Asilah, also known as Arcila, is a small and picturesque town in northern Morocco with Portuguese and Spanish influences from its former protectorate status. Its attractiveness resides in its whitewashed buildings and uneven grid of streets on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean. Apart from that, there isn’t much else to see in Asilah. It’s ideal for a relaxing day excursion.
What to do in Asilah Morocco
Although the city is highly popular in the summer due to its charm and low pricing, the truth is that there aren’t many things to see in Asilah Morocco. The greatest thing to do is explore the streets, visit the craft markets, and admire the city’s most scenic corners.
The white facades of Asilah are adorned with colorful murals of various subjects, whether to signify an art gallery, a craft shop, or simply for décor. What’s more, this street art display is revived every year, and new artists can demonstrate their ability at the Asilah International Cultural Festival, which also gathers intellectuals, academics, journalists, and researchers from across the country.
Continue reading to learn about the key attractions of Asilah.
The Medina is a must-see in Asilah, Morocco.
The Medina is entered by the Bab Al Kasba wall entrance, which is located opposite the Muslim cemetery. Inside, you’ll find the Grand Mosque and the defensive tower Borj Al Kamra, which was built by the Portuguese and is a landmark of the city.
The Medina is primarily residential, with numerous craftsmen selling their wares on the street. The facades are white, and the windows are embellished in blue and green, giving the town a distinct, vibrant design that makes the streets appear broader.
The medina of Asilah is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the harmonious ensemble of white dwellings, the contrast of the ochre stones of the city wall, and the sound of the sea in the background.
Alfonso V of Portugal built the wall that surrounds the medina in the 15th century. There are various gates, the most well-known of which are Bab Hamar, Bab Bhar, and Bab Al Kasba. Because to the views of the ocean, the southwest is without a doubt the busiest location. A magnificent sunset may also be seen from this vantage point at the Caraquia viewpoint.
Caraquia’s Point of View
The overlook is located near to the Borj Krikia tower and offers breathtaking views. It’s best to go there early to acquire a good place to watch the sunset, as the jetty gets very crowded. At the conclusion of the sunset, you can hear the villagers praying. Street musicians are also common.
Souq Ahfir is a street market with stalls selling clothing, food, and handicrafts. It’s very adjacent to the Bab Homar wall gate. It’s a must-see for the profusion of colors, fragrances, and general mayhem. Prepare to haggle like you’ve never haggled before.
What to do in and around Asilah, Morocco
As previously said, Asilah is quite little and can only be seen in the morning. There are, however, other activities in the neighboring area, such as visiting Larache or sunbathing on one of the beaches.
Larache is a coastal city on the way to Casablanca or Rabat that was a Carthaginian settlement, then a Phoenician one, and lastly a Roman colony. The ruins of Lixus, an old Phoenician colony, are actually located here. Larache is only 48 kilometers from Asilah and is well linked. It takes between 30 and 40 minutes to reach there by taxi, vehicle, or bus.
Asilah’s beaches to visit
There are 40 kilometers of white sandy beaches on both sides of Asilah, with little built-up area. These are some of the beaches:
Briech Beach: A huge, excellent sandy beach with views of the hills is only 5 minutes from town.
Tahaddart Beach, commonly known as the Boat Beach. It is an excellent family beach. It is wide, has little waves, and provides a variety of amenities, including the renting of loungers, umbrellas, boats, and camel rides. There are various beach bars along the beach that serve Moroccan fish specialties and where you can eat lunch or just a refreshing drink. Asilah is a 10-minute drive from the beach.
Canyons Beach: This is the Asilah city beach and may be reached on foot. Because of its proximity, it is one of the busiest beaches. Camel rides are also available in the spring and summer.
Cave Beach: One of the most gorgeous beaches in the vicinity and a must-see in Asilah. It is accessible via automobile in the direction of Rabat, donkey cart, or foot. It takes around an hour to walk from Asilah. For 200 dirhams, you can take a taxi directly to the beach from the medina’s main gate. It takes roughly 15 minutes. The beach is wind-protected due to its location between cliffs, and it has plenty of waves, making it ideal for water sports. You can also see the caverns that give the beach its name at low tide.
In one day, visit Asilah.
Asilah is a little city that may be seen in a single day. We recommend starting your visit early, especially during the summer, because the city attracts a lot of travelers. The city begins to come alive at nine o’clock in the morning, but it is not yet extremely bustling.
You don’t need to plan anything to visit the city because its main attractions are the architecture, the white facades, the murals, and the views from the city wall to the sea. The best option is to meander around the streets of the medina, shop the street booths, and taste the local cuisine.
