Asilah (also Assilah, Arzila) is a city in northern Morocco.
Asilah lies on the rail line linking Tangier to Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech, Meknes, and Fez. The train station is a 2-km walk along the beach northeast of town. Minibuses (3 dirham) sometimes meet the train in hopes of collecting passengers. It should also be easy to flag down a grand taxi along the road.
From Tangier, you can hire a grand taxi for the ~1 hour drive to Asilah. The fare is about 20 dirham per seat. A whole taxi should thus not be more than 180 dirham.
Buses leave frequently from the Gare Routière for 15 dirham.
You can also get to Asilah directly from Tanger Airport. The price is fixed to 200 dirham per taxi. Alternatively, the main road connecting Tanger and Asilah is 1.8 km from the airport, where you can flag down a grand taxi that will take you to Asilah for 15 dirham (there is much traffic, but most taxis don't go to Asilah, so you'll need some patience). This is much easier on the way back, where you’ll just have to ask the driver to let you exit.
The connection from Tetouan is not at all as good. There is only one bus leaving in the afternoon. Otherwise, unless you’re willing to pay for a private grand taxi (probably around 200 dirham), you’ll have to go to Tangier first.
The 1 Gare Routière. For locations such as Fez, Meknes and Marrakesh is on main road opposite Shell gas station due east up street from northern end of the medina (walk past cemetery and turn left on main road one block to Shell station). To Meknes 50 dirham; to Marrakesh 130 dirham (as of June 2011) The grand taxi rank is nearby with frequent Taxis to Tangier (20 dirham) and Larache (20 dirham) leaving when full.
Cars are not allowed in the Medina, making walking the easiest form of transportation in Asilah proper. It's a small enough town that walking should not be a problem.
Petit taxis are available if you need to go further, e.g. to the train station (2 km north).
There are two main entry points to the medina:
Like most Moroccan towns, Asilah consists of a medina and a ville nouvelle. The medina is small, clean, and features wall paintings by African artists. North and east of the medina, the ville nouvelle is also pleasant.
Asilah hosts an art festival every August where they cover their walls in fantastic murals. You can spend a full day walking around the medina looking at these beautiful paintings.
There are beautiful beaches both north and south of the town.
- The Assilah Festival (International Cultural Moussem of Asilah). An annual cultural extravaganza that takes place in August. The festival features journalists, writers, painters, musicians and dancers from all over the world. Workshops, public arts demonstrations, concerts and exhibitions are held throughout the month. The highlight is the mural paintings in the Medina. An entire wall is used as a canvas for a intriguing mix of fantasy representational art and geometric designs that offset the whitewashed walls of the houses. The festival is North Africa’s biggest cultural gathering.
Due to its proximity to Spain and the large number of Spanish tourists it sees, Asilah's restaurants offer Spanish classics such as paella and tortilla, in addition to the ubiquitous tagine and couscous. Many restaurants, including local seafood restaurants, are located along Ave Mohamed el Hassani, with covered terraces next the southeast wall of the medina. Ask which ones serve beer or wine.
- 1 Fruit and vegetable market (just south of Bab Al-Homar). for self-catering
Enjoy mint tea in one of the cafés.
A couple of guesthouse with rooms starting from 100 dirham are available and offered by touts that find you when walking with a backpack.
Christina's Place - Beautiful hostel/guesthouse a 3-minute walk from the Medina.
Seaview Flat Marina Golf - a fully equipped serviced flat for up to 4 people in the Asilah Marina Golf, security 24/7, communal gardens and swimming pools, during summer period they organize animation for kids around the swimming pool. Price from €29 for 4 people.
There are also several hotels, e.g.
- 1 Hotel Belle-Vue. Check-out: noon. (has wifi in the lobby) Double w/o bathroom from 100 dirham (off-season, 200 dirham season).
- Hotel Sahara.
There is at least one camping site.