Bar Located at Rue Amerique Sud. Deans Bar is the place to come and many Westerners have come over the years. There are many beers to choose from and the service is excellent. It is just one of those great places to hang out and enjoy an evening.

English Bar Located at Rue du Mexique. The English bar has La Flage Special label and there are Spanish style bar snacks to enjoy while you are drinking and having a great time.

Katoubia Palace Located at Rue al-Moutanabi. At the Katoubia Palace you can enjoy Egyptian belly dancers while drinking pints of beer into the early hours of the morning.

Tangier children's activities

Forbes Museum of Military Miniatures Malcolm Forbes purchased the ancient palace of the mendoub, which housed the Forbes Museum of Military Miniatures, in 1970. The Forbes Museum housed the collection of military miniatures, which he collected as a child, and currently contains over 120 000 miniature on display. There are displays of famous battles of history.

There is an exceptional garden that offers fabulous views of the Gibraltar Straits and the Spanish coast. Open Wednesday to Monday from 10am to 5pm.

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