After exploring the city, we can rest on one of the beaches or go on a camel ride. There are several beautiful beaches around, but if you don’t want to travel far, you may stay at Asilah beach, which is within walking distance. In the summer, the entry is fairly crowded, but if you wander around a bit, you’ll find a place to lay your towel.
And what better way to close the day than with a stunning sunset and views of the Atlantic?
Accommodation in Asilah Morocco
Asilah is a small city with limited accommodations. The good news is that it’s not prohibitively pricey, with accommodations starting at €35. There are also several alternative options, which are shown below. Here are some of our recommendations on places to stay in Asilah:
Hotel Al Alba: is a Moroccan-style hotel located near to the beach and ten minutes from the Medina. It has a wonderful location and all of the amenities, but the pricing is a little excessive in comparison to other possibilities. Around €80 per night.
Casa Garcia is a collection of self-catering flats with coastal views. There is enough parking in the vicinity, as well as a restaurant. The name derives from the old Spanish protectorate.
Hotel Dar Manara: From €50 per night, you may stay at this hotel in the center of Asilah’s Medina, one kilometer from the beach. It also has its own car park and airport transfer.
Camping: On the beaches of Asilah, there are various campgrounds with washing machines, Wi-Fi, electricity, and pet-friendly policies. Some examples include the Echrigui Asilha and Assada campsites.
Where to eat in Asilah, Morocco?
We already know what to see in Asilah, so let’s get to the main stuff: where to eat well. Because of the city’s seaside position, its specialties include, predictably, seafood and fresh fish. There is a street in the medina full of tourist restaurants adjacent to the main entrance, and there are also many options on the promenade. These restaurants are a little pricy, but if you’re searching for a cheaper alternative, you should go to the restaurants linked to the wall by the Bab Homar gate.
- Casa Pepe and Casa Garcia: These two eateries were founded by Spaniards during the protectorate era and serve high-quality fresh fish. The food, on the other hand, is more international than Moroccan.
- Al-Alba Restaurant: This restaurant, in addition to being a hotel, serves traditional Moroccan cuisine.
- Dar Al Maghribia: Here you can sample the famous Moroccan pastry.
- Restaurant Port XIV: is a highly recommended spot to eat fresh seafood, albeit it is a little pricey.
- Fast-food outlets such as Dar El Merrakchia, Alibaba, Tahadart, and Farah offer 10€ meals.
How can I go to Asilah, Morocco?
To travel to Asilah, the best alternative is to fly from Spain to Tangier, which is well connected to the mainland and has regular flights at reasonable prices. Tangier is 46 kilometers from Asilah and has several transportation options:
- Bus: There are various bus operators with fares ranging from 7 to 10 dirhams.
- Train: The train costs 18 dirhams and takes around 40 minutes, the same as driving.
- Taxis are one of the greatest ways to navigate about Morocco, especially if you share. A taxi from Tangier can cost roughly 20 dirhams per person.
- Private car: Boats sail from Tarifa, where you may drive a private car to Morocco for as cheap as €80. If you drive yourself, we recommend taking the coastal route to Asilah, which travels down the coast of Cape Espadel and has nicer views than the freeway to Rabat. Remember that in order to drive your automobile to Morocco, you will need a driver’s license, a passport, and a green card, which can be supplied by your insurance provider.
Travel advice for Asilah, Morocco
- Bring your hotel reservation or the address where you’ll be staying with you.
- Carry cash because not all shops accept credit cards.
- Morocco’s currency is the dirham. We recommend that you change money before you leave because airport currency is more expensive.
- The greatest time to visit Asilah Morocco is in the spring. The weather is lovely, and there aren’t as many tourists. It is a highly bustling city in the summer.
- Be wary of unlabeled products sold at street stalls.
- As a Spanish citizen, all you need to enter Morocco is a passport; no visa is necessary.
- It is advisable to purchase travel insurance in case of medical problems or luggage theft.
- Be cautious with your personal stuff, especially in tourist locations. Pickpocketing is a possibility, as it is in most cities.
- There is no roaming in Morocco, therefore disconnect your data roaming or check with your operator.
How to Plan a Trip to Asilah Morocco
- Take inspiration from other travelers’ experiences.
- Create your own itinerary and include the app’s ideas.
- Add the stops that interest you the most, as well as the restaurants and pubs where you want to eat (you can use the points of interest listed in this post as a reference).
- Organize your itinerary by route days and their location on the map (you can take inspiration from the routes we present in the post)
- Examine the travel budget that the program generates based on your journey stops, restaurants, and leisure activities.
- Make the necessary changes, and you’ll be ready for your trip.
- Tell us about your experience. Upload images of each location you visited on your journey to the app and tell other travelers what to see in Asilah.
Please keep in mind that we are a travel agency that organizes trips from several Moroccan cities: