Asilah Holidays: Guide to Holidays in Asilah
The whitewashed resort town of Asilah is one of the most elegant of the old Portuguese Atlantic ports of Morocco, ranking with the Essaouira and El Jadida as a firm favourite on the travellers’ trail. First impressions of an Asilah Holiday are of wonderful ramparts straddling the rocks, flanked by palm trees swaying in the coastal breeze and an immense sweep of sand stretching into the distance. The Medina is squeaky clean, with fantastical murals splattered on every corner and repainted every August for the town’s annual festival.
More so than its northerly neighbour Tangier, Asilah can be a wonderful place to ease yourself into Morocco. There is everything a tourist would want here – a more relaxed vibe than other popular destinations, a good choice of hotels, plenty of restaurants and a lively art scene.
Asilah Holiday: Travel to Asilah
Asilah is 46 kilometres south of Tangier, which has flight and ferry connections from mainland Europe. There are good bus connections from Tangier to Asilah, roughly every half an hour. There are also grand taxis from Tangier, which should cost 180 DH for six people sharing.
From the UK, Royal Air Maroc has flights to Tangier via Casablanca from London Heathrow. Further connecting options are available through France and Spain, which have a larger range of flights. Check cheap flights to tangier for flights operated by low cost carriers from Spain and France.
Tangier has also regular ferry connections from Spain and France. The most popular ferry crossings are the Algeciras Tanger and Tarifa Tanger route, several crossings a day. There are also less frequent services to Malaga (Spain), Gibraltar and Séte (France). More information at our Tanger Ferry Guide.
Asilah Holiday: Asilah Attractions
The annual Assilah Festival is a big draw in town. The summer-long festival, from July to August, is the biggest cultural gathering in Morocco drawing artists and fans from around the world. A month of exhibitions, music, poetry and visual art culminating in a three-day fantasia at the end of August. Do not miss a stroll in the Medina to enjoy the colourful murals with exuberant colours that make the whole place appear like an artwork.
The Medina is also a pleasant place to wander around and enjoy the wonderful square stone ramparts or engage in some haggling. The souk experience here is more relaxed than anywhere else, with only a dozen handicraft shops selling everything from hand-woven Berber rugs to antique jewellery.
The beaches in Asilah are an immense sweep of sand stretching all the way north halfway to Tangier. The main beach, flanked by hotels and campsites, is pleasant in low season but gets crowded in summer. Those looking for more solitude can travel a half-a-mile down to the aptly-named Paradise Beach, a pristine cliff-lined cove that does really live up to its name.
Discover the attractions of artsy Asilah in our Asilah Sights guide.
Asilah Holiday: Asilah Accommodation
Asilah has a good choice of decent but characterless accommodation, all in the new part of town. Recently, a host of properties – three and four-bedroom houses – have been constructed in the Medina with stunning décor and all the creature comforts you can think of. This is a better alternative to the town’s uninteresting hotels.
Asilah does get crowded from July to August when thousands of tourists descent on town for the annual Arts Festival. During these summer months, make sure you book your accommodation in Asilah in advance to make sure of availability.