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Asilah Waterfront

Asilah or Arzila (Arabic: أصيلة، أرزيلة‎) is a fortified town on the northwest tip of the Atlantic coast of Morocco, about 50 km from Tangier. Its ramparts and gateworks remain fully intact. Its history dates back to 1500 B.C., when the Phoenicians used it as a base for trade.

The Portuguese conquered the city during the 15th century, but John III later decided to abandon it because of an economic crisis in 1549.

In 1692, the town was taken by the Moroccans under the leadership of Moulay Ismail. Asilah served then as a base for pirates in the 19th and 20th centuries.

From 1912-1956 it was part of Spanish Morocco. A major plan to restore the town was undertaken in 1978.

It is now a popular seaside resort, with modern holiday apartment complexes on the coast road leading to the town from Tangier. It hosts annual music and arts festivals, including a murales painting festival: the best paintings remain on the Medina walls for the following years.

Gallery

External links

Coordinates: 35°28′N 6°02′W / 35.467°N 6.033°W / 35.467; -6.033


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Asilah (also Assilah, Arzila) is a city in northern Morocco.

Get in

Asilah lies on the rail line linking Tangier to Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech, Meknes, and Fez. The train station is a 2 km walk along the beach northeast of town; alternatively, minibuses sometimes meet the train in hopes of collecting passengers. It should also be easy to flag down a grand taxi along the road.

From Tangier, you can hire a grand taxi for the ~1 hour drive to Asilah. It should cost around 30 Euros each way.

Get around

Cars are not allowed in the Medina, making walking the easiest form of transportation in Asilah proper. It's a small enough town that walking should not be a problem.

See

Like most Moroccan towns, Asilah consists of a medina and a ville nouvelle. The medina is small, clean, and features wall paintings by African artists. North and east of the medina, the ville nouvelle is also pleasant.

Asilah hosts an art festival every August where they cover their walls in fantastic murals. You can spend a full day walking around the medina looking at these beautiful paintings.

Do

There are beautiful beaches both north and south of the town.

Eat

Due to its proximity to Spain and the large number of Spanish tourists it sees, Asilah's restaurants offer Spanish classics such as paella and tortilla in addition to the ubiquitous tagine and couscous.

Drink

Enjoy mint tea in one of the cafes.

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