Photoblog: The Moroccan Seaside in White and Blue

Posted on November 3, 2010 by

Approaching Asilah from far, we see a jumble of square buildings topped with blue domes, enclosed within the sand-colored Medina walls. Reflecting the colors of the balmy sea, the town of Asilah is bathed in a blanket of white and blue, dotted by the occasional brown brick houses and honey-colored mosques.Men with burly beards, adorning the traditional cheelabah, stroll along the empty streets. The last ebbs of the sun are fading in the distance; there is silence except for the sounds of seagulls and the crashing waves.

Despite it being my third visit, this is a side to Morocco I’ve never seen. The chaos, blinding bazaars and hectic mayhem are missing; in their place, a strange kind of tranquility and languid vibe reign. Although the rumbling energy of Morocco has always the country’s biggest draw for me, I am beginning to enjoy this slow, subtle atmosphere surrounding its seaside towns.

Panorama of Asilah

My partner and I are here on a weekend break from our base in Spain, and it looks like we had chosen the right spot to unwind – the concept of time seem to be absent here. Earlier that day, we had sailed across the Straits of Gibraltar on a fast-speed ferry, making the 14km journey from Southern Spain to Morocco in just 1 hour. The voyage itself is worth the journey – crossing from one continent to another is quite the experience, not to mention the stark contrast in cultures and colors between the two countries. Taking the ferry is fairly easy, book the tickets online (return fares start from 80euros) and you’re on your way to the exotic continent.

White-washed mosque in Asilah, Morocco

Asilah, poised along the treacherous coastline of the Atlantic Ocean, is a historical fishing town rich with remnants of yesteryears. Amidst its labyrinth-like Medina (old town), we stumble upon a mélange of old-warm antique shops, artisan craft stores, teahouses and mosques. Over the next few days, we soak in every bit of the town, wandering around narrow alleyways, discovering something new with each turn we take. The architecture within the Medina is simple yet enthralling. Against the white-washed backdrop, every shade of blue is on display here: cyan, turquoise, aqua, ocean blue…

Blue gates of Asilah, seaside town in Morocco

Streets of Asilah Morocco

Streets of Asilah Morocco

The arch-shaped gates are a feature of the Moroccan Medinas. Here, gates are all painted in blue, green or cyan – so are are the windows, roofs and panels. Even mosques are also given their own shade of turquoise. I find the matching color palette a feast for the eyes.

Moroccan mosque in Asilah


A green gate in Asilah Morocco

Mosque in Asilah Morocco

Unlike most Moroccan cities, Asilah does not have a souk – chaotic, raucous bazaar packed to the brim with local products and handicraft. Along the narrow alleyways of its medina, we find several charming family-owned shops boasting hand-crafted artwork. “Come and see my shop!” They would say.

Products on sale in Moroccan bazaar

Painted porcelain bowls

Teapot for sale in Moroccan bazaar

In the neighboring town of Larache, the same colors reign. Mixed with the sandy color of the local mosque, the townscape is one stunning jigsaw puzzle. We chance upon a bustling fish market in the centre of Larache – with colors so intoxicating it set off my shutter bug.

Entrance to vegetable market in Larache, Morocco

Fish market in Larache

Entrance to market in Larache, Morocco


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About Nellie Huang

Nellie Huang is a professional travel writer and blogger with a special interest in off-grid destinations and adventure travel. Her mission is to visit every country in the world. In her quest, she's climbed an active volcano in Iceland, swam with sealions in the Galapagos, built a school in Tanzania, waddled with penguins in Antarctica, crossed into North Korea and drank beer in Palestine.

6 Responses to “Photoblog: The Moroccan Seaside in White and Blue”

  1. Jen Laceda November 3, 2010 10:47 am #

    Wow, these places are gorgeous! who would have thought this is how asilah looks?

  2. Nellie November 7, 2010 9:46 pm #

    It's pretty isnt it – that blend of white and blue against the colorful bazaars. Asilah actually makes a great alternative to the more expensive European islands such as Santorini and Mykonos.

  3. ana November 8, 2010 12:23 pm #

    This is so beautiful! I have been aching to go to Morocco!

  4. Lisa E @chickybus December 7, 2010 1:13 am #

    Wonderful photo spread….gorgeous images. Makes me want to go there! Nice to know that there's a less chaotic side of Morocco…

  5. Kristin December 7, 2010 1:25 am #

    Beautiful, beautiful! What a great way to "see" this colorful country.


  1. Daily Travel Snapshot: Asilah, Morocco | Wild Junket - August 14, 2011

    […] blue Arabic gate in the seaside town of Asilah, Morocco. var Scribol; if(typeof Scribol=='undefined'){Scribol={}; […]

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