Top choice in Asilah

Asilah’s compact medina is surrounded by sturdy stone fortifications built by the Portuguese in the 15th century. Enter through the Bab Al Kassaba and wander along its warren of alleyways, where the brilliant-white buildings punctuated with blue paintwork that match the sea and sky – many of which have been bought and restored by foreigners – are dotted with boutiques and galleries. Colourful murals painted each year during the Asilah Festival, as well as by local schoolchildren, make it exceptionally photogenic.

Access to the ramparts is limited. The southwestern bastion is the best spot for views over the ocean and is a popular spot at sunset. It also offers a peek into the nearby Koubba of Sidi Mansur (closed to non-Muslims) and the Mujaheddin Graveyard.

The southern entrance to the medina, Bab Homar, is topped by the much-eroded Portuguese royal coat of arms. The main entrance, Bab Al Kasaba, leads to the Great Mosque, which is closed to non-Muslims. The medina is busiest on Thursday, Asilah’s main market day.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Asilah attractions

1. Great Mosque

0.03 MILES

The recently restored, dazzlingly white Great Mosque, with its Islamic-green door is an icon of the medina, although it's closed to non-Muslims. A small…

2. Bab Homar

0.07 MILES

The southern gate into the medina, Bab Homar is topped by a much-eroded Portuguese royal coat of arms.

3. Palais de Raissouli

0.08 MILES

This palace was built in 1909 by Er Raissouli the pirate and stands as a testament to the sumptuous life he led at the height of his power. Beautifully…

4. Paradise Beach

3.28 MILES

R’Milat Beach, aka Paradise Beach or Las Cuevas – even Rubbish Beach, after the summer hordes have left – is 7km south of Asilah. It has a string of…

5. Sidi Mghayet Beach

6.13 MILES

Around 15km from Asilah – including 4km down a dirt road – Sidi Mghayet is one of Asilah’s more remote beaches and one of the quietest. During July and…

6. Had Gharbia Souq

6.79 MILES

An interesting trip from Asilah is a visit to the lively Sunday market in the village of Had Gharbia, 14km northeast of town, inland off the road to…

7. Monoliths of M’Soura

6.81 MILES

The mysterious Monoliths of M’Soura make an interesting half-day trip from Asilah. This prehistoric site consists of a large stone circle (actually an…

8. Rada Beach

7.57 MILES

The wide sweep of Rada Beach – also known as Mounir Beach after the beach’s well-known cafe owner – is 22km from Asilah (7km of it down a dirt road) and…