Tangier Travel Guide
Tangier, Tanger in French and Tanja in Berber, is the stuff of spy novels and films. Indeed, it’s a city of intrigue and exoticism, with a legacy tied to smuggling and international espionage. It has for years been the setting for clandestine rendezvous and Hollywood thrillers – think Bourne Ultimatum and the heart-pounding sequence that plays out on the rooftops of an inner-city quarter. An essential stop for artists, musicians, writers, diplomats, spies and businessmen throughout the 20th century, the city, however, must be forgiven for its mishmash of industrial parks, port authority and suburban districts that first greet the visitor; for it does have a thoroughly intoxicating historic core with crowded souks, endless strings of tourist boutiques, hawkers and hustlers with a hypnotic cadence, centuries-old mosques, and a supremely enchanting sultan's palace. There's even a brilliant and mesmerizing coast here, whose haunting colors inspired 19th- and 20th-century painters such as Delacroix and Matisse and, in more contemporary times, the likes of California artist Richard Diebenkorn. There are, besides, unique museums in town to browse in, and inner-city quarters saturated with small shops, cafés and teahouses where you can kick back and watch Moroccan life go by. Paul Bowles, American expat extraordinaire, lived in Tangier for more than a half century, while native son Mohamed Choukri penned in Tangier the quintessential North African prose, For Bread Alone, an autobiography.
Tangier is located on the northern tip of Morocco and thus North Africa, across the Strait of Gibraltar from Tarifa, the southernmost city in Spain, in plain view and all of a 30-minute ferry ride away from the latter.
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