Tangier and Tetouan could be mistaken for museums, for everywhere you look, there is an accumulation of historical treasures and monuments that attest to glories of the past. And yet, they are not the least bit petrified or bogged down in nostalgia for a bygone era. Both cities are active and full of life. Clamors arise from the souks and the hammer strikes of craftsmen echo through the alleys.
There are two famous markets in Tangier: the Grand Socco and the Petit Socco. The animated streets of the medina bustle with merchants. A produce stand sells lemons, olives and figs, showcasing all the colors under the sun. Elsewhere, a tanner beats his hides and polishes his leather while a saleswoman arranges decorative trimmings and tassels. Walk to the Petit Socco for a quick break on the terrace of one of the cafés cherished by famous artists.
In Tetouan, the craftsmen in the medina turn out beautiful zelliges, the enamel masterpieces for which the city is so well known. Other artisans prefer wood over ceramics: be sure to admire their beautiful painted wood panels. Outside the city, a fertile backcountry supplies the local culinary scene with, for example, hundreds of olive and fig trees. This is also where women make jben, a kind of fromage blanc wrapped in palm leaves, which they take to the city. Seek it out in the souks and try it for yourself!
Fertile lands, lively souks and authentic but original handiwork are but some of the charms of Tangier and Tetouan!