Tetouan, called the white dove, is a city in northern Morocco, of Amazigh (Berber) origin, which in this language means "water fountains", due to their high number in the city. It is located on the side of Djébel Dersa, on the Haouz plain, 70 kilometers from Tangier and 40 from Ceuta.
Nestled in the Rif mountainside and overlooking the Mediterranean waters, Tetouan, a Spanish-Moorish town, makes the best from mixing cultures and is the guardian of its finest traditions in order to offer a unique setting for tourists looking for well-being and authenticity.

Mysterious, sometimes distant, Tetouan, nicknamed the “white dove” or “the daughter of Granada” by the Arab poets, is a historical place. You won’t be able to resist the charm of its beautiful streets and alleys nor the moving remains of the Andalusian and Mediterranean civilization. Here the memories of a rich history are written on every wall and every facade for the passers-by to read. Its round the year mild and temperate climate and beautiful beaches make it a popular tourist destination.

Looking for a sunny place, where to relax? Near Tetouan, the Tamuda Bay beach resort offers the opportunity to do just that combining the softness of the Mediterranean beaches and the sensuousness of the Andalusian lifestyle.
As for nature and adventure fans, the wild and breathtaking landscapes of the Rif Mountains are marvels to be explored.

History of Tetouan

Tetouan, a beautiful Andalusian Historical city, is supposed to have been founded during the third century BC, based on the archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Tamuda. Phoenicians and Romans were the first to settle on this land and build a city which was destroyed and rebuilt several times over the invasions. In the fifteenth century the Merinides built the walled city of Tetouan to control the rebellious tribes of the Rif.

When Granada fell in 1492, many Muslims and Jews left southern Spain to escape the Spanish Inquisition and they settled in Tetouan. The city became a host city for the Andalusian civilization from the late fifteenth century. During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the city grew due to its status as a Mediterranean port where goods transited to and from the capital, Fez.


Tetouan houses, built in the Andalusian style, imported from Seville and Granada. With its green and white houses, Its hanging and shaded walls and squares, the city of Tetouan has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997.
The seven magnificent carved doors of Tetouan :

  • Bab uqlat
  • Bab Saida (East)
  • Bab Makabari
  • Bab Ajyaf (North)
  • Bab Al Nawadir (West)
  • Bab Tout
  • Bab Symbols (South)


Traditional craftsmanship is concentrated in the old Medina where every industry has its own quarter with the same name where workshops and shops are found. Among them are Zellige (tilework), pottery, plaster engravings, embroidery, inlaying with silver wire, the manufacture of thick-soled yellow slippers, much-esteemed flintlocks, and artistic towels used as capes and skirts by Jebala women in rural areas.


Tétouan is famed for its fine craftsmanship and musical delicacy and has been part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the area of Crafts and Folk Art since 2017. Its cultural heritage is the product of the interaction between different cultural influences throughout centuries. It is mainly characterized by its Andalusian style and way of living, but Amazigh (Berber), Jewish, and colonial Spanish influences are present too.


The vast majority of the population are Muslims and small Christian and Jewish communities also exist, although their presence has declined sharply in recent decades. Notable spiritual leaders include Sufi saint Ahmad ibn Ajiba and Jewish Rabbis Yosef Maimon and Isaac Ben Walid. Tétouan also had a vibrant Sephardi Jewish community with ties to Al-Andalus.

Museums and festivals

The Lucas Museum of Religious Heritage (متحف لوقش للتراث الديني) is housed in the historic Madrasat Lucas in Tétouan. In addition to archaeological, traditional, and modern art museums, as well as an archival library, Tétouan hosts a school of music and many artisan schools. Different music genres of local or regional origins can be found in Tétouan. Traditional Andalusian classical music is the most popular and folk singers such as Abdessadeq Cheqara are widely known in Morocco. Other popular local genres like Taktoka Jabaliya also exist and are usually played at weddings.
Tétouan hosts many international festivals such as the International Mediterranean Film Festival, and the International Oud and Women's Voice (أصوات نسائية) Festival.
On November 20, 2013, the city's Centro de Arte Moderno (Center of Modern Art) was launched and currently holds between 180 and 200 artworks from both self-trained artists and graduates of the city's National Institute of Fine Arts.


The city is situated about 60 km east of the city of Tangier and 40 km south of the Strait of Gibraltar. To the south and west of the city, there are many mountains. Tétouan is situated in the middle of a belt of orchards that grow oranges, almonds, pomegranates, and cypress trees. The Rif Mountains are nearby, as the city is located in the Martil Valley. It is picturesquely situated on the northern slope of a fertile valley down which flows the Martil river, with the harbour of Tétouan, Martil, at its mouth. Behind rise rugged masses of rock, the southern wall of the Anjera country, once practically closed to Europeans; across the valley are the hills which form the northern limit of the still more impenetrable Rif.


Tétouan features a Mediterranean climate. Located along the Mediterranean Sea, the weather in Tétouan is mild, cold, and rainy during the winter, hot and dry in the summer months.


The economy of the city is based mainly on tourism and commerce. Other sectors of income include fishing and agriculture. Tétouan's civil airport Sania Ramel Airport, which became an international airport that operates flights to western Europe, is operated by the Moroccan Airports Authority and is located 6 km (4 mi) to the east.

Types of tourism in Tetouan

  • Médina
  • Archaeological museum
  • Souk District
  • Ville Nouvelle
  • Ethnography Museum
  • Rid Mountains
  • Martil
  • Northeast Coastline
  • M'diq
  • Fnideq

Beaches near Tetouan

  • Cabo Negro
  • Martil
  • Oued Lou
  • M'diq
  • Fnideq
  • Azla
  • Rifiyine beach
  • Marina Smir
  • Almina Beach
  • Belyounech beach
  • Kabila beach
  • Restinga beach
  • Sania Torres
  • Tamrabet
  • Tamarnot