MATE

The CLIMATE IN ASILAH. Because of its location Asilah has an enviable climate. The predominant winds from the Atlantic make very enjoyable summers

Assilah prevision

 

The CLIMATE IN MOROCCO shows a marked contrast, especially in the summer, between the coastal areas and the interior ones, between the north and the south, the valleys and the mountains. As a rule winters are mild in most of the country, but summers are something else. While in the coast the heat of the season is tempered by the breeze of the sea, the temperature in the inland areas reaches a point when one must take them into account if planning to go on an outing. During the summer one should consult others before embarking in an adventure. In the next connection you will be able to know the forecast of Morocco main cities.

ASSILAH: ACCESS MAPS FROM:

- TANGER MED - CEUTA (SEBTA)

   how to get from Tanger Med

- CHEFCHAOUEN - CHAOUEN

 how to get from Chefchaouen

- FEZ / MEKNES

ASILAH - MEDINA

- RABAT / SALE

ASILAH - MEDINA

- TANGER

ASILAH - MEDINA

 

ASSILAH: GUIDED VISIT

Asilah, visita turística

The first archeological remains that have been found in Asilah are Phoenician´s remains dating back to 2nd Century b.C. Thanks to these remains it has been possible to establish that this coastal zone was visited by Phoenicians  and Greeks and, later on, by Carthagenians, during which time the city enjojed a high status thanks to trade. They even minted their own coins. Later on, it was occupied by the Romans in the Ist century b.C.

However, the name of Asilah came much later, in the year 712, when it was conquered by the Arabs turning it into an important trading post for merchants from southern of Spain and their neighbouring regions. In this period, together with the commercial and economical development of the city, there is a cultural resurgence promoted by a generation of writers and scholars, coinciding with the time of the Idrisides.

Portugal will be the first European power to come to this zone, in the year 1471; in that period the Portuguese transformed the city into a commercial centre, turning it into a fortress devoting itself to trade on the route of the Saharan gold. In 1588, the Portuguese Monarch himself, Sebastian I, arrive to the city with his army with the intention of conquering Morocco. However, he was defeated in Alcazarquivir, and the Saidies took back the city.

After the death of the Portuguese King, the city ended at the hands of the Spanish crown and so the city became an important fortress between the XV and XVI centuries. In 1691, Mulay Ismail reconquered it and in 1906 Raisuli proclaimed himself pasha establishing a reign of terror. Later on, the city suffered important damages in 1860 caused by the bombardment of the Spanish Navy .

THE MEDINA

The above mentioned ramparts, built in the 15th C. by the Portuguese monarch Alfonso V, whose faded royal coat of arms can still be seen in one of the towers, are made up of blocks of calcareous stone.  The walls encircle the medina or old city are still in good condition; they are 1250 metres long, and are strengthen by 6 semicircular towers, having 5 gates (Bab) which lead to the exterior.

 

Asilah
Medina map

We can enter the Medina by the Gate of the Mar Bah Bahr (1), opposite the harbour parking. The first building that we see (on the right) date from the time of the Protectorate, like the Koranic school ( Madrasa), and next to it the schools of Sidi Mohamed Ali Marzok (a), built by Larrucea in the years 1929-30 and (on the left) there is the Portuguese Tower El Karma (b) which survived the dramatic siege of 1580 but not the unfortunate restoration of 1993. If we move along the maritime façade of the wall (on the west) we come to Ibn Khaldoun squarer (c) from which we can watch a romantic sunset. Continuing our stroll we come to the access gate to RaissouliPalace (d), built at the beginning of last century by the famous bandit  and  turned recently into the Culture Palace.

We follow the ramparts until we reach the tower (e) that goes into the sea (The Karaki). From this place we have a beautiful view of the medina´s maritime façade and of Sidi Mansour graveyard (f). The dome of the Mausoleum and the mujahidin graveyard with the graves covered with multicolour tiles stand out. A perfect place to watch the sunset. Next to it, a photogenic gate that leads to the sea (Bab Krikiya) (1).

We keep walking, towards the Souk, along Sidi Tayer street, it leads us past the Mosque Ben Ayad (g), we take Sidi M´Barek street that gives the name to the mosque (h), and the street Al Kadi with its mosque Zegouri (i) until we reach our next destination the Souk, and ideal place to amble along aimlessly and do our shopping.

We can access the modern city through the gate Bab el Homar (5) (see Modern city) or we can continue towards Sidi Abdellah square (j), along Al Kasaba street (k) where the Hassan II International Meetings Centre is located and opposite the Great Mosque. Before leaving the medina through the Bab Kasaba gate (3) we could take a look to a beautiful stone house on the left.


