Situated at the Northernmost tip of Morocco, Tangier is just an hour away from Spain by ferry. Traditionally, most travellers arriving in this chaotic city would simply be passing through to other destinations in Morocco after arrival on boat from Europe. Recently, new flights to Tangier have opened from a host of low-cost airlines across Europe, making the city a popular destination in itself. Once an “international zone” ruled by the British, French, Spanish and Italians, Tangier was known as a luxury playground for the rich, with a tax-free status and a lax attitude to morals. After its return to Moroccan rule, the flamboyant café culture died down but the colonial buildings and edifices remain.
Travellers book flights to Tangier to explore its markets and medinas, visit the Kasbahs and stroll along the beaches. Take a break from sightseeing and shopping with a mint tea on one of the cafés along the waterfront and watch the boats roll in from Spain.
On the coast, Tangier’s climate is tempered by an ocean current and breezes. The temperature rarely exceeds the mid-20s (Celsius) and even in October the minimum temperature is 15 degrees. Tangier gets about 96cm (38 inches) of rain annually, with most of it falling between November and December.
June to September is the peak season in Tangier, although the city’s mild climate makes it tourist friendly year-round.
With the winter chilliness and rain, there are fewer tourist crowds and many airlines offer discounted rates during the winter months. This is the perfect time to find a cheap flight to Tangier. For a winter visit bring warm clothing. The buildings are designed for a hot climate and can be chilly in winter.
The Muslim Ramadan takes place in the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar (July in 2012) and nearly all restaurants and cafes are closed during the day.
To best experience Tangier, lace up your walking shoes and set out on foot. There are lots of alleyways and places in the medina only accessible by foot, so walking will provide the best vantage point. Don’t rent a car. You’ll thank yourself when you see other clueless tourists lost in a maze of one-way streets and narrow alleys. If you just can’t walk another step, mini buses will take you around the city while regular buses can take you out to the suburbs. Be aware that any bus will take you longer though, since they have to make all of their stops along the way. You can also hail a petit taxi, usually coloured blue or green, from the sidewalk. It’s not unusual for the driver to pick up additional passengers along the way, so you may share a ride with up to two other people. For travel outside the city limits or to the airport, you can hire a Grands taxi, which you will not be expected to share.