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Taza-Al Hoceima-Taounate

Explore Al Hoceima in Morocco

Al Hoceima is strongly Mediterranean and has developed enough to have little in common with the farming hamlets and tribal markets of the mountains around. It is a peaceful place with none of the hassle of Tangier, Fez or Tetouan, and the cafes and streets are full of people going about their own business or pleasure. In late spring, or September, when the beaches are quiet, it's near idyllic. In midsummer, though, be warned that the town and its beaches get pretty jam-packed under the weight of Moroccan families and French and German tourists, and rooms can be difficult to find. It is, after all, a petite town that is not geared to cater for the same levels of tourism that Tangier or Agadir may receive.

Nevertheless, Al Hoceima’s compressed size is one of its charms. Until the 1950’s it consisted of just a small fishing port to the north of the bay and a fringe of white houses atop the barren cliffs to the south.

At the heart of its old quarter is the ‘Place de Rif’, which is enclosed by cafe-restaurants and pensions and the terminal for private-line buses. The newer part of town, with its neat grid of boulevards and occasional palms, occupies the land leaning down to the cliffs above the town beach. Known as Plage Quemado and situated between the harbor and the original village, you can see either the wooden hills behind the town or the sparkling blue sea here at virtually every turn.

Swimming and walking in the olive-grove hills if you want a change, is one of the main attractions of Al Hoceima. Al Hoceima is the perfect place to unwind and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. Everything is very much relaxed and the people are very friendly and welcoming.