ABOUT AL HOCEIMA
Al Hoceima is a coastal town in northern Morocco, located between the Mediterranean coast and the Rif mountain range. Al Hoceima is one of the largest seaside resorts in North Africa, one of the cleanest and safest cities in Morocco, and has been one of the most popular tourist destinations for several decades.
The Spanish first settled in Al Hoceima in 1925, building houses, schools and hospitals near the coast. The town grew slowly and its population consisted mainly of Spanish soldiers and their families. At that time, the town was known as Villa Alhucemas, a name derived from the Arabic Huzama; then, in 1955, Morocco gained its independence and the Moroccan government changed the name to Al Hoceima, a re-arabisation of the Spanish name, which already had an Arabic origin. In the late 1950s, Morocco was under military control, and much of the population died in civil unrest, unrest that led to high levels of poverty.
Subsequently, in the 1960s, many Moroccans from Al Hoceima were forced to emigrate, mostly to the Netherlands, France and Belgium.
In time, the economy began to recover and the inhabitants of the city decided to paint and colour their houses in blue and white, the colours of the sky and the sea, a tradition that continues to this day. In 2007, the town's mayor decided that all residents should use these colours to re-establish the town's traditional identity. Today, the economy is mainly based on tourism and fishing, and the population is around 90,000.
Independence has certainly brought changes to Al Hoceima, although Spanish influences are still evident in the language and architecture of the city.
Walking around the city, one comes across the Mohammed VI square, with fountains at ground level, which are illuminated in the evening and at night.
The most famous restaurant is located near the port, the Club Nautique; here, after six in the afternoon, you can buy fish directly from the moored boats and have it cooked by the restaurant's chefs or order it directly from the menu. The restaurant's second floor overlooks the entire harbour and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a drink in the open air.
El Peñón de Alhucemas, the small walled island, is clearly visible in the distance. As well as eating and spending time on the beach, we also recommend a visit to the Al Hoceima National Park, created in 2004, which covers an area of 480 square kilometres, 196 of which are sea. The concept of rural tourism has been introduced here, and although it is still in its infancy, it is an enjoyable way to discover the city.
Al Hoceima has beautiful pebble and sandy beaches, such as Cala Iris, Bades and Torres. The largest sandy beach is Quemado, and probably the most popular, especially in the summer when it is packed with people! Here you can breathe in the real Moroccan atmosphere and during the summer season you can hire pedal boats.
Another beautiful beach is Thara Yousse, a pebble beach but without services or facilities. Finally, a few steps along the promenade lead to a picturesque beach in a bay framed by rocky cliffs, called Plage Calabonita.
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