Asilah and Lixus Roman Ruins
One of the best spots of the North Atlantic Cost, Asilah is very
well known for its medieval ramparts, narrow streets with fantastic
coast line and its fancy beaches. For the last few years Moroccan
government has been investing money in this region to promote its
tourism since it has a lot of potential. You’ll enjoy the Old Medina
and the medieval ramparts and castle walls right in the Atlantic
Lixus is located on the Coast a few kilometres South of Asilah and
can be done in a morning trip from Asilah.
According to Ancient Mythology, it was here hat Hercules picked the
golden apples of the Garden of Hesperides, thus completing the11th
of his 12 labours. The Phoenician Atlantic colonies fell to the
Carthaginians in the 6th century BC. Lixus remained a trading point
for slaves, gold and ivory.
Lixus was taken by the Roman Empire in the 6th century BC and its
exportations changed mainly to olives, wince, salt and wild animals
to Emperor Claudius’s ampithitheatres.
This great capital is a very interesting point to escape all other
Imperial cities hassle and hustle. Rabat combines very well new
modern cosmopolitan way of living with ancient palace and old
Medinas inside castle walls facing the Atlantic coast. Rabat has a
lot to offer and you’ll see plenty starting from the beautiful
palaces and Mohammad 5th Mausoleum, to the Old Kasbah de Oudaias and
its Andalusian Gardens.
Rabat has ancient settlements since the Phoenicians and Romans and
only by the 10th and 12th century with the arrival of Almohads
that’s the city started to get some size and more importance. From
here, Yacoub Al-Mansour started his Iberian Peninsula Conquer and a
few years later with its success, Ribat al-Fatah aka Rabat gained
great prosperity. Rabat was Morocco’s capital for several times
until when the French decided to change the government from Fès to
El Jadida is the last UNESCO site in Morocco and its ancient Medina
along with the Atlantic Coast makes it one of the most beautiful
places in all Moroccan Coast. Founded by the Portuguese back in 1513
with the name Mazagan, this town remained Portuguese until the took
over in 1769 by the Sultan Sidi Mohammed ben Abdallah. For several
years El Jadida was forgotten and left to ruins until later re-colonization
of Portuguese merchants around 1850. The old “ Cité Portugaise ” has
amazing views to the Ocean and the mixture of West European features
with Moroccan taste are something unique.
Essaouira named Mogador by the Portuguese in the end of the 15th
century, is one of the most well known coastal cities in Morocco.
It’s very famous for its Gnawa music festival, ocean view castle
ramparts and grilled fish restaurants on the ocean side. A walk in
Essouaira is a mixture of exotic architecture styles and smells
always with music on the background. Most of the architecture that
exist today was part of a reconstruction project ordered by the
Sultan Sid Mohammed ben Abdallah to a French architect names
Théodore Cornut, and the present name of Essaouira meaning “weel
designed” comes back from that time.
You can visit the Port where Orsan Welles filmed many of his Othello
heading North the wood-workers shops and further more the towns sea
bastion built all along the cliffs. Southwest off the coast there’s
Mogador Island and the bird sanctuary for Eleanora’s falcon that
comes all the way from Madagascar to breed.
The order of the
visit changes and depends on your arrival point. If you arrive in
Marrakesh, the circuit will start differently than if you
arrive in Casablanca or in the northern border with Ceuta.
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