El Peñón de Alhucemas

Al Hoceima

One of the plazas de soberanía (places of sovereignty), this extraordinary white island fortress can be seen a few hundred metres off Plage Sfiha, along with the uninhabited Isla de Mar and Isla de Tierra, which fly the Spanish flag. Spanish rule dates back to 1559, when the Saadi dynasty gave it to Spain in exchange for military assistance. In 1673 the Spanish military established a garrison there and never left.

Today the fort hosts several dozen soldiers and cannot be visited. Spanish sovereignty has been contested by Morocco since independence in 1956.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Al Hoceima attractions

1. Plage Sfiha

0.41 MILES

A short retreat from the city, wide horseshoe-shaped Plage Sfiha looks out on the Spanish-controlled post-colonial relic, El Peñon de Alhucemas. A couple…

2. Plage Isri

1.42 MILES

This 100m-long grey-sand beach is a good option for soaking in some rays outside of the city bustle. A few food shacks along the beach serve fresh catch…

3. Cala Bonita


Because of its location south of town, Cala Bonita pebble beach manages to avoid some of the crowds, though there are still plenty of umbrellas during…

4. Plage Quemado

2.99 MILES

Located in a pretty, steep-sided bay, the yellow sand beach below the Mercure Quemado Resort is a popular hang-out spot in the summer for taking a dip and…

5. Port

3.06 MILES

The port is mainly used for a large commercial fishing operation. It's a great place to watch the catch being unloaded, and to find dinner: vendors line…

6. El Peñón de Vélez de la Gomera

23.34 MILES

This tiny island was transformed into a peninsula in the 1930s and ’40s when a sandbank joined it with the mainland. Despite several Moroccan attempts at…