Tetouan is a jewel of a town in a striking location at the foot of the Rif Mountains, and just a few kilometres from the sea. Despite seeing relatively few foreign visitors, there's an air of authenticity here that adds great value to a visit. The ancient medina, a Unesco World Heritage site, looks like it has not changed in several centuries. The modern centre that abuts it gleams in white, its Spanish facades given a recent facelift to seductive affect.
That Spanish influence dates from 1912–56, when Tetouan was the capital of the Spanish protectorate, which encompassed much of northern Morocco. The town’s long relationship with Andalucia has left it with a Hispano-Moorish character that is unique in Morocco, as physically reflected in the white buildings and broad boulevards of the Spanish part of the city, known as the Ensanche (extension).