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Information about Asilah

Informations about Asilah

Asilah, pearl of the Atlantic Ocean, a quiet seaside resort town within Portuguese walls that once enclosed it. City of poets and painters, birthplace of Raissuli. Touched by the sea, Asilah is like an water color painting at sunset, where people get together to end the day by watching the sunset from a fort tower along the coast. Enjoy the beauty of this small fishing village on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, famous for its many beaches. Taste the exquisite local food made from the finest and freshest seafood. Shop and bargain in the bazaar. Experience another culture and the great hospitality offered to foreigners. 


Asilah warmly welcomes tourists and its enthusiasm can be found in each vendor tent on the narrow streets and in the small kasbah and you are sure to find the freshest seafood at amazing prices. Although it is a small town, it has an overwhelming history. Its medina, easily manageable for tourists, is extremely clean and neat , it is surrounded by walls lined with palm trees. It is one of Morocco's nicest medinas. Strolling through the painted streets of white , indigo blue and emerald green is a feeling that must be lived.

If you prefer the beach over the markets, Asilah has the best to offer. With more than 60 kms of pristine, sandy beaches on the Atlantic coast, no crowds and clean and clear waters, you'll have no tourble laying back and relaxing in the sand. If you're more active, these beaches are also the ideal place to enjoy with family or friends taking walks or playing around in the sand. If you want to mix the beach with the desert, take a camel ride along the ocean!  Then you can chill by the hotel pool and visit the attractions of the fair. Asilah is videal place to relax and forget your stress.
What to do

What to see or what to visit while travelling to Asilah


Disconnect from the world, turn off your phone and experience life to the fullest! When you fully immerse yourself in the culture of Asilah, you’ll find things that you never would have seen at home. Take the time to walk through the medina, stopping at all the street vendor tents, pause and drink some natural mint tea or a fresh orange juice at any of the cafes, take in the amazing sunsets, fresh fruit stands and have the freshest seafood available in Morocco. If you want, you can make your way over to El Manar where you can pay 10 dirhams for a bath and 25 for a massage. Nearly everyone at the bathhouse speaks Spanish so you can communicate.

You change in the locker room and head towards the last room which is the steamiest. There you lie, relaxing on the floor by steaming buckets of water for about ten minutes. Then you move to the next room and that's where you are given a pumice stone to exfoliate your entire body in the bath. Finally, if you want a massage, you will make your way to another room where the temperature cools and you can fully relax.

Or if you’re feeling more active, enjoy a day wandering the beach caves. You can get to them by taxi or by donkey but either way, they are a sight to see. Not outdoorsy? Spend the day at the hotel pool relaxing or haggling in the marketplace. If people watching is more your style, stick around until after the sun goes down to see the city lit up and witness the hustle and bustle from another point of view!



Cave Beach otherwise known as the pigeon's Paradise, is the nicest and cleanest beach in Asilah. During the summer there, there are numerous chairs and umbrellas for rent where you can lay out and take a nap in the warm sun. You can get to the beach by taxi or horse-drawn carriage for about 200 dirhams roundtrip (about 44 euros).

You’ll love taking a break on the Atlantic coast, especially if you stop by the beach bar run by Haddaoui Said, a great person, honest and hardworking. He serves good tagine or sardines, or he brings out fresh market produce. Each day when you order, you’ll get something different depending on what is fresh in the market that day!



At the market of Asilah you can find shade underneath the eucalyptus trees on la Avenida de Hassan II and flow among the river of people going in and out of tents. Here you’ll find fresh fruit and vegetables, spices and grains. This market is typically a meeting point for locals and we highly recommend it to tourists who want to experience the tumultuous hustle and bustle of the Arab world.

La Iglesia de San Bartolomé, or the Church of Saint Bartholomew was built by a Franciscan priest from Galicia. Built in Spanish colonial style, the church has an amazing architectural style that changes when you move into the Chapel of the Nuns which was built in the Moorish style. This is a common area for prayer in the Islamic and Christian communities and has prayers written in Arabic. It is one of the few churches in Morocco that was granted permission to ring a prayer bell on Sundays at 11am to announce mass.

The walls surrounding Asilah were commissioned to be built by Alfonso V of Portugal. Along the walls there are 3 doors that give access to the Medina. Through Bab Homar, otherwise known as the Land Gate, you can see the Portuguese canyons and through Puerta del Mar you have access to the quiet, more hidden part of the city where women wander the streets quietly balancing baskets on their heads and men carry live chickens through the streets to the market. Finally there is the last door: Kasbah. Through this door you’ll find white houses with vibrantly painted doors in shades of blue and emerald green.


