1) Tangier Area, Afternoon Tour Wednesday 25th, 18:00 h
The first scheduled social event is a guided visit to the old Medina, Museum Al Kasbah, Café El Hafa, and Cap Spartel. Buses will leave from the front door of the Mövenpick Hotel at 18:00. This visit is included in the registration fee.
Museum Al Kasbah. Le Palais de la Kasbah called "Dar-al-Makhzen" or Sultan's Palace, occupies the eastern part of the Kasbah of Tangier. Due to its strategic position, the site surrounding the palace was used by the Carthaginians and Romans as evidenced by a legend according to which a temple of Hercules stood there.
Due to its architectural structure and composition, this monument is the type of Moroccan mansions whith an open sky court, large garden, and where the distinction between private and public space are the main features. The style of the decoration is typical Moroccan: coating ceiling, carved plaster, painted dome or carved wood. However, curved columns and composite capitals in white marble adorning the patio are European elements.
The Museum of the Kasbah reconstructs the major aspects of the material culture of the city of Tangier and its region. The exhibition is divided into three sections organized according to a path that respects the architecture of the palace. It illustrates the main features of this region that has played a unique role in the relationship between Africa and Europe, serving as a crossing point between the two continents via the Strait of Gibraltar, and constituting a place of exchange in the western basin of the Mediterranean.
Café el Hafa, located along the cliff top overlooking the Bay of Tangier is one of the most legendary cafés in Tangier. Opened in 1921, the Café has retained its 1920s style of décor, and through the years has been visited by numerous writers, painters and singers, from Paul Bowles and William S. Burroughs, to The Beatles and the Rolling Stones. The Café is known for its mint tea, a Tangier special brew, that we will taste too. Young local people usually meets at Café el Hafa to spend the time in the terraces, drinking the typical mint tea, and watching the landscape, where in the clearest days the Spanish coast and wind turbines of Tarifa can be seen.
Café El Hafa
Cap Spartel is a promontory in Morocco about 1,000 feet (300 m) above sea level at the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar, 12 km West of Tangier. Cape Spartel is the most North Western point of mainland Africa. The cape rises to a height of 326 m. at the top of Jebel Kebir where there is a tower. There is another tower nearer to the end of the cape which serves as a lighthouse. Below the cape are the Caves of Hercules. The caves have shown evidence of Neolithic occupation. Near Cape Spartel, we find Spartel Bank, a sunken island hypothesized by some as the location of the legendary island of Atlantis. In the same Cape, there is a small restaurant where a small dinner will take place watching the sunset over the Atlantic Ocean. Dinner cost is not included this time, but it is not expensive.
Cap Spartel and Restaurant
2) Tetouan Visit (Accompanying Persons) Thursday 25th, 10:00 h(*)
The second scheduled social event, conceived for accompanying persons is a guided visit to the city of Tetouan. An air-conditioned bus will leave from the front door of the Mövenpick Hotel at 10:00 am (to be confirmed). This visit should cost less than 20 euro.
Tétouan. This city, named "the white", is situated in the foothills of the Rif and facing the sea (57km from Tangier), its medina is one of the most attractive of Morocco, Walking through its narrow streets lead to squares full of color. Here, artisans are grouped by streets, according to guilds: embroiderers, tanners, dyers, weavers ...
Not only the old city capitalizes the touristic interest, there are also other attractive things to see in the new quarters like the “white Dove” monument to peace. Tetouan received a big influence from Al-Andalus, especially after XV century, when the Spanish Christian kingdoms defeated the last Muslim enclave, the Granada Kingdom in the Iberian peninsula. In fact, the “Garden of Lovers” or “Riad al Ochak” is similar to the “Alhambra” gardens in Granada.
The enclosure has 7 medina carved doors, the most notably one being the “Bab Sebta” near a romantic Jewish cemetery and “Bab Oqla” near the Museum of Moroccan Arts. The medina has several mosques, probably the most beautiful of them is that of “Sidi Es-Said”, whose minaret is decorated with tiles, and the Zaouïa el-Abbasiya mosque in the street Safaïn. It is also recommended to visit the street “Ahmed Torres” and the souk “Houts”, placed in a wooded little square that welcomes ceramics and textiles vendors, cabinet makers, esparteros, and beauty products.
The “Ousaa” square, pleasantly shaded the whole day, and the “Mellah”, the old Jewish quarter with its wrought iron balconies and large windows, are also interesting places.
3) Gala Dinner Thursday 26th, 21:00 h
This year, the Gala Dinner will be held in the Restaurant Layali in the Hotel Mövenpick in Tangier, at 21:00 hours. The decoration of this restaurant simulates a khaima, and offers Moroccan and oriental cuisine. Wonderful Moroccan rich food and traditional music are especially prepared for you to appreciate and enjoy the unique glamour of the Moroccan culture.
4) Asilah Late-Afternoon Friday 26th, 17:00 h
After the gala dinner, the last social event is a relaxing guided visit to the city of Asilah. Buses will leave from the front door of the Mövenpick Hotel at 17:00. The price of this tour is around 25 euro, including the dinner. People who want to participate in this activity should talk with the conference reception desk staff.
Asilah is a seaside town, 46km south of Tangier, with a long and eventful history that involved the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Idrissíes, Norman pirates, Portuguese, Spanish, and the local population. The ancient city is surrounded by an ocher wall, where a colorful market is held on Thursday morning, and wherein men and women dressed in their traditional costumes, offer local products. Many hand-made paintings, carpets, metallic plates, and other souvenirs can be found here and everywhere.
The walls include: Bab el Bahar (sea gate), Bab Homar, also called door of the earth, and the Gate of the Kasbah. Inside the old city, there are many typical streets of white houses, with doors and windows painted blue or green. The “Ibn Khaldoun” square, a must to see, is dominated by a red square tower called “El Hamra” (Red).
Assila Sea Front Assilah Ocher Wall Artists Street