THE MODERN CITY

The best option to start the visit to the “other” Asilah is to begin our stroll from the same place (the harbour´s parking), always skirting the city walls, pass in front the gate  Bab la Kasaba (3), continue along the Avenue Hassan II, where we will find the gate Bab el Homar (59, and finishing the stroll in the small but interesting Souk of Ahfir (l) where they sell a tasty Moroccan fruit, popular ceramics and birds.

 

Asilah
Asilah city

It´s worth walking along Hassan II Avenue, a commercial street par excellence and a favourite souk of the local people to stock up with every day products. Retrace our steps to Zallaka Square (3) and continue along the pedestrian avenue Abel Moumen Ali Bnou until Mohamed V square (m), the town´s main centre. There you will find one of the entrances to the covered Central Market which we advise you to visit. Leaving by the other gate we come to the Catholic Church.  Come down to the Promonade along Prince Iritier Sidi Mohamed Avenue (n) to finish the circuit.

strong>Alcazarquivir, and the Saidies took back the city.

After the death of the Portuguese King, the city ended at the hands of the Spanish crown and so the city became an important fortress between the XV and XVI centuries. In 1691, Mulay Ismail reconquered it and in 1906 Raisuli proclaimed himself pasha establishing a reign of terror. Later on, the city suffered important damages in 1860 caused by the bombardment of the Spanish Navy .

THE MEDINA

The above mentioned ramparts, built in the 15th C. by the Portuguese monarch Alfonso V, whose faded royal coat of arms can still be seen in one of the towers, are made up of blocks of calcareous stone.  The walls encircle the medina or old city are still in good condition; they are 1250 metres long, and are strengthen by 6 semicircular towers, having 5 gates (Bab) which lead to the exterior.

 

Asilah
Medina map

We can enter the Medina by the Gate of the Mar Bah Bahr (1), opposite the harbour parking. The first building that we see (on the right) date from the time of the Protectorate, like the Koranic school ( Madrasa), and next to it the schools of Sidi Mohamed Ali Marzok (a), built by Larrucea in the years 1929-30 and (on the left) there is the Portuguese Tower El Karma (b) which survived the dramatic siege of 1580 but not the unfortunate restoration of 1993. If we move along the maritime façade of the wall (on the west) we come to Ibn Khaldoun squarer (c) from which we can watch a romantic sunset. Continuing our stroll we come to the access gate to RaissouliPalace (d), built at the beginning of last century by the famous bandit  and  turned recently into the Culture Palace.

We follow the ramparts until we reach the tower (e) that goes into the sea (The Karaki). From this place we have a beautiful view of the medina´s maritime façade and of Sidi Mansour graveyard (f). The dome of the Mausoleum and the mujahidin graveyard with the graves covered with multicolour tiles stand out. A perfect place to watch the sunset. Next to it, a photogenic gate that leads to the sea (Bab Krikiya) (1).

We keep walking, towards the Souk, along Sidi Tayer street, it leads us past the Mosque Ben Ayad (g), we take Sidi M´Barek street that gives the name to the mosque (h), and the street Al Kadi with its mosque Zegouri (i) until we reach our next destination the Souk, and ideal place to amble along aimlessly and do our shopping.

We can access the modern city through the gate Bab el Homar (5) (see Modern city) or we can continue towards Sidi Abdellah square (j), along Al Kasaba street (k) where the Hassan II International Meetings Centre is located and opposite the Great Mosque. Before leaving the medina through the Bab Kasaba gate (3) we could take a look to a beautiful stone house on the left.


THE MODERN CITY

The best option to start the visit to the “other” Asilah is to begin our stroll from the same place (the harbour´s parking), always skirting the city walls, pass in front the gate  Bab la Kasaba (3), continue along the Avenue Hassan II, where we will find the gate Bab el Homar (59, and finishing the stroll in the small but interesting Souk of Ahfir (l) where they sell a tasty Moroccan fruit, popular ceramics and birds.

 

Asilah
Asilah city

It´s worth walking along Hassan II Avenue, a commercial street par excellence and a favourite souk of the local people to stock up with every day products. Retrace our steps to Zallaka Square (3) and continue along the pedestrian avenue Abel Moumen Ali Bnou until Mohamed V square (m), the town´s main centre. There you will find one of the entrances to the covered Central Market which we advise you to visit. Leaving by the other gate we come to the Catholic Church.  Come down to the Promonade along Prince Iritier Sidi Mohamed Avenue (n) to finish the circuit.

"

ASSILAH / BEACHES


Assilah beaches

 

They are of spectacular beauty. To the north, there are few places around the world where you could enjoy 40 kms. of uninterrupted virgin beaches (from the pier of Asilah harbor, opposite the Al Alba hotel, to the Espatel Cape) of soft dunes and with a perfect access to them. To the south, the coast is dotted with charming beaches backed by cliffs, still unspoilt and undeveloped.

In the beaches of Asilah, even if it seems an obvious thing to say, you can dress exactly the same as you would in any European beach. When deciding what to wear, use your common sense. If it is a popular beach, with children and women, as a rule, you should not go top-less or wear risky designs; on the other hand, if the beach is secluded, quiet and less popular, you could go with fewer clothes but, without over doing it.

Our hotel Al Alba, is located opposite the beginning of the beach of Asilah, what is known as a second sea line, For additional information, with plans of the hotel location, go to the ACTIVITIES section.

Tthe beaches to the north and south of Asilah are quite  different. The ones to the north are huge with easy access. he ones to the south are backed by mountains with difficult access.

NORTHERN BEACHES

From the pier north of Asilah´s harbor (opposite the Al Alba hotel) almost Hercules Cave (near Espartel cape), you can enjoy an empty beach that extends 40 kms.. This beach is noted for its sand, clean water.and the absence of swimmers. It is an ideal beach for long walks and private swims.

It is easily accessible, as the national road N1 from Tangiers to Asilah, goes along the coastline, and there are lots of places to park the car. The various rivers that flow into the sea divide this long stretch of sand into three beaches. We will cover them from north to south.

1. BEACH OF TAHADDART (OR OF THE BOATS): It´s ten minute´s drive from Asilah. It takes the name from the rivers that flow to the sea. For two kilometers the river´s QUED TAHADDART bed goes parallel to the sea but it is separated by a narrow strip of sandy dunes. This characteristic makes it the ideal beach to go for a swim, as it is very safe; the water is less salty and warmer, which also favor the presence of pedal boats. On the other hand, as in the summer, this beach is not pounded continuously by the sea, the sand is not as clean as should be desired. As all the beaches, during the high season, is well supplied with deck chairs, beach umbrellas and kiosks where you can eat grilled fresh fish or tajine.  An advice valid to all the beaches: avoid eating uncooked products because the beaches lack drinkable water. On the other side of the river´s bed the beach goes on seemingly for miles, making it an ideal place for strolling.

2. BEACH OF BRIECH: The town of Briech, located about five minute´s drive from Asilah, has two urban centres, one next to the N1 Asilah-Tangiers, and the other next to the sea. An asphalt road that ends on the beach gives access to it. It´s open to the ocean and therefore there are lots of waves. It has the same quality of sand and the same level of cleanliness. Besides, it is the ideal place to watch the sunset, sitting on one of the many kiosks.

3. BEACH OF ASILAH: It is 5 Km. in length. It starts in the north pier of Asilah harbour, so there is no need to take the car to get there. During the months of July and August it is very crowded as the local people come to the first stretch, for a swim or to play football, a real passion for them, and therefore. If you go north, the crowds disappear. During this period there are lifeguards and a cleaning service. From September on the number of swimmers decreases and it becomes an ideal beach for strolling.

Asilah Playas

SOUTH BEACH

If we keep moving south along the coast, once we leave Asalah, the terrain changes sharply, it becomes wilder and the cliffs take the place of the white, sandy beaches described above. One has to travel 4 kilometres before finding the first accessible beach.

4. BEACH OF THE CAVES (OR DOVES´S CAVE): It´s located to the south of Asilah and you can gain acces to the beach by walking along the path that goes parallel to the coast (5 Km from the medina), or by car, or,for the jounger people, on top of a horse drawn cart. If you decide to take a vehicle you should be aware that the last two kilometers of the journey takes place over a dirt path, parts of which, in some places, are in a terrible condition.

To get to this beach from the AL Alba hotel you have to take the N1 road to Rabat and after 3.5 Km and in front of the aluminum factory, take the asphalt road on the right. After 1.5 Km on the right, a dirt path will take us, after 2 Km, to a parking place. From that place we could either walk down to the beach or drive the last kilometre right into the sand.

This beach is 2.5 Km long and it is sheltered to the north and to the south by cliffs. As with all beaches we have described, during the months when tourists come there are kiosks with deck chairs and parasols.  Because of its difficult access this beach is very quiet and fewer people.(See Album)

Asilah Playas

5. BEACH OF SIDI MUGAITS (OR OF THE SAINT): It´s located 10 Km south of Asilah. To get to this beach from the Al Alba hotel you have to take the road N1 to Rabat and after 3.5 Km and in front of the aluminum factory, take the asphalt road on the right. 6 Km away, and after having crossed the village of Demina, we come to a crossroads from which a path 4 Km, long and in bad condition, goes up a hill which will take us to a parking lot. Before embarking on such a journey we should consult the condition of the paths, because the rains could make them impassable to all vehicles except 4x4 ones.

It´s an spectacular beach; of  6.5 Km in length and much wider than most as it has been made by silt from the river Najla. It is the most quiet and peaceful of all the beaches.

Asilah Playas