Only returned to Morocco by the Spanish in 1969, Sidi Ifni retains an atmospheric Iberian flair, and the faded art-deco buildings are a haunting reminder of colonial ambitions. At the heart of what was the Spanish Sahara, Ifni was once a base for slave-trading operations and later a large exporter of fish to the Spanish mainland. When the sun sets on the ocean esplanade and dilapidated calles (streets), and the Atlantic rolls in, Ifni seems an eerie outpost.
The locals have painted the town blue and white, and continue the colour scheme in their turbans and robes. They support Spanish football teams, take siestas and are more likely to greet travellers with hola than bonjour. You might hear Spanish beats blaring from a cafe, and the expats and local cafe crowd are laid-back even by Moroccan standards. Equally easygoing are visiting surfers, seeking out excellent Atlantic waves on nearby beaches.