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The Caves of Hercules


On the Moroccan coast, in the region of Tangiers-Tetouan-Al Hoceima, you will find one of the most famous natural places in Morocco.

These are the Caves of Hercules, located just 14 kilometres west of the centre of Tangiers.

The Caves of Hercules have been a well-known tourist spot since the 1920s.

These are natural limestone caves open to the sea, into which the latter enters at high tide.

Mythology has it that Hercules withdrew there once his exploits were accomplished, and that he dug the Strait of Gibraltar by moving the mountains (the Djebel Tarik of Gibraltar in Europe and the Djebel Moussa in Africa, near Ceuta).

He is also credited with developing these caves near Tangiers. For some, it is here that the Cyclops Polyphemus, son of Poseidon the god of the sea, lived and whom Ulysses astonished during his trip.

In truth, these caves were dug in the Neolithic era, the rock being exploited for various works and tools.

Inside the caves, a main corridor leads to several rooms.

Openings with characteristic shapes cut out in the walls allow you to see the ocean.

The most “cool” opening is shaped like the map of Africa. You can even notice Madagascar there.

Will tourism risk destroying the Caves of Hercules? Unauthorised construction near the site and real estate speculation seriously threaten the existence of these caves.

A section has even collapsed recently.

Today, the Caves of Hercules are a superb and surprising tourist site.

They are open to visitors, every day from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (times which may vary depending on the season).

Go there to visit the caves but especially to admire the sunset from the opening of the cave onto the sea.

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