If you’re visiting Morocco as a tourist, you are likely limited in your time you have to spend here. This means that you have to be quite selective about the places you visit in order to make the most of your time and see the most interesting parts of the country. Both Tangier and Chefchaouen are highly popular destinations in the north of Morocco, and have lots of things to discover. But on the popular route from Tangier to Chefchaouen, you pass nearby a mysterious, white town called Tetouan. Is it worth your time to stop and visit Tetouan, or should you go directly to Chefchaouen?
Tetouan is located at the foot of the Rif Mountains, but looks like it could be a Spanish city with its whitewashed buildings. That’s because Tetouan features a lot of interesting Spanish architecture thanks to the interesting history shared between Morocco and Andalucía. For old building lovers, stopping Tetouan is worth it just to see the mix of Moroccan and Andalucían architecture.
The medina of Tetouan is distinct to the one in Tangier because it is much less visited by tourists. The medina in Tangier is a bit more catered for tourists, and you may find you attract more attention here from people wanting to sell you things. In Tetouan, you may find you get a better insight into a traditional medina, and you are less likely to be hassled by unofficial guides and salesmen. The medina in Tangier is still an excellent experience, and should be visited. If you don’t like the narrow, winding streets of medinas then you should go directly from Tangier to Chefchaouen. There is also a medina in Chefchaouen but it is smaller and a bit more touristy.
Tetouan is also home to the “Tetouan Centre of Modern Art” which houses a large collection of Iberian-Moroccan art. It’s worth visiting if you are interested in modern art, and even if you aren’t, because it gives an interesting view of what life was like in Morocco in the early 20th century.
Stopping in Tetouan
On our day trips from Tangier to Chefchaouen, you can stop in Tetouan on your way to Chefchaouen. You can make this stop whether you are taking a one-way transfer, or a day trip (you can stop on your way there or back). There is an additional 20 euro charge for this service, and you can spend as long as you like in Tetouan.