               Raisuni Palace, also called the Palace of Culture, was built in 1906. Although now it is only used for cultural festivals, it is in perfect condition. The palace was built for Mulai Ahmed er Raisuni, the man infamous for terrorizing Morocco and Spain and for the kidnapping of many powerful politicians of his time for ransom. Raisuni is known for various things from being a kind of “Robin Hood” to a tyrannous bandit. He was imprisoned more than once for acts against Moroccan military and political officials but was later forgiven and was even briefly in power as the Pasha until he was removed from power in 1912 for cruelty against his enemies. In the year following his removal from power, Rausuni led multiple Rif tribes in a bloody battle against the Spanish, and continued this guerilla conflict for nearly eight years. Raisuni’s men were finally defeated by Colonel Manuel Fernandez Silvestre, a Spanish commander but not without severe losses to his army, and Raisuni died of natural causes a decade later.
Had Gharbia is a Sunday Market, located 14 km from Asilah. There you can enjoy a cup of tea on a terrace off of the main square and then follow the smells of spices, henna and fresh fruit to the colorful and culturally rich market where you can find all kinds of artisan handicrafts.
Tnine Sidi El Yamani is another open-air Souk market that is open on Mondays about 25 km outside of Asilah. At this market you can find everything from crafts to fruit, but this particular market specializes in animals such as cows, goats, donkeys, horses and camels.
If you wish to stay in Asilah you can head over to the open-air market on Thursdays. Located next to the old football field, here is where you will find the typical Moroccan market without going too far.





Asilah has Phoenician origins and the foundations of the city come from ninth century Arab conquistadors. During the Middle Ages and modern times, Asilah has had an eventful history linking it to Tangier. It was attacked twice by nomads in the 9th century in search of riches. Asilah was rebuilt by the Umayyad caliph Al- Hakem II, who built a wall to protect the city from attacks. He also built a mosque and the city flourished peacefully through the 12th century and opened trade with the West which brought it prosperity.
The Wattasids, now seen as part of the Moroccan dynasty, found support in Asilah as a pillar of strength in their struggle for power. In 1471, the city was taken by the Portuguese and remained under their control until 1550. It was they who rebuilt the walls, fortified them with strong towers and built a higher tower that served as a lookout to protect against attacks. Garrisons entrenched in this fortress suffered numerous attacks by Wattasids and the Prince of Chefchaouen, Moulay Brahim. 
Asilah fell under various reigns between 1550 and 1956 when it was finally recognized officially and the Kingdom of Morocco.

Cañon en Asilah

Restaurants & Bars

Casa García

  • 51, Rue Moulay Hassan Ben El Mehdi. Phone: 03 941 74 65
  • This family restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating and they have all kinds of seafood on the menu for reasonable prices. They also have wine and beer menus for good prices. We recommend “las patatas estrelladas” which is a dish made of potatoes mixed with shrimp and a seafood sauce. This dish isn’t on the menu, but if you ask for it, we promise you’ll love it! Another dish we recommend is “el centollo preparado” which is a crab dish that is so good! These are at the top of our lists for meals to eat while in Morocco. Casa Garcia is a two minute walk from Hotel Zelis along the promenade. You can’t visit Asilah without stopping here for a meal.

Casa Pepe

  • 8, Plaza Zelaka. Phone: 03 941 73 95
  • Casa Pepe is one of the most famous restaurants in Asilah. Established by Pepe de Almeria, the restaurant is situated in front of the mural and the plaza. Here you can taste a variety of fresh seafood either grilled or fried. The first floor has a dining room that fits larger groups, but if you would like a reservation, we recommend waiting until the weekend. Casa Pepe is one of the few places where you can order eel, crab, barnacles and other seafood with guaranteed freshness always.


El Espigón

  • Av. Moulay Hassan Ben El Mehdi. Phone: 03 941 71 57 // 03 941 88 39.
  • Cherif Mohamed Alaoui El Mrani
  • In our opinión, this is the best one! It has the classic Moroccan atmosphere, they use and finest ingredients and they are the perfect mix of informal seating with high quality food. Their menu has a tomato salad on it that is our favorite! It is a mix of tomatoes and roasted peppers, topped with olive oil and cilantro. This is good for an informal family dinner!



Casa Jimy

  • 14, Rue Al Okuhammed.
  • The most informal and cheapest restaurant on our list is Casa Jimy. They have a great, genuine Morcoccan environment and they serve the best “pinchos” or snacks in town. It’s right next to Hotel Zelis and Al Kasaaba. If the locals like this place, you know it’s good! From what we’ve heard, Mohammed is everyone’s favorite waiter there so let him know we say hi